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EIC interiors to benefit from students’ blue-sky thinking

As the first pieces of glass are craned into position onto the exterior of University’s £32 million Engineering Innovation Centre, the focus is now shifting to the aesthetics and usability of the interior space.

And who better to turn to than creative talent already on the University’s doorstep, students from the School of Art, Design and Fashion

Facilitated by the University’s Creative Innovation Zone, the second year students, studying architecture, interior design and product design, are working on a live brief to develop ideas that will give the building’s three reception areas added ‘wow factor’.

Michael Ahern, UCLan’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We’ve provided the students with a wide brief because we’re really interested and open to their ideas. The only criterion is that proposed designs must not affect our current build timeline. What we really want is for the reception areas to convey the cutting-edge engineering innovation that will take place within this signature building.”

Ideas already under discussion include a touch screen, virtual reality map to help navigate visitors around the new facility. Another proposal features a large projection wall capable of showing company logos, welcome messages or videos. Seating options, event space and areas to showcase engineering-based products are also being considered by the students.

This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to gain experience and contribute to a live project.

Pam Eccles, Senior Lecturer in Interior Design, added:  “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to gain experience and contribute to a live project.  They will be thinking about how the users of this building will interact with it and of course, with far more women set to enter engineering careers in the future, they’ll also be considering factors around gender inclusivity. It’s ideal preparation for the third year of their courses and I’m looking forward to seeing some inspiring ideas.”

The students involved: James Currie, Amina Gurjee, Kurt Hope, Kajal Parekh, Sarah Taleb-Bendiab, Abigail Bailey, Veronika Lecza and Jayde Blunden plan to present their concepts and visuals in the near future. Watch this space

Identified as a signature project within Lancashire’s Strategic Economic Plan, the EIC has secured £10.5 million via the Lancashire Enterprise Partnerships’ Growth Deal with the Government. The new facility has also received £5.8 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and £5 million from HEFCE’s STEM Capital Fund.

Pictured above in the EIC L-R: Sarah Taleb-Bendiab, Kajal Parekh, Mark Hardisty (BAM Construction) Kurt Hope, Amina Gurjee, James Currie.

Chris Theobald | 15 May 2018