WOODLAND PARK, NJ - Reem Beck, who graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Berkeley College last month, is sharing her creative vision to help shape a local public library into an even more dynamic destination for the community.
Beck, a resident of Woodland Park, said she has always found comfort and enjoyment at the Borough’s Alfred H. Baumann Free Public Library. When she learned that New Jersey voters had approved a $125 million bond issue for upgrades to local libraries, Beck connected with Library Director Linda Hoffman, pitching a Capstone project to redesign the Library facility.
“Working on the library project was a very exciting experience from the beginning,” Beck said. “Linda Hoffman and the Library staff genuinely care for the needs of the local residents in the community. I feel honored to be a part of this project.”
Hoffman said the Library has outgrown its current footprint and needs upgrades for ADA compliance, technology infrastructure and more, to best serve its patrons. While an architectural firm has already been hired for the expansion, Beck offered a proposal for interior design in the new space. She met with the Library team, as well as Library Board Trustees, the Friends of the Library, and Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark, to understand the community’s vision and needs. The Library’s grant proposal was submitted this month.
Following a comprehensive analysis, surveys and case studies, Beck proposed a design that incorporated her interest in sustainable design practices, particularly biophilic design, which connects patrons closely to nature.
“Reem has an undeniable talent for design,” Hoffman said. “I was impressed with her professional manner and her enthusiasm for this project. It is clear that she cares about her community and its residents, and she understands the value of the public library in the community.”
Beck graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design in May. She was recognized in 2019 as a semi-finalist in the American Society of Interior Designers’ (ASID) Student Portfolio Competition. She was also honored for her furniture design in the ASID Samuel and Rhoda Chalfin Memorial Student Design Competition.