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DI Details Newsletter June 2010 Design Institute of San Diego

A Graduate With Style

Impacting Lives from the Inside Out

Can I Get That Green Chair in Blue, Please?

Anne Kellett wins award for CATaquarium

LIBRARIAN'S CORNER - Magnificent Plants, Magnificent Photography


Anne Kellett wins award for CATaquarium

It's been a year now since Meow Madness - the adoption event where the Cataquarium was selected as the winning entry for the final habitat at the San Diego Humane Society. In addition to winning the original design contest, Anne was also named in the current issue of San Diego Magazine as the First Place winner (Specialty Category) in the ASID Annual Design Excellence Awards competition.


And the cats continue to love it!

"Most adoption facilities are scary places," observes DI instructor Anne Kellett, whose design for the Cataquarium (a marine media room) won the habitat design competition. Even the existing facility wasn't always as restful as cats under stress might fully desire.

The Humane Society desired a re-design of its main cat habitat to maximize occupancy for up to 20 cats, and were looking for "A unique space that would encourage adoptions by creating a positive atmosphere that was both people and animal friendly."

As with any assignment, there were constraints - in this case prohibitions against structural changes to walls, lighting or floor finish. The large display window at the front of the room had to be incorporated into the final application.

All materials utilized needed to be easily cleaned and/or disinfected. All wood needed to be sealed for infection control. Furniture needed to be comfortable and easily moveable. And areas to be used for multiple feeding, litter and sleeping areas were desired.

Plus, the client allowed only two weeks for demolition and installation.

A CATalog of Ideas
Anne explains her thought process as this project got underway. "I thought about my own experiences with cats, and realized there's nothing more mesmerizing to a feline than a fish tank. I quickly pounced on the idea of creating a ‘Cataquarium' - a virtual aquarium that would at one time be playful, therapeutic, homey, and conducive to encouraging adoptions."

The idea was a huge hit!
Anne's Cataquarium utilized a 60" flat-screen TV showing an underwater video to transform the entire back wall into a non-stop aquatic show. Custom "seaweed towers" were introduced to provide vertical living spaces, and a walkway six feet above the floor went around 3/4 of the room.

Themed accessory items included cubbies and cabinets, and all color schemes complemented the "Under the Sea" motif.

Hiring the CATalyst
Anne's design firm - A Kinder Space - is known for creating safe, beautiful, accessible and welcoming spaces that strive to address the present and future needs of her clients, no matter how many legs the client may have.

This ongoing effort to create non-threatening, comfortable living spaces helped her create this permanent room at the San Diego Humane Society, and made Meow Madness the talk of the town.

Her clients considered the results to be purrfect!

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