Interior Design students create concept designs for AMATA

18 May 2022

Close up of a woman drawing a sketch
Type: Text
Category: Student stories

Two second-year Interior Design BA(Hons) students have teamed up to create concept designs for an exciting new space within the walls of the Academy of Music & Theatre Arts (AMATA).

Lauren Burnett and Zoe Barkes were tasked by Senior Lecturer Dr Simon Poole to breathe fresh life into an old teaching space, which will host seminars and function as a place for students to get together after teaching hours.  

Designing a space for the University has proven to be an enjoyable challenge for Lauren and Zoe.

“At the initial meeting with Simon, it was clear he wanted a fun, quirky space that had a lot of character”, Lauren told us. “As it’s a space for students, it became clear that we had to get a balance of Simon’s personal style with a functional space to learn.”

“He referenced industrial and 60s aesthetics – and his love of the 1974 Dracula film!”

With that unusual brief in hand, the pair set about creating concepts for their work. With no specified budget for the room’s development, the pair would need to present an array of options for Simon to select from.

“Trying to specify quality materials and furniture whilst also bearing in mind it will be for a university budget made us think creatively. We have back-up options for most things”, Lauren explains.

“It’s been exciting to design a unique and more personal space that’s also a different style to the projects I have done so far.

“We’re always encouraged to think creatively on our course, which has definitely helped us to be confident in going with a bolder scheme and not hold back on our ideas.”

Lauren also believes the site visits she’s been on as a part of her course have been a significant help, including trips to the recently renovated Bodmin Jail Hotel and the Surface Design Show in London.


As Lauren says, “This year we’ve been learning how to read a space from numerous site visits – things like understanding a room’s lighting, it’s current use and layout. That kind of knowledge really benefitted us once we had to draw up our initial plans for this proposal.”

Lauren and Zoe’s design features a vinyl cutting station, a space for seminar discussions and enough shelving to cater for Simon’s insatiable appetite for record collecting. With their design process still ongoing, incoming students can look forward to seeing an exciting new space emerging within AMATA’s walls in the near future.

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