Each year we try to highlight projects from some of our student capstone and thesis courses. Recent graduate from interior design, Elise McQueen, considered the current climate of the pandemic and the effects of social distancing for her final project “Escape Space.” 


Project Description

Escape Space is located in downtown Indianapolis and will serve as a gathering and place to escape from home, work, noise, people, or anything else you may need a break from. Escape Space is a new type of space inspired by the quarantine experience, during which we were stuck in one location, experienced social isolation and loneliness, and there were increased cases of mental health struggles, specifically depression and anxiety. The space will focus on creating an interactive, community-focused experience that meets the physical and emotional needs of every visitor.


The first floor features a cafe and gathering space with Covid-19 safety integrated into the interior design to keep visitors safe and comfortable in the public setting. The second floor includes many “escape spaces” which range from rooms for art therapy, chromotherapy, and themed rooms for individuals or small groups. Themes include travel destinations, time periods, events, or any other creative environment that can be thought up. Unique audio, lighting, materials, and furniture choices will create a full sensory experience in each room. These “escape spaces” allow people to briefly escape the monotony or chaos of daily life in a safe and affordable way. Escape Space will strive to meet the community’s social and emotional needs by providing spaces for gathering and socialization, as well as individual spaces for quiet meditation or creative expression.


View her design process for “Escape Space” on her blog here.