How it started vs. How it’s going: Rebecca Lambert, BA Interior Design
Have you ever looked at an artist’s work and thought that they must have always been that good and sure of what they’re doing?
It’s easy to look at a piece of creative and not understand the development that leads up to the finished product.
How it started vs. How it’s going aims to highlight what goes on in the background of each creative project, as well as comparing the artist’s personal growth over time.
In this episode we speak to BA (Hons) Interior Design student Rebecca Lambert, and look at the development of her final major project, based around the concept of Cohousing.
What was the brief?
For me, one of the excellent things about Interior design is how it can bring people of all generations together in one space.
So when I looked into Cohousing for my dissertation and how this alternative way of living brings people together, I knew I wanted to focus my final year project on the idea of community and neighbourhoods.
Where did you start?
I managed to contextualise my project, through points I had researched in my dissertation. From looking into age segregation and the decline in neighbourhoods, I used these as starting points to find a location where my idea would best fit.
What was your initial idea?
My initial concept was to take the ideals of Cohousing design, focusing more so on their communal buildings, and apply these to building situated in a deprived area/community.
This space would be open to the local neighbourhood, holding events and workshops for people of all ages to come and participate. I wanted this space to be flexible, mixed use and full of activity.
What advice were you given in crits?
The feedback I have received from my tutor has been helpful in conceptualising the space I wanted to create. My tutor exaggerated the importance of the user and encouraged me to do a lot of in depth research into how this space would be inhabited and used.
How did you move your idea on?
I started to draft out zoning/activity bubbles which helped me to ideate the space and the potential it could have. One of the key activities seen in Cohousing is communal dining. Therefore I made it key aspect in my scheme devoting half of this building to a commercial sized communal kitchen and dining space.
I also started to look at ways an interior can be flexible yet at the same time comfortable, for example the ‘Japandi’ trend which combines Japanese and Scandinavian design. It’s the amalgamation of what the Scandinavians like to call ‘Hygge’ (a feeling of cosiness) and the simplicity of Japanese style. This really inspired me during this process.
Did you get stuck on anything?
One of the initial issues for my project, was finding a building, where I had access to technical drawings (floor plans, sections etc) and followed the contextualisation of the project.
Throughout the first term of the project, I wanted to use a building in Lowestoft which was an old cinema as it was local. In my opinion it was a hidden gem which could be rejuvenated to provide better use. However after many an email to the council and owners, it wasn’t possible to access any drawings.
Luckily I managed to find a building in Hackney, London which is an out-dated community hall. Reflecting back on this, this seemed to be a blessing in disguise as the location of this building appeals more to the wider context of my project.
Tell us about your final outcome
My final outcome, is an event and mixed use building called ‘Common Space’. This design incorporates a studio/workshop space on the ground floor which features movable partition walls and furniture.
The space can be used for various events such as craft workshops to yoga lessons and can be adapted towards the users preference. It’s first floor consists of a communal kitchen and dining area which can be used for casual use by the community or for food and drink workshops – this floor also contains a small kids play area to keep the younger children entertained.
I created these visuals using a mixture of CAD and Photoshop. Although these aren’t my finished designs, its interesting to see where this project has taken me and how I’ve really had to delve into the technical side of design to make sure the interior adheres to all the British standards of construction and design.