Champions of the raddest pad competition discuss their winning room designs

 Photo courtesy of  Madalina Artist

Photo courtesy of  Madalina Artist

Tucked in a corner of the 111-116 pod in Burntside Hall lies a room that could have been crafted from the scraps of a dream-like reverie.

“We are the artisans and this is our living space,” said Madalina Artist, gesturing to the entirety of her room.

 Photo courtesy of Madalina Artist

Photo courtesy of Madalina Artist

47 plants, essential oils, rocks and low-power, auto-light fresh 365K lighting, a recycled rug from India and a low-powered fish tank are just a few things that crowned this room as the Greenest Room in this year’s Raddest Pad competition.

Madalina Artist and Audrey Beyer were also this year’s runner-ups for winning the entire competition for Champ's Raddest Pad.

UMD Housing and Residence Life’s Raddest Pad competition allows students to submit photos of their own dorm or apartment rooms in hopes of winning a gift card, obtaining bragging rights and having their rooms featured on UMD Housing and Residence Life’s social media pages.

The Raddest Pad competition consisted of themes students could choose to enter their rooms under. “Design on a Dime” for best DIY room, “Champ’s Biggest Fan” for most school spirit, “Greenest Room” for best use of sustainability, “Greetings from MN” for most Minnesotan themed room and “Raddest Large Room” for best triple, expanded or apartment room. For each theme selected, there were separate winners.

Artist and Beyer decided to participate in the competition because they were suggested to do so by multiple people who entered their room before.

 Photo courtesy of  Madalina Artist

Photo courtesy of  Madalina Artist

“Every single person just loses their minds and they just look at stuff,” Artist said.

“It reminds me of the fairy garden at the Renaissance Festival,” said Lily Kivens, friend of Artist.

Fairy lights drape across the ceiling, walls and border the windows, dipping the room in a golden glow. A small aquarium gurgles softly in the background, stuffed with plants passed down to Artist. Every inch of counter space is encompassed by plants, emphasized by false strings of leaves nestling the edge frame of the bunked beds.

“Last year we decided to room together and I told her we will probably end up in a mermaid, gypsy, dragon, hobbit hole,” Artist said.

 Photo courtesy of  Madalina Artist

Photo courtesy of  Madalina Artist

The room is colored with browns, reds, greens and blues to “help with mood and feeling calm,” Artist said. Both Artist and Beyer said the plants clean the air and company is able to breathe in sync.

“I want a nice planet to live on,” Beyer said. “I would want my planet to continue being a planet because I live here. I grew up in the countryside. I was always surrounded by nature.”

Artist and Beyer received reusable water bottles from sustainability and a Caribou gift card as their reward.

CultureAbigael Smith