SCADpad is a community of three prototypical, 135-square-foot micro-residences installed on the fourth floor of an underutilized Atlanta parking structure, occupying an area of only eight parking spaces and offering panoramic views of the Atlanta skyline. Unveiled in April 2014, SCADpad represents how the Savannah College of Art and Design is anchoring design education through real-world application, advancing the frontiers of professional practice for our students.
The current academic challenge facing interior design education today is to define and create opportunities to engage students in interdisciplinary discourse that addresses societal problems on a global stage and produce real-world solutions. Educational practices must break free of the confines of the classroom and tackle design issues hands-on.
Students and faculty of SCAD’s interior design department, in collaboration with 11 other academic disciplines, developed three transportable housing modules that fit into a standard parking space in one of the most ubiquitous and underutilized structures in the urban landscape—the modern parking garage. SCADpad is a multi-dimensional study of small living and life-as-art that proposes a relevant and replicable answer to the growing need for suitable, affordable, efficient housing in cities worldwide.
Interior design students had to simplify residential lifestyle solutions to respond to the confines of an 8’-4” x 16’-0” footprint, producing designs that are space-conscious without compromise. Utilizing the latest technology and most innovative space planning approach, each SCADpad unit includes a working office, sleeping area, a full kitchen, and a bathroom with shower.
Featuring highly customizable exterior and interior surfaces and finishes, including high-touch, technology-infused environments, the units are designed to enhance the experience of living small.
One unit features an exterior cladding forming three-dimensional color gradient geometric shapes, interior walls made of human conductive wallpaper, and a ceiling of perforated silicone tiles. Furnishings include black parapan bed, nightstand and kitchen cabinets with a zinc-clad countertop.
Another has exterior cladding in tonal blue lacquered wood panels capped with scalloped copper roofline shingles. The interior features an interactive wall covering made from 40,000 strips of fabric, printed floor mats, a hammock-style pull-down bed, and bathroom surfaces of op art vinyl graphics.
A third unit features painted and etched metal exterior panels, interior walls covered in thousands of leather strips, a ceiling installation made from a myriad of common household items, and the floor clad in hundreds of vintage yard sticks and rulers.
According to the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius, the three essential components of great design are utility, strength, and delight. SCADpad’s UTILITY lies in its space-conscious urban living, its STRENGTH is evident in its principles of adaptive reuse, and its DELIGHT is illuminated in its fusion of art and technology, consideration of beauty, celebration of elegance. SCADpad reimagines 20th-century parking decks that otherwise face obsolescence by repurposing these decks as 21st-century vertical neighborhoods. In its concept, design, and execution, SCADpad embodies and advances timeless design principles for the millennial age, and evolved from one firmly shared belief: Design can change the world.