News and events

Shannen Marshall and Donna Catlow

Course: BA(Hons) Interior Design 

Two design students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are bathing in glory after winning a prestigious new competition.

Students Shannen Marshall and Donna Catlow (main picture) took the two top prizes in ‘Bath to the Future’ - organised by leading luxury bathroom specialist James Hargreaves Bathrooms and UCLan.

UCLan’s second and third year interior design students were invited to design the bathroom of the future on two different levels - conceptual and practical – and based their entries around famous celebrities.

Twenty-year-old Shannen’s remarkable entry - based on famous South African-born interior designer Kelly Hoppen - won the practical section. Donna, 29, took the conceptual prize after centring her eye-catching entry around ‘Magneto’, the superhero X-Men film character.

Shannen’s design has been built full size and displayed in the James Hargreaves Bathrooms flagship showroom in Burnley.

She said: “I am a massive fan of Kelly (Hoppen), although I did think that basing it all on a top designer was a little risky and might work against me.

“All the other students seemed to be going more for acting and sporting celebrities, but luckily my decision paid big dividends. Kelly Hoppen is someone I follow avidly and I am going to try to get in touch with her to show her my design. She is a great role model for all young interior designers.

“The competition counts towards the course and it was great fun. On behalf of all the students I would like to thank James Hargreaves Bathrooms for not only coming up with the idea but also for being so generous in their time and prize money.”

“To win was amazing,” said Donna who also went along to James Hargreaves Bathrooms to receive her award. “It was a great chance to use my imagination and I decided to base it around an extreme character. I was very pleased with the result – in every respect!”

The two students, who picked up cheques for £500, are both pursuing a BA(Hons) Interior Design course at UCLan. Course leader Nigel Bruce Simpkins said: “The ‘Bath to the Future’ project has proved truly inspirational – there is nothing better than a ‘live’ project to get the creative juices flowing. Shannen, Donna and all the students really took it on and congratulations must go out to them all.”

Gordon Rothwell, managing director at James Hargreaves Bathrooms, told a large and excited gathering at the presentation ceremony: “We saw this competition as a real chance for education and business to come together and the designs put forward by the students simply blew us away. There could have been any number of winners, such was the standard, but the entries from Shannen and Donna just had that vital edge.”

Postscript: Donna Catlow has now been offered a full-time job with the company as a junior designer.