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Interior Design Platforms 2017/18

Students join a platform of their choice in the second year of the programme. Each platform emphasises a way of thinking, or a particular aspect of the design of the interior. Each platform is not expected to be isolated or insular in its approach to thinking about and the interior, but instead will overlap with others and will often encompass similar themes and ideas on Interior Design.

Interior Matter

Tutor:  Seetal Solanki (Ma-tt-er)

To understand the matter of an interior space we must understand what it is made of; its materials. This platform will interrogate the principles and perceptions of materiality within an interior space. By revealing the inherent nature of materials, altering their function, constructing, assembling, prototyping and fashioning space through the fabrication of new materials as well as existing will ensure that meaningful change will take place. This platform encourages its participants to undertake hands-on work through multiple mediums, emphasising the articulation of interior space with distinct identities, developing a methodology and material vocabulary that is indicative of the participants' chosen site in order for new forms of occupation and use to take place.

The Brutalist Playground, Assemble Studio
The Brutalist Playground, Assemble Studio

Interior Reuse

Tutors: Prof Graeme Brooker, Greg Shannon (LTS Architects)

This platform is concerned with the exploration and adaptation of obsolete matter: material that has lost its value, resources that are considered waste, stuff that is considered expendable has been discarded and is redundant. The sites of exploration will range in scale from the city, building, interiors and the elements that are found within them. All situations have in common the proposition that an obsolete environment or element, is not only a site of depredation, it is a condition for mediation, and the site of the enactment of research and design processes that will ensure that meaningful change through reuse will take place.

Arial View of Southward, with the Shard, London Bridge Station, and Guys Hospital
Arial View of Southward, with the Shard, London Bridge Station, and Guys Hospital

Interior Detail

Tutor: Ian Higgins

This platform provides participants with an opportunity to establish the identity of interior spaces by developing proposals in detail. The platform considers form, colour, light, material, texture, pattern, finish and structure as key to making interiors that are intelligent, beautifully crafted and, above all, respond to site context whilst creating spaces that are appropriate and useful for their users. Where appropriate the platform makes connections with manufacturers and suppliers of materials, products and furniture. Projects undertaken in the platform are small-scale and focused providing an opportunity to resolve an interior design proposal at scales from 1:20 through to full size. Exploratory model making and prototyping at large scales with real materials are key to this work.

Issey Miyake Shop, Stanton Williams  |  Casa G, Francesco Librizzi  |  Bloomberg HK, Neri & Hu
Issey Miyake Shop, Stanton Williams | Casa G, Francesco Librizzi | Bloomberg HK, Neri & Hu

Interior Urbanism

Tutor: Dr Harriet Harriss

The world around us is incrementally becoming more urban, a process that doesn’t stop at the thresholds of our buildings, but influences interior spaces particularly. If 90 per cent of our lives are lived indoors, how can interior design expand its ambitions to provide a spatial continuum to the world outside? It all began with the invention (and reinvention) of a ubiquitous shopping mall, yet as the increasingly immersive museums, libraries, schools, theatres and galleries illustrate, interior spaces are expected to resemble exterior public spaces more and more. As technologies advance, our behaviours change, the cost of real estate rises and the need to protect the natural world becomes an imperative, could interior urbanism become not only desirable but also vital to our survival? This platform seeks to consider what interior urbanism could look like in the near future: exploring the relationship between the body, the urban environment, the natural world and technology. Notions of interior/exterior thresholds, urban intimacy and sensorial disruption will be explored. The outputs generated will be visionary. They may even become a blueprint for the interior of the future.

Urbanism, Dr Harriet Harriss
Urbanism, Dr Harriet Harriss

Interior Object

Tutors: Shai Akram, Andrew Haythornthwaite (Studio Alt Shift)

Physical encounters form the basis of the Interior Object platform. The connections between experience, site and material processes, are interrogated through experimental design methodologies. Participants are challenged to test the findings of their spatial experiments through 'Environmental Prototypes' testing and realising ideas around materiality within and space. Objects can be described as any material thing that can be seen and touched and outputs will be unexpected and extraordinary spaces – solutions that are driven by the unique parameters of each student brief.

Heatherwick Studios, UK Pavillion, Shanghai 2010
Heatherwick Studios, UK Pavillion, Shanghai 2010

Interior Display

Tutor: Peter Higgins

This platform speculates how we can construct situations that enable us to provide a context for debate and discourse by exploiting site-specific locations, researched narratives and powerful communication media. It engages its participants in the investigation of how in particular the city may be exploited in order to enable a process, which may ultimately be transformed into spatial, experiential environments that tell stories. The platform should be cryptic, inclusive, provocative and hilarious. 

The interrogation of the word ‘display’ provides fascinating possibilities; as a verb it is to put something in a prominent place in order that it may be readily seen and as a noun the definition is – a performance, show or event staged for public entertainment or rather simplistically an electronic device for the visual presentation of data or images.

Jigsaw Campaign 2017, Peter Higgins
Jigsaw Campaign 2017, Peter Higgins