The newly renovated Applause Café in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center has a student-designed final touch.

Sleek new seating areas, installed at the start of the semester, were designed in a Fall 2016 class by 10 graduate students in UMD’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. The furniture is made of Plyboo, a sustainable material that is like plywood but uses bamboo.

“Now that construction is complete, students have the opportunity to see their vision realized, observe the way their designs have activated the space and understand their role as change agents in the built environment,” said Associate Professor Madlen Simon, who taught the course.

The design process gave The Clarice and Dining Services staff an “opportunity to exchange ideas about the look and feel of our ideal new cafe, as well as hear from the students what materials, layout and functionality recommendations they would make from an architectural point of view,” said Erica Bondarev Rapach, associate executive director of The Clarice.

The Clarice’s professional production staff mentored the students as they produced furniture prototypes and learned how to use a computer-controlled cutting machine. A permanent sign will be placed in the café to acknowledge the students and Simon.

“Applause Cafe is now a warm, welcoming and inspiring place to work, socialize and eat,” Bondarev Rapach said.