For the nervous new freshmen heading to college this fall (and some bitter 25 year olds looking to travel back in time) a new website, DesignYourDorm offers the chance to make design decisions ahead of time in a 3-D replica of the room they’ve been dealt.
The site is intended to load up a range of rooms from a list of hundreds of colleges. Right now there don’t seem to be plans for most of the schools but if you know the dimensions of your room you can enter them in manually or choose from a list of common dorm room shapes. If you want to collaborate with a future roommate you can even work on the design together and see each others picks.
In testing the system, my first move was to find a room that resembled closely enough my freshman double at the University of Chicago.
I then immediately moved my roommate’s bed into the hallway.
Without Roomie, a beanbag chair fit nicely in front of the closet and a 125 can beer fridge, flat screen TV, blender and lamp-on-the-bed complete the opus in the above photo.
Many of the options in the pull down menu wouldn’t actually appear in the room during this test. I was able to drag and drop furniture and some appliances, but bedding and many other items seemed unavailable to actually place in the model room while I was using the system: blender—yes, coffee maker—no.
Every item did appear though in “My Cart,” a list that allows you to buy everything you put in your virtual room in real life via amazon.com, and have it shipped straight to your dorm room. This makes the system seem a little more like a sales gimmick than design software.
Regardless, it is fun to use and offers a way to visualize and take charge of the space many young people will find themselves trapped in for at least a year come September. That’s pretty cool.