Last Fall, we teamed up with Academy of Art University’s School of Interior Architecture & Design in San Francisco to create a project for the students in the the retail design class, taught by designer Serena Zanello. We worked with the faculty to develop a brief: what would a Design Milk office look like? We actually don’t have a Design Milk office, but maybe someday we will, and so I thought it might be fun to envision what one might look like. How does one design a physical space for a virtual company? Well, actually, as I was writing the brief, I realized that we’re not entirely virtual… we do everything from creating videos to hosting events to selling products! Maybe we DO need a real life office, after all!

All of the students in the program created designs based on our brief and the specifications created by Ms. Zanello for our fake location. And, as a result, our favorites would be showcased here on Design Milk!

Our very favorite design was created by Interior Architecture & Design student Wei Luo. This design captured the spirit of Design Milk with its sophisticated, minimalist, modern design, complete with a bit of whimsy. It perfectly reflects our brand and it’s a place I’d love to work every day!



Wei says of the project:

Design Milk is an online design magazine dedicated to what’s innovative, fresh, and new in the world of design, designers, design students and those who are interested in design are benefited from this. Milk box is an important brand identity of design milk, the milk box can be folded, be reassemble and be taken apart, which will meet the demand of flexibility, dynamism and innovation of the space. In addition, facet is an important element of the milk box, it will be emphasized in the space in order to create a sense of future.

The two runners up are Chantal Yakou and Kathleen Dayon – their concepts were unique and I think that they were incredibly well-thought out, the presentations were beautifully-executed and presented.



Runner Up Interior Architecture and Design student Kathleen Mae Dayon says of her design:

A simple set of building blocks can create wonders. Creativity the key in using this blocks. just like the block, Design Milk is like an art and design hub where in it ignites people’s creativity.

The concept is combining both modularity and functionality to create a space where in dynamic for the users needs and activities. Users interaction is and important consideration in this concept. It will also reflect in the spaces as well. Squares and cubes are used around the space with accents of circles which breaks the rigidness of an angular shape. The color palette consists of neutral shades with accents of bright colors. Just like the building blocks, bright colors are use to attract attention and make the space more fun.



MFA student in Interior Architecture and Design, Chantal Yakou, says about the “Layers” design:

The concept of this design is “Layers.” As designers we are always editing, trying to make our work as efficient as possible. It’s a vicious cycle between adding and taking away and its not until we reach the sweet spot, the balance between too many layers and not enough that we truly produce sophisticated design.

This design interlaces different materials layered with complimentary textures to create subtle contrast throughout the space. I incorporate layers of lighting to create a visual effect that is both dynamic and gives comfort to the eye. The goal is to keep the it pretty simple in attempt to create an environment that is not distracting to the everyday user, can easily be changed to fit the needs of the moment, but is still stimulating, interactive, and fun.


In addition to the two above, I was smitten with the Pop Up Store in MS Interior Architecture Design student, Dahean Lee’s, design. Dahean says:

The idea of wooden crate box and refrigerator display came from the concept of ‘Freshness’. People use wooden crate box to package important stuff to reduce pressure from outside. I wanted to show this Design Milk office is bringing and carrying important, fresh, and trendy articles to the world. Also to include fun and interesting element, I mixed used refrigerator with wooden crate boxes to display magazines and art samples. Visitors will found the freshest news in the refrigerators!