Second Place Winner: Paul Joo ’08

How do you make yourself at home with a student’s budget and a space the size of a sardine can? Paul Joo ’08 has it all figured out in his Taylor Hall single – the second-place winner of the Coolest Room on Campus contest. Upon stepping into the room, you feel as though you’ve entered another world. The soft lights placed along the walls of the room illuminate the perimeter and create an inviting atmosphere. It’s a space of class, luxury, and function. The tea bags and snack foods emit a sweet smell of the Orient, while the art décor of the room is very European. The duality of “east meets west” is certainly a theme in Joo’s room. Dozens of paintings, ranging from Picasso to Warhol, fill the walls with vibrant color. Photographs of famous bridges from around the world serve links between the differently themed walls. Although each wall contains multiple artists, the style, texture, and coloring of the art match to form a motif. Despite the room’s formidable display, Joo did not have to empty his wallet to decorate it. According to Joo, “All of these pictures are from old calendars that I didn’t want to throw out.” The room also features a comfortable futon adjacent to the bed. “The thing opens up,” said Joo. This creates a great hangout for the guys in the dorm. Above the futon sits a mantle that displays a beautiful oil painting of an evening café scene. Joo claims to have picked up this centerpiece from an art student in Boston for only $20. There is one unfortunate aspect of the room – the view from Joo’s two small windows is mostly blocked by the rooftop of Taylor’s common room. Joo remedies this, however, by bringing the color of the outside world into his room through the multitude of calendar paintings. Beyond his creative yet practical design, Joo keeps his workspace uncluttered. His desk only sports a simple setup of computer and speakers. Joo remarked, “One of the hard parts at the beginning of every year is putting together the room. A student’s room has to be so many things – a kitchen, a hangout place, a bedroom, a study, all of these things. This year, I tried to make it more relaxed.” By keeping his workplace simple and his walls filled with color, Joo created the perfect environment to efficiently tackle the school year, and win bragging rights and a second-place position in the Coolest Room on Campus contest.