Hannah MayClean and modern interiors to improve social consciousness and the reinvention of redundant buildings into interactive spaces were the two dominating themes behind this year’s projects from Northumbria University’s Interior Architecture and Interior Design graduates. The University’s innovative students wowed visitors and industry experts at the Interior Educators Free Range show from 14-18 July, at the Old Truman Brewery in London.

Interior Educators is the national subject association for Interiors degrees in the UK, with members given the chance to exhibit as part of Free Range each year. The exhibition allows students to showcase their talent to industry leaders and professionals, fellow design students and the general public. The show is also an opportunity for the students to network and build relationships to help kick-start their professional careers.

The creative reuse, adaptation and rehabilitation of buildings (old, new, forgotten, redundant or in disrepair) was the focus of the Interior Architecture course this year. Students explored the potential transformation of Seaton Delaval Hall, a magnificent Grade I listed country house in Northumberland dating from 1720, into a brewery as part of an exciting research by design partnership with the National Trust.

Alasdair Graham’s proposal is to transform Seaton Delaval Hall into “Barley and Me Brewery”. The existing listed site is transformed into a functioning ale brewery and visitor centre. The raw form of barley influences much of the design, from the material choice to structures. The brewery can also operate as a bar thanks to an extendible and kinetic counter design.

“Bend & Brew” is Sophie Alan’s project. Her proposed design draws upon the restoration and re-development of the Seaton Delaval estate over time, focusing on visitors’ wellbeing through a series of spaces and their varying purposes. Within the walled courtyard sits a micro tea brewery covering all stages of tea creation. The brewery houses areas for raw food classes and yoga courses to take place along with a health inspired cafe and retail space. Alongside areas for tea leaf growth in the courtyard, the Orangery on the estate will be restored to grow tea leaves and botanicals along with the necessary food for the health and
wellbeing courses.

Turning Seaton Delaval Hall into a Geological Centre & Purveyor of Fine Whisky was Kayleigh Foster’s final year project. In her design “On the Rocks” the existing geology of the site becomes a part of the new intervention in a sustainable yet sculptural manner. Strata is exposed and celebrated in the build-up of layers of heritage and thus materiality. Black powder-coated steel frames are coherent throughout the scheme to dissipate the barrier between public vs private. Her design also encourages collaboration through the use of workshops and excursions.

Paul Ring, programme leader for the Interior Architecture course, commented: “Our aim with the course is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to see the world through a different lens and improve it. This year’s projects are proof that we have achieved that goal. Our students have developed really interesting and inspiring projects and I personally couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Environmental consciousness, social rehabilitation and an unexplored use of buildings were the main themes developed by final year Interior Design students. Among the projects showcased in Free Range, Emily Morrish presented an adolescent fertility preservation centre. The clean and open layout along with the vibrant colours, give the space a welcoming atmosphere.

Hannah May’s final year project “Edible” is a food education centre. Conscious of the importance of the nutrition to lead a healthy and sustainable life, Hannah proposed an open café and store where individuals can learn about nutrients and improve their lifestyle.

Kristy Gordon explored the possibilities of a prisoner rehabilitation programme with the design of a cafeteria and bakery. The combination of industrial reminiscences and traditional and vibrant furniture create a modern and friendly space where prisoners can begin the rehabilitation process and engage with society.

Seton Wakenshaw, programme leader of the Interior Design course, said: “I am very proud and impressed by the creativity and social consciousness shown by our students this year. Their projects reflect not only the quality of their design skills but also a very mature understanding of interior design and its potential to contribute to the improvement of society. The students leave the programme ready for commercial practices and I look forward to following their progress in the future.”

Further information regarding Northumbria University at Free Range can be found here: Free Range

Interior Educators http://interioreducators.co.uk

For more information about studying Interior Architecture or Interior Design at Northumbria go to: www.northumbria.ac.uk/courses