Whittier College

Case Study: Whittier College

In Bedroom, Blog, case study, Design Resource, Recycle by Morgan Dix

Summary: DCI and Whittier worked together to generate and design a completely new bedroom set and created a 5-year plan to refurbish their entire campus and fully upgrade their design standard. In the process, we recycled of huge amount of furniture from the Whittier College dorms.

Project Name: Whittier College Dorms

Location: Whittier, CA

Size: 450 Sets

Building Type: Multi-use Residence Hall

Project Team: Whittier College, DCI

Product List: Custom Bed with 6-drawer Underbed Storage, Desk, Mobile Pedestal

Whittier College

Whittier College is a small liberal arts school perhaps best know as the alma mater of former president Richard Nixon.

Located in the town of Whittier between Los Angeles and Orange County, the college has a beautiful 75-acre suburban campus which hosts an intimate and interdisciplinary learning community.

Whittier has approximately 1,725 students who can select from 30 majors and 30 minors offered in 23 different disciplines including including economics, political science, English, anthropology, mathematics, history, and business administration.

In 2015, the Princeton Review called Whittier “one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education.”

According to the Whittier website:

With an emphasis on diversity, community, and curricular innovation, the College’s primary mission is to endow students with the education, skills, and values appropriate for global leadership and service.

Whittier also boasts a deeply diverse campus and according to Forbes, it’s considered one of the most diverse student populations in the country among liberal arts institutions. About one-third of Whittier’s student body is Latino and the school is officially a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).

Another highlight of the Whittier experience is their robust study abroad program.

Whittier College provides many opportunities for students interested in learning about other cultures. Each student may choose to spend a semester, a year, or a summer living and studying in a variety of locations around the world. Whittier also offers several study abroad opportunities through its faculty led JanTerm and MayTerm programs,

And finally, Whittier’s school spirit is infused with a storied athletics program with 22 NCAA Division 3 intercollegiate sports teams.

Whittier College Dorms: Process & Approach

Whittier College Dorms custom bedsMore and more, students are including the quality of their residence hall experience in deciding where to attend college. Whittier College dorms respects and responds to that emerging trend.

Two years ago (2015), Whittier approached us looking for help in upgrading their residence halls with a fresh and updated aesthetic.

At the time, they recognized that a lot of their furniture was dated and they wanted to modernize their entire design standard to something more contemporary.

Whittier College Dorms custom desksWe worked together to generate and design a completely new bedroom set, which included a desk with mobile pedestal, and chic custom designed beds with maximum 6-drawer underbed storage that was specially engineered to attach to the bed frame.

They loved all of it.

After the first successful installation, we developed a 5-year plan to refurbish their entire campus and fully upgrade their design standard campus-wide.

Recycling & Charitable Giving

One of our core business values is sustainability. One way that we back this up is by offering to recycle, reuse, or repurpose all the furniture that we’re replacing in a given residence hall.

This saves everyone money, helps the community at large, and supports local charities.

During our second installation at Whittier College dorms, we were able to repurpose, recycle, and upcycle a huge amount of furniture that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill.

All told, we removed 205 beds with metal springs, 205 pedestal desks, and 205 large five-drawer wood dressers. Here’s how we gave them a second life and kept them out of the landfill.

1. Metal Beds

In response to a last minute request, we packaged up and sent about 30 beds to a school in Northern California.

We also connected with a gentleman who specialized in scrap metal who showed up every day in a small truck to pack it up and haul the beds away for scrap metal.

2. Solid Wood Bed Ends

We donated some to a local goodwill. But because they were made from solid wood we re-manufactured and repurposed them for use in new furniture.

In addition, one fellow came and picked up about 100 bed ends. He used them to build a fence around his house.

3. 5-Drawer Dressers

We donated all the dressers to Habitat Restore in Asuza, CA. Amazingly, they sold through all of them in about 10 days.

4. Desks

We donated as many desks as possible. In total about 75 desks.

Because these desks weren’t made from solid wood, the rest had to be broken down and thrown in dumpsters.

At DCI, we make every effort to extend the life of furniture and keep waste out of the landfill. To that end, we recycle, upcycle, reuse, and repurpose many tons of furniture each year.

You can learn more about some of our past recycling efforts in this post.

(Photos Via Flickr CC: Eric Johnson and KonomarkIngerAlHaosului)


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