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 to 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. It challenges them to reimagine existing buildings and relate them back to the community in critical and creative ways.
To understand how complex interior environments can be reimagined, sustainably adapted, and reinhabited, we investigate new typologies that support the emerging life, work, and design patterns, and students experiment by drawing out atmospheres, testing innovative material applications and by exploring immersive technologies, to deliver novel experiences using both traditional and multidisciplinary methods.
Across the three years of the BA, a range of themes were explored including retail, exhibition, performance, narrative, and circular design, all driven by the course’s regenerative ethos that promotes climate awareness and action. Students engaged in craft, making, fabricating, and, upcycling ‘hands-on’ workshops, and participated in ‘live-projects’ with real clients. First- and second-year interior students collaborated in a week-long competition to design Body Contraptions; bespoke wearable devices that operate in unison to collectively perform a dedicated act, while third-year students won a ‘live-competition’ to design a student-centered social hub for our university campus, in Marylebone.
The course has set up strong links to practice, which manifested in our Interior Matters open lecture series delivered by invited guest practitioners, a list of esteemed critics, and the realisation of our subject-specific Employability Week which offers intensive workshops that coach and prepare students for practice. All the above were made possible through contributions from numerous international and London-based leading practices that included among others, Perkins + Will, TB Bennetts, Stufish, Haptic, Gensler, and, Heatherwick Studio.
Cross-disciplinary in its outlook, the course participated for the third year in the Co-Production Workshop: Mental Health, Design, and Wellbeing, held with medical students from Imperial College. With guidance from practitioners, clinicians, experts, and patient advocates, our group considered how design affects our health and proposed small-scale healthcare interventions in the public realm. A ‘live-project’ and a transformative learning experience that enabled our students to reflect on their own practice, while 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 associated with the discipline and learn fundamental processes, skills and techniques relevant to conceive, develop, resolve and communicate spatial design proposals. Students are set a range of assignments and short projects, such as: personal collage and timelines; constructs to investigate qualities of light and drawing conventions; group precedent study to understand intent and architectural representation, measuring and surveying of people and spaces. Challenged to address the subject of Balance, in terms of student wellbeing, firstly by surveying their space - Regent Street campus - and then design a transformable piece of Unitecture for students to inhabit and use as a stand alone spatial environment, within selected area on campus. In the second semester, students individually reordered the interiors of Bradbury Works, Dalston, for a specified Maker with a critically relevant programme of specialised repair, repurposing, modification and upcycling of ‘stuff, waste, existing buildings and lifestyles’. Inspired by their visit to the Museum of the Home, the environs and community of Dalston, burdened by consumer waste, but strong community potential, fuelled students’ site and context investigations. While developing an understanding of re-making and reuse practices, circular design, they iteratively investigated materials and techniques to create spaces that engaged with the community and reuse
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 two inter-related 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 helped develop a deeper understanding of environmentally-conscious material and crafted modes of operating within interior architecture.
This year’s Spatial Narratives, driven by the global climatic dis-course, challenged students to think about design as a pro-moter of climate awareness and enabler for climate action. Prompted by a fictional collective of Sci-Formers (Scientists + Performers) who collaborate to scientifically challenge wasteful practice and raise awareness through art, students speculated on novel typologies and hybrid environments emerging from the study of scientific laboratories and performance spaces. Term I concluded with innovative proposals to transform the London Canal Museum into a prototype Cli-Lab, as a spatial manifesto towards a more sustainable London. Following the successful paradigm from the last two years, the Co-Production Workshop held with medical students from Im-perial College provided guidance from practitioners, clinicians, experts, and patient advocates for our group to consider how design affects our health and propose small-scale healthcare interventions in the public realm. The Thesis Project, in term II, 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 that include material research/testing and immersive technologies.Read More...