Being able to experience working on something you love and having the privilege of seeing it come to life in the industry while still being a student is a one-time opportunity.

Around September 2018, Red Bull Southeast Region sponsored a three-week design “Charrette-style” competition called “Revamp,” which focused on an interior design build-out opportunity for one of its clients, American Social Bar & Kitchen (AmSo), located in Brickell. This project included detailed designs of two bars, one inside the restaurant, and one outside. The goal was to design and create conceptual plans and drawings for the bars that would be used by the client as a basis for future construction.

Red Bull, in partnership with AmSo and Florida International University in Miami, invited my class to participate in this revamp by working in 7 teams of 4. I had the opportunity to work with an amazing team- Maria Leon, Melissa Briceno, and Mirtes Araujo.

At the conclusion of the 3-week process, Red Bull and AmSo selected the best proposal, and we were the winning team. The day they announced the winning team was actually on my 21st birthday so I was extra happy. The winning team received $2,000 and an FIU design team will work closely with AmSo to develop the design further in preparation for AmSo’s build-out.

As a real-life opportunity, it’s incredible for us students to merge design theory with practical application. As the first part of the process, American Social was introduced as a casual, fine dining restaurant, sports bar, and hang out all mixed into one. The inside and outside atmospheres provide different experiences that everyone can enjoy. American Social is meant to be a place where everyone feels at home, an all-American dining atmosphere. The clientele of AmSo is mostly Miami professionals who are looking for tasty food, entertainment, and a good atmosphere.

Partway through the design journey, Sweet & Chili’s team members visited us at FIU. They are “drinks specialists with a passion for events.” As specialists in the field of bar operations, design and branding, they provided us with guidance in what actually happens behind the bar, and valuable insights so that we could develop a design that was both functional and enticing.

Taking all into consideration, together as a team we developed the design concept. We showcased the Americana look through the Industrial Revolution witnessed in the early 1900s that really paved the way for the America we know today. By experimenting with the exposure of natural, unrefined materials that came from that era, specifically steel, wood, and brick, we aimed to provoke a warm feeling at American Social that gave a sense of timeless connection to the past.

This project was a new concept for Red Bull, and their intent was to appeal to one of their target demographics, college students, by “Giving Wings” to our ideas.

To promote the Revamp and their product, Red Bull produced short films and press releases that featured our faculty, students, and designs.

With everything being said, Fall Semester 2018 was one of my favorites. We all clicked well and automatically bonded together over the design. There’s nothing better than designing with a team and seeing the design come to life so rapidly.

Author: Carolina Cardona 

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