Building Improvements

Imagining Design Possibilities

In Fall 2019, UW-Madison’s School of Human Ecology Design V class partnered with Shop One in Fall 2019. Participating students, mostly seniors pursuing interior design or architecture degrees, produced designs through consultation with District staff as part of their capstone projects, which were then showcased in a concluding gallery at the Ruth Davis Design Gallery. For the District, the designs sparked ideas, generated excitement, and possibly informed future direction as the District develops Shop One programming and capital improvement projects in years to come.  


The initial step in transitioning Shop One into a public space was retrofitting the building’s main room with carpet, furniture, audiovisual equipment and bathrooms in 2016 — changes to accommodate larger tour groups. The vaulted ceilings that make the space unique, however, presented a problem for acoustics, which made communication in the space difficult. The intent of Shop One is to engage and empower water stewards in a flexible, functional and inviting workspace that invites community members to experience the District’s work and inspire creative approaches to the future. As such, we didn’t want standard fiberglass acoustical panels, but a creative solution that embodied the mission of the space. The final design, created and installed by Strang Architects, depicts the Yahara chain of lakes and installation was completed in early 2020.
Blueprints for acoustic improvements project
nipinet landsem speaks at an event in March 2022.