Published On:

Friday 16th November 2018


Institute news

Winners of the BIID Student Design Challenge 2018 Announced

The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) is delighted to announce that the De Montfort University team has been awarded first place at the prestigious BIID Student Design Challenge 2018.  

Returning for its fourth consecutive year, the Student Design Challenge is open to all final year Interior Design and Interior Architecture students based in the UK, and aims to encourage collaborative work, promote creative thinking and inspire students looking to progress in the design industry.

The challenge took place on Saturday 10th November at the fantastic central London showroom of Herman Miller, award-winning furniture manufacturer. Thirsty-six students from six Interior Design and Interior Architecture courses across the UK were nominated by their course leaders and invited to take part in the event. The teams chosen to participate in the challenge this year included students from Plymouth College of Art, University of Wolverhampton, University of Lincoln, De Montfort University, University of Huddersfield and University of Bedfordshire.

The competing teams received the brief on the day and were given just six hours to create a design proposal before presenting to the judges. The brief this year focussed on the decline of radio and students were tasked with the challenge of designing the new headquarters of an upcoming youth radio station, which had to be dynamic, accessible and acoustically sound. The teams had to rebrand the station whilst taking into consideration the space and ways this could be utilised in a multi-functional way.

To provide the students with valuable guidance and advice throughout the design process, each team was assigned a BIID mentor; a practising interior designer with professional knowledge gained from working in the industry. This year the mentors included BIID members Susie Rumbold, May Fawzy, Gwendoline Alderton, Matt Freeman, Charles Leon and Lester Bennett.

The competition is completely CAD free, this meant that students could only present hand-drawn sketches, drawings and models as part of their proposals. This year, BIID President and Director of Koubou Interiors Gilly Craft led the judging panel, accompanied by Lee Gaynor, Management Team & Head Audio Engineer at PyroRadio, Bertie Van Wyk, Workplace Specialist and Public Speaker at Herman Miller, and Lauren Bell, Head of Education at Herman Miller EMEA.

The judges were looking for a design that answered the brief in an innovative and creative way, alongside the ability to problem solve and work collaboratively as a team. After the presentations each design proposal was reviewed, and the judges cast their votes, announcing De Montfort University as the winner. The Judges admired the thoughtful brand identity created by the students which showed great consideration of the brief. The students thought about interactive elements, made use of the space available and created an inventive and exciting proposal with well thought out layouts, storage solutions, interactive outside elements, and even QR code technology. The University of Wolverhampton took the award for runner up with the University of Huddersfield named as 3rd place.

A spokesperson from Plymouth College of Art who took part in the challenge this year commented on how they found the experience; “The BIID student design challenge was an inspiring day.  It was valuable experience for the students to work alongside Industry professionals and present to a design panel simulating the professional environment.  Working to a creative CAD free brief and at a fast pace encouraged students to push the boundaries of their design thinking and presentation skills, which is excellent experience for their future Design careers.”

The University of Wolverhampton added; “This was our first time being involved and the feedback from our students is that they had a wonderful and hugely rewarding experience.”

Gilly Craft, President of the BIID, comments: “I was so impressed at the high quality of work the students presented this year. The BIID is dedicated to supporting up-and-coming designers as they begin their careers and The Student Design Challenge is the perfect opportunity to discover new talent and provide students with invaluable industry advice.  The BIID would like to thank all participants who joined us this year and to congratulate the winning team.”

Winner: De Montfort University


  • Khia Lemart

  • Pengjunyuan Gao
  • Youna   Choi
  • Christiana Andreou
  •  Zuzanna Lubera
  • Amy Marsh 

Tutor: Stuart Wright

BIID Mentor: Lester Bennett

Congratulations to all the teams!

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