You are here:

De Montfort University Wins the BIID Student Design Challenge

Published on

De Montfort University

Winning Submission

The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) is delighted to announce that the winner of the BIID Student Design Challenge 2023 is De Montfort University, Leicester. The eighth annual event took place from 6th – 8th November and was open to final year Interior Design and Interior Architecture degree students from Universities in the UK. The competition was held online for the third year running, to be easily accessible to all students from across the country and to reflect the BIID’s continuing efforts to improve diversity and inclusion within the interior design industry.

The exciting event provides an invaluable learning experience to students, where participants are required to respond to a client’s design brief, collaborate with a team and present to a panel of professional interior design experts. The seven teams taking part in the challenge this year included students from Cambridge School of Art - Anglia Ruskin University, University of Portsmouth, The University of Wolverhampton, De Montfort University, University of Lincoln, Falmouth University and Arts University Plymouth.

Each design team comprised of 5-7 students, is put forward by their course leaders, to compete on behalf of their universities. This year’s challenging brief required the competing teams to design a comfortable and functional home in Wimbledon, London, for a multigenerational family. The brief required the students to consider the specified and unique needs of each family member, while promoting inclusivity, accessibility, and a sense of community within the household, in addition to promoting energy efficiency and sustainability within the design.

The teams were given three days to remotely develop their design proposal in line with the brief. Each team was also assigned a practising BIID Registered Interior Designer as a mentor to be on hand to offer advice, feedback on the designs and to keep them on track and on time. The mentors this year included: Anna Burles (Run For The Hills), Michael Schienke (Vorbild Architecture Limited), Dee Gibson (Velvet Orange), Susie Rumbold (Tessuto Interiors), Chris Dezille (Honky Design), Ryan Wenham (Larsen Architecture) and Simon Mcilwraith (Collective Design).

Once completed, students then recorded their final presentations which were judged by BIID President May Fawzy and Past Presidents, Lindsey Rendall and Matt Freeman. The judging criteria included correctly meeting the brief, considering the needs of the clients and how the design solution works within the existing space, demonstration of innovative thinking, quality of the drawings and the overall excellence of the presentation.

After much deliberation, the judges awarded first place to De Montfort University Leicester comprising of team members; Ayesha Rangara, Jiwon Jung, Marina Gutierrez Jimenez, Roqaya Ed-Denguir, Saynab Warsame and Zainab Zacky Mohamed, during the online Awards Ceremony on Monday 13th November. The winning team, mentored by Susie Rumbold, was commended for its excellent project which answered the brief in depth. The reconfiguring of the spaces was sympathetic to all members of the family, while the selection of materials used repeatedly throughout the property were well considered and pulled together a cohesive, sophisticated interior with subtle continuity of detail flowing throughout.

In addition, the University of Portsmouth was awarded highly commended for its project which featured excellent features and well considered design. The spaces were successful, with the full family’s needs considered which provided an overall cohesive design. They were also the only team to provide a 3D model to demonstrate how light would affect the design.  

BIID President and judge, May Fawzy commented: “The BIID Student Design Challenge is a fantastic way for students to not only sharpen their skills, but to put their acquired knowledge to the test under pressure, whilst under the watchful eye of our BIID mentors. The varied and interesting brief was carefully developed to reflect similar, real-world projects which the students could potentially work on, in their future careers.”

Click on the play button in the image above to watch the winning submission.