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Posted 04.12.19

Interior Decoration, Design & Styling students win second prize in BIID Student Design Challenge

By Naomi Girdler

From left to right: Liz Bell, Design Director at Absolute Project Management and mentor, with students Cesar Waters, Magdalena Mrvova, Morwenna Franks, Zoe Newson, Emma Payne and Georgia Penney with judge and President of the BIID Harriet Forde.

Third year students from our BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling programme have been awarded second place in the prestigious British Institute of Interior Design Student Design Challenge 2019.

The BIID Student Design Challenge, now in its fifth year, hosts eight universities with teams of six students competing for the coveted winning trophy. This year’s brief was to design a zero-waste supermarket and café, focussing on the principle of circular economy, eliminating waste and continually using resources so the design is sustainable and environmentally aware.

The CAD-free (computer-aided design) aspect of the competition, hosted in the showroom of furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, meant that students could only present hand-drawn sketches, drawings and models as part of their proposal, with only six hours of design time and five minutes to present to the judges.

Working with mentor Liz Bell, the students had six hours to develop their eco-friendly supermarket concept

Working with their mentor Liz Bell, Design Director for Absolute Project Management, the Plymouth College of Art team came up with a concept for a supermarket called ‘Candor’, reflecting that product information would be honest and easy to access. Within the supermarket, a vegan café called ‘Five a Day’ was proposed, reflecting the five meals offered and an emphasis on fruit and vegetable-based ingredients.

As a result of this concept, the judges were very impressed with the students’ clear aims to make vegan meals appealing and easy, as well as plans to make the café space multipurpose, demonstrating the different uses the space could offer customers.

Students were given five minutes to present their ideas

Subject Leader for BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling, Cathryn Bishop said: “Our third-year student team relished the opportunity to design a zero-waste supermarket; sustainability is key to a lot of their design work and they were highly praised by the judges for their innovative scheme and professional presentation skills.

“Designing an entire scheme in a day, using only pens and paper, was a huge challenge for all the teams, but the level of talent on display from all the final year students was impressive. Having a professional mentor from the BIID was so helpful to our students, as well as feedback from industry professionals and we were delighted to scoop second place.”

Harriet Forde, President of the BIID commented: “Year on year we’re incredibly impressed by the creativity and original ideas from the design students involved in the challenge. The theme this year was incredibly relevant too, as our awareness of the environmental impact our supermarket shopping habits have, has increased massively. We hope that the competition has inspired and encouraged young designers to develop their careers and explore new ways of design thinking.”

The team, nominated by their course leader, included Cesar Waters, Emma Payne, Georgia Penney, Magdalena Mrvova, Morwenna Franks and Zoe Newson.