If you're studying industrial design, your dorm room should look different than dorms from students of other majors. As an ID'er you're supposed to be able to design and make objects, and your dorm should be an early laboratory where you devise and test things that will improve your own daily life. So put your tool skills to use with the following:
1. Raise the Bed
No dorm-dweller has ever said "Man, I wish this place had less storage." You'll always need more space to stow your crap and items that you've stolen from your roommate, and the one thing that every dorm room has is under-bed space (unless you're in a bunkbed situation, in which case you should immediately transfer to another dorm). So you want to figure out how to maximize that space.
Every big box store sells those cheapie plastic bed risers…
Don't buy. DIY
…but as an ID student, you should be able to go into the shop and whip something like this up out of 4x4s with some type of cladding for the sidewalls. As a bonus, you get to choose the exact height. Build them sturdy and safe, and you'll have plenty of room to install pull-out boxes or even drawers under your bed.
Here's a simple example:
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2. Create Seating that Doubles as Storage
Occasionally you'll want to invite other students, including those from lesser majors, over to your room. You don't want those animals sitting on your bed, so it would be handy to have a multitude of stools around. Use this as an opportunity to flex your ID muscles and create some stools that double as storage. Here are some ideas to get you started:
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3. Learn to Hang Things
You'd be amazed how many people don't know how to install a simple wall anchor, and you can exploit this for your own gain. If your dorm's walls are sheetrock, you have an opportunity to not only increase the functionality of your space, but earn some bucks hanging things for others.
Here's what you'll need:
- A stud sensor (if you've got the scratch, spring for one that can detect wiring)
- Sheetrock anchors
- A drill/driver
- A hammer (optional, can also use your roommate's smartphone)
You'll use the stud sensor to, duh, check for studs. If you're hanging something heavy like a mirror or a shelf that will hold books, stick to studs. Lighter things like coathooks or a small shelf to hold your smartphone or tablet will be fine on anchors.
If you don't already know how to install them, here's a quick vid covering the basics:
Once you've mastered this, sell your services to those losers in Fashion. Those people have lots of clothes and jewelry that they will want dedicated hooks and hanging systems for in their dorm rooms, and you can charge them up the wazoo. (All Fashion students are rich, everyone knows this.)
4. Learn to Patch Things
Technically most colleges won't allow you to install sheetrock anchors, but you're going to do it anyway because you're an ID major. (Look in the mirror and repeat after me: "I'm a renegade and I play by my own rules.") You're not going to get caught and fined because at the end of the semester, you're going to patch all of those holes you've made and slap some touch-up paint over them.
Here's what you'll need:
- Joint compound
- Putty knife
Frankly speaking, you should own all of this stuff after a semester or two of ID. You'll take these items and do what you see below:
Note: With screw holes, you can skip the drywall tape shown in the video.
*After you paint the patch, don't worry if you can't match the paint color exactly. What you can do to get your deposit back, is blame the shoddy work on your roommate. If you're going to get a job doing industrial design at the corporate level, you will need to learn how to shift blame onto others if you hope to survive. You might as well start learning now!
As with the hanging, you can sell your patching services to other students at the end of the year. Ideal targets will be in Architecture. Those people will have pridefully managed to install anchors to hang their self-important, pointlessly pointy FoamCore building models on the wall, but are not interested in follow-up and maintenance so will have no idea how to clean up their own mess. Figure out a price that's less than their damage deposit and you should be good to go.