De Montfort University (DMU) has won two awards at the prestigious New Designers event in London.
Student Laura Kettle won a prize from the Interior Design Association (IDA) for her innovative cinema concept, and DMU’s Interior Design display also won Best Stand Award.
Described by judges as the ideal graduate, Laura was named winner of The New Designers IDA Gensler Award 2012 and is now set for a high-flying design career.
Her prize is a sought-after 12 month internship at top architecture firm Gensler in London.
Laura, 24, from Newtown Linford in Leicestershire, has just completed the Interior Design degree at DMU in Leicester and graduates later this month.
Judges said her work “showed innovation and inspiration, harnessing forward-thinking technology. The design showed exceptional creativity and initiative. An ideal graduate.”
Laura said: “I designed a concept called ‘Cinema.r’ where the A and R represent augmented reality, a technology that enhances real surroundings with digital images on a handheld screen.
“My idea is to get the cinema experience back to the exciting event it used to be in the old days when film-goers would walk into a cinema decorated on the theme of the film and the whole evening was a thrill for the public.
“When the film Shanghai Express was released in the 1930s, the cinema was transformed into a train station and the public were given tickets that looked like train tickets when they came in. They had full-on experiences and my design restores that idea but with the very latest technology.
“I designed a see-through screen that cinema-goers would hold and look through before the film starts. It transforms the real space around them through digital images on their screen so that they can explore scenes from the trailers of the film they’re about to watch.
“It’s very exciting to win this award and it will bring so many opportunities for my career. I heard I’d won the day before my 24th birthday – it was a very nice birthday present!” said Laura, who attended Ratcliffe College before studying at DMU.
Programme Leader for Interior Design at DMU Stuart Wright said: “This fully immersive experience links the latest technologies still to hit the street with the tradition of the cinema. This is quite clearly an excellent piece of interior design.
“Laura has been an outstanding student. She has developed her skills through her study and has been given the space to develop her own thinking. It is this space - to collect and nurture thoughts and ideas - which has ultimately led to such an exciting design proposal.
“The award is recognition from IDA, our industry’s professional body, of the professional standards that Laura has attained,” Stuart added.
“With a 12 month internship at Gensler, which is rated as the number one architecture firm by Architectural Record and has a 764 million dollar worldwide revenue, Laura will get every opportunity to see the global market of interior design. This is a fantastic opportunity for her.”
The annual New Designers event brings some 3,500 newly graduated designers together from the top 200 design courses in the country.
It is seen an invaluable springboard into design careers for all who exhibit as they meet industry employers, the media, trend predictors and the public.
DMU’s stand was created with specially-designed scaffolding and won the students a trophy, framed certificate and champagne.
The judges were “very impressed with the presentation and overall ambience of the stand, in what is normally a very difficult discipline to display effectively. The students have managed to bring their work to life and create an enticing stand experience.”
Stuart Wright said: “Our graduating students have worked very hard to get to this point and the Best Stand Award is acknowledgment of the professional attitude shown by our students.”
Brian Wealthall, DMU’s show co-ordinator and Laura’s tutor, said: “The idea of scaffolding meant we could accommodate a wide variety of projects in a wide variety of formats.
“It also gave an interesting industrial edge to the show which complemented the professional quality of the projects on show.
“The scaffolding also allowed us to have a clear sustainable approach to the stand including lighting being re-used with no new material costs.
“The students worked tremendously well to develop the design and the layout. This is a real testament to the level of commitment shown by our students.”
Posted on Friday 6th July 2012