BA INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE
INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE sets a balancing act between place-making and experience design. Ranging from the scale of the building to that of the room, and the interiorities of the urban context of London within which we operate, the course encourages students to study and design spaces from a user perspective, challenging them to reimagine existing buildings and relate them back to the community in creative and critical ways.
Following two years of the pandemic, we dynamically re-joined our studio, celebrated our return to the city with group visits and extracurricular activities, and studied how the past years affected the ways we live and inhabit space. We explored a range of themes from retail, to exhibition design, craft, making, up-cycling and, investigated how complex interior environments can be reimagined, re-inhabited, and sustainably adapted. We reflected on the wellbeing of our communities, explored new types of spaces required to support emerging life patterns, and experimented by drawing out atmospheres and, designing new experiences deploying both traditional and multidisciplinary methods.
The course has set up strong links to practice that this year manifested in the form of our ‘Interior Matters/Practices’ lecture series delivered by invited guest speakers, a list of esteemed critics and, the realisation of our subject-specific employability events and, a week-long intensive set of workshops that coach and support students to bridge the gap between academia and professional practice. All the above were made possible through contributions from numerous international and London-based design practices including, Perkins + Will, TB Bennetts, Architype, Foster + Partners, Heatherwick Studio, AECOM, Amos Goldreich Architects, Studio Sutton, Hassell Studio, Emil Eve Architects, Nicolas Pople Architects, Pardon Chamber Architects and, Gensler.
Cross-disciplinary in its outlook, the course participated for the second year in the ‘Co-Production Workshop: Mental Health, Design and, Wellbeing’, held with medical students from Imperial College both remotely and, in our Marylebone studios. With guidance from practitioners, clinicians, experts and, patient advocates, our group considered how design affects health and, how conditions of the mind and body can inform the ways we perceive and redesign existing NHS interior environments. A ‘live-project’ and transformative learning experience that enabled our students to reflect on their own practice, by highlighting the importance of listening and working collaboratively in order to meaningfully contribute to real-world issues.
IN FIRST YEAR students are introduced to underlying concepts and principles learning fundamental processes, skills and techniques relevant to conceive, develop, resolve and communicate spatial design proposals. They are introduced to graphics, CAD, 3D modelling software, plus the Fabrication Lab. Students are set a range of short projects: 2D representation, visualisation using collage and timelines; bread construct, investigating light and drawing conventions; group precedent study, to understand intent and architectural representation. Building on these skills they then design their first piece of interior architecture. This year, they addressed different types of Makers and their live/work spaces. The first, was to design a transformable piece of ‘Makertecture’ for a specified maker. Their location was the Museum of the Home, East London, where makers could demonstrate their work to the public in an interior setting. In the second semester, students individually re-ordered the interiors of Hansard Mews properties for a critically relevant programme of specialised repair, repurposing, modification and upcycling of ‘stuff, waste, existing buildings and lifestyles’. Inspired by a visit to the Design Museum’s ‘Waste Age: What can design do?’ Shepherds Bush location, burdened by consumer waste, but strong in community potential, this fuelled students’ site/context investigations, developing re-making, reuse and ecological design, investigating materials and techniques.
This year, our year 2 students looked for the materially sensuous and the impeccably crafted. Our studio focused on poetic, transformational spaces, and interiors that have the potential to become catalysts for change. The year unfolded into 2 interrelated semesters, aiming to engage students with material experimentation and craft as drivers for sustainable design thinking. This allowed students to explore how small-scale processes can influence large-scale spaces and help develop a deeper understanding of environmentally conscious material and crafted modes of operating within interior architecture. In the first semester, we celebrated our return to campus and the city, by dispersing across London in exploration of material and immaterial aspects of urban “softness”. Through a series of rigorous and playful design processes, the students tested themselves as architectural flâneurs, gathering information from the urban realm and applying this to the design of spatial proposals, responding to the needs of marginalised communities in Peckham Rye. The second semester was an opportunity to focus on constructing spatial experiences and designing atmospheres for concept stores in the retail sector. Through a series of process-driven material experimentation workshops, students were given the opportunity to develop a personal understanding of a set of seemingly incompatible materials, and use this to construct innovative material applications, finishes and assemblages that would
Third year’s Spatial Narratives focused on the relationship of body, mind, and spirit. Drawing on conditions of isolation, the desire to reconnect with nature, and inspired by the history of Quintin Hogg’s Chiswick Sports Grounds as our site of exploration, term I began with in-depth archival research on the site’s history, followed by a collaborative site survey. Through a series of hands-on workshops, students studied the quality of light and the way it affects wellbeing and pursued their design ideas by integrating the surrounding landscape to support physical, spiritual activity, and offer moments of comfort, pleasure, and care. Term I concluded with innovative and transformative spatial propositions for the Polytechnic Retreat, reimagining the existing cricket pavilion as a prototype retreat for students and staff of our university. Following the successful paradigm from last year and, with guidance from practitioners, clinicians, experts, and patient advocates as part of the Co-Production Workshop held with medical students from Imperial College, our group considered how design affects health and, how (pre)conditions of the mind and body inform the ways we perceive and redesign interior spaces. The Thesis Project is the main pursuit for Year 3 students. Each student identifies a host building and devises a programme based on analysis and personal design interests. Ideas are explored through an array of techniques including material experimentation and, 3D scanning.Read More...