Roski students create collaborative workspace

The opening of Windowspace was held at the Lindhurst Gallery in the Roski School of Art and Design on Monday. Windowspace is a prototype of a studio space, long wanted by the Roski students that will allow them to collaborate and work together on projects.  

Roski seniors Steven Rahbany, Kristine Ortega and Megan Park developed the idea of Windowspace. They decided to use the gallery in an unconventional way and plan to have other events like the screening of an art film and a round table, where the seniors could advise the freshmen.

“One thing that frustrated us in the last four years was the limited space at Roski, Rahbany said. “You can only have access to a studio if you are in a class. So, we came up with this idea of what if the gallery turned into a space that helped the needs of the students? That’s why we split the gallery in half, where one-half is like a centralized area where the students can congregate, and the other half is for them to do their work.”

Park said that the idea behind creating an exhibit was to showcase the utility of a space such as this to Roski.

“One of the biggest problems that the Roski students recognize is the lack of community area and a studio space for after hours,” Park said.  “We converted this normal gallery space into a student lounge where we got in our furniture, and we wanted to showcase what it would be like for Roski as an art school to have a space like this.”

The Windowspace aims to create opportunities that are community-based, providing students with a central space or student lounge where they can relax, work or just hang out.

“Since the year started we have been working on developing the Windowspace, and it has been really fun. I can’t believe it’s real, and I hope that students use this,” Ortega said. “One of my main roles was thinking about what art students want to see on the walls. We are planning on having art students draw and interact with these windows so that it becomes more of an interactive and engaging space.”

According to Jeff Cain, lecturer of design at USC, a prototype is very important for any object design, and Windowspace is one such prototype of a social space that can be used by students.

“Prototypes can be a way to start a conversation,” Cain said. “What I liked about their idea is that they decided to use this existing gallery as a prototype for their project. I think it is like a performance in which the administration is right across the hallway, and they can see how this will be used.”

Andrew Jiang, a freshman majoring in computer science, thought that a similar structure would benefit other majors.

“It’s a great concept and is really unique. I actually want such a space for Computer Science students to code together,” Jiang said. “Like a dedicated space, apart from classrooms, for specific interests.”

Sean Hnedak, a senior, majoring in fine arts, felt that this exhibit could serve as a benchmark for future student projects.

“This is my first impression, and I think it is really awesome. If I imagined a student space here, it would be like this,” Hnedak said.

Windowspace will be on view until Feb. 25.