Ready, Set, Create! Target Interns Inspire Back-to-College Product Designs

August 11, 2016 - Article reads in
Summer interns create designs at a PD&D co-create event

From “bright and bold” to “cool contemporary,” there are thousands of ways to style a college dorm room or apartment. The important thing is to add a personal stamp to make the space truly your own. As Target guests across the country get ready to head back to college and personalize their own living spaces, we wanted to celebrate the maker movement, and put a special design spin on things they use to decorate.

Our Product Design & Development (PD&D) team has been working to bring the spirit of the maker trend to Target through innovative designs and products. In fact, they recently tapped a new source of creativity: our interns! Last year, all 90 undergrad interns working at Minneapolis headquarters during the summer of 2015 were invited to cap off their program with the chance to create designs and share ideas that would inspire Target’s Room Essentials 2016 College collection.

“One of my favorite parts about the design process is work directly with our guests, the end users—and who better to inspire the looks for the latest college collection than our interns?” says Julie Guggemos, senior vice president, PD&D, who happens to have a son and daughter in college herself. “The interns are living college life firsthand and know what works, what doesn’t, and how we can make our assortments event better.”

To pull it off, PD&D teams transformed the fourth floor loft space of Target Plaza Commons in downtown Minneapolis into a co-create event. There, the interns hopped between art activity stations using unexpected materials to craft samples, swatches and pieces of art. The stations included gold-foiling, ink lettering, watercolor painting, nail polish marbling, and even stamping out print patterns using sliced fruits and veggies. Take a look:

During the event, the interns also took part in mini focus groups with PD&D teams to share their opinions on Target’s current assortments, like kitchen essentials, lighting and dorm-ready storage products. They provided honest input on the products, pointing out which pieces and sets they’d likely buy for their dorms or apartments, and also some things our teams could do to make the next round of products even better.

At the end of the day, this talented group of interns created more than 200 prints, patterns and designs—and their work showed up as motifs, mood boards and other resources our PD&D team used to create our newest back-to-college collections of bedding, wall art, tapestries, shower curtains and more. Take a look at a few examples you can find in our newly released collection:

An offwhite, rectangular pillow with gold foil print

Room Essentials Gold Foil Oblong Decorative Pillow

A white, paint-splattered tapestry with "be brave, be bright, be bold" in teal text

Room Essentials Tapestry

A white paint-splattered bed spread and a white bed spread with teal print

Room Essentials Bedding Sets in Paint Splatter White and Colorblock Teal Blue

Want to see more of Target’s back-to-college products and services? Visit Interested in learning more about Target’s internship programs? Check out our career pages for college students.

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