Design : Major Project
Interior Architcture and Design was such an amazing course over the course of 3 years. I learnt more than I could ever of imagined as well as gaining skills which I can now use in all aspects of my life: work, my dream home, helping others with projects, interior design and further afield.
The Major Project which was the project of final year was by far my favourite aspect of the course. We were able to choose an area of interior architecture that inspired us and we desired the most - I chose to be slightly different. I wanted to design an exhibition stand for the french car brand, Citroen. I wanted to incorporate all the skills I had learnt within my degree, and also gain new ones from designing a whole new project that was slightly off the beaten track. The final year was all about pushing the boundaries and I tried to convey that through my use of research, designs and visuals.
Sticking with the traditional Citroen colours was particularly important throughout my project. Although Citroen had new ideas for the brand, the symbolic red and white was essential as their signature colours. From right to left (pictures), the whole exhibition stand was minimalistic in colour, and in layout, but with special elements. I wanted the Citroen cars to be the stars of the show, after all, that's what the public goes to see, however, the stand needed to tell a story.
I designed the stand in such a way that the entrance was where the classic cars would start; lined with a red ribbon on the floor to act as a pathway around the exhibition, which would eventually end up at the newer, futuristic models.
I incorporated information boards into the red ribbon, in order for people to read more about the vehicles and the brand. I designed mirrored aluminium turntables for the cars to turn on at different levels, so that the lights within their stands would shine up on the beautiful vehicles as they turned.
The glass pod in the middle was designed as an information point, as well as a meeting location for people to come together to talk to representatives of Citroen and eachother. This was important to incorporate into the design; it represented the brand in a professional way and created a social space. The merchandise glass cabinet was also an attraction in itself, where people could purchase items or simply look at the display.
The structure of the stand was by far my favourite design feature.. The grey steel ribbons were an addition to the red ribbon on the floor. I wanted the 'flowing' idea to be vivid throughout, and putting that into a structure over the stand was the perfect solution.
The exhibition hall itself provided lighting, therefore as the lights hit the steel and streamed through the steel ribbons, it created more a fantastic visual effect.
The Working Progress
Although the CAD side of the design I found the most challenging throughout my degree, the simplicity of this design was reflected within the drawings. I intended the design of the exhibition to be free- flowing; to flow exactly like cars: slick and streamline.
The project wasn't about creating a complicated design in order to gain credit, it was about creating a project that I could pitch to Citroen - it would meet their needs, their style and expectations. Citroen were essentially my clients, and I was designing a piece for them. I very much stuck with the car theme throughout, incorporating typical showroom aspects as well as modern, futurisitc pieces.
My research started in Paris. I chose Citroen as the car brand for my project because I knew that they were producing new vehicles as well as re-branding, therefore this was the perfect opportunity to use the new media coverage in my work. The most beautiful showroom designed by Manuelle Gautrand in Paris was new to the Champs Elysee, so my Dad and I took a trip to explore.
So intricately designed, the red glass facade open to the street was breathtaking. I found it incredibly inspiring and it gave me a real feel for the brand and it's exciting history.
I chose to put new and classic Citroen cars into my project because the exhibition space would be exactly that; an exhibition of Citroen's history.
Car fanatics would not only visit the space to cast their eyes on the new and future models but also on the beautiful classic designs. All designs have a story, and through my design I desired Citroen to tell theirs.
Design : Option Project
Towards the end of my second year; the final project prior to the Major Project was to re-design 2 shipping containers into a space for a product / designer. I chose Ally Capellino; a British designer of classic men and women’s bags and accessories. This suited me perfectly because i'm passionate about handmade leather goods and of course, handbags. I was thrilled to learn more about the designer and to incorporate Ally's design style into a new store. As a shipping containers are such small and narrow spaces, it needed to be opened up; feel light and spacious, therefore my idea was to create a simple space with her best products displayed in a industrial way. I also wanted the shop to be quite raw and authentic - I used old water pipes to display the handbags on (similar to the exterior leather of her bags), and I created wooden trunks, used soft lighting and a great deal of reclaimed wood and chairs.
Design : Sound Garden
This project was aimed at re-designing an existing space - The building itself was a Nationwide bank situated along Lincoln's city high-street. It was a huge space, which needed to be converted into a music space for upcoming musicians, bands and recording artists. The space was meant to be inviting, spacious, inspiring and attractive for visitors and artists.
I designed the space so that the ground floor was a meeting area; a cafe where people could come together and work, talk, exchange ideas over coffee and cake. There's also a music store, where equipment and instruments can be played and tested before buying. Across the space, and onto the First Floor, I designed a restaurant, reception space and then a lift for those with a disability in order to link the further 2 floors. On the Second Floor it was essential to have offices, a meeting space, toilets and more equipment. Alternatively, on the Third Floor, this was a space for a concert hall, where performances could take place for social events.