North-East student shines in national design competition

Becky Spenceley-Buckham's interior design which earned her national recognition.

Becky Spenceley-Buckham's interior design which earned her national recognition.

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health & Education Editor

A NORTH-EAST student’s designs have been shortlisted in a national competition for student and professional interior designers and architects.

Becky Spenceley-Buckham, 21, from Northumbria University, took third place in the National Design Academy’s competition to redesign a company’s head office. She will now work with the other short-listed designers to see the project realised.

The competition was run by National Design Academy in association with Staffordshire University for International Decorative Surfaces (IDS), the UK’s largest distributer of decorative surfaces. Aimed at new interior design professionals as well as students from across the UK, the competition brief asked entrants to put forward interior and exterior design ideas for a new IDS Head Office in a prominent location in Stoke-on-Trent.

Becky entered the competition during the summer break following her second year on the course. She aligned her design ideas closely to the company’s brand and ethos of natural materials and contemporary designs. In her submitted proposals she used prominent 3D signs in the interior and exterior spaces to emphasise the brand’s tree logo and raise brand awareness. A mixture of materials and the latest technology provided a stunning yet practical design with longevity in mind.

The 21-year-old, from Sunderland, said: “Overall, my design scheme was about creating an interior and exterior that linked well with the IDS brand ideals of combining natural materials with innovative and bold design in a contemporary fashion.

“The idea was to create a strong and striking re-brand concept which emphasised the importance of sustainability and manufacture. I used a subtle, earthy colour palette together with a monochrome simplicity throughout the design and the combination of luxurious, modern furniture with timber clad walls and glass provided a high quality feel.”

The competition winner, a recently qualified architect, was announced at an awards ceremony in Stoke-on-Trent. Becky, in third position, will receive a cash prize and the opportunity to be mentored by some of the UK’s leading decorative producers.

Their designs will be exhibited in IDS’s new head office building.

Becky, now in her final year of the degree programme, added: “Attending the awards ceremony was a really enjoyable evening. John Bagshaw, the Managing Director of IDS, has asked if the three of us could get together with IDS again to put our designs together as he really wants elements of all of our designs to go into the final build.”

Programme Leader for Interior Design at Northumbria University, Seton Wakenshaw, said: “The Interior Design Programme team are delighted for Becky and congratulate her achievement. Results such as this endorse the industry-focused work we do with the undergraduate students.

“The fact that one of our Year Two students has competed successfully with final year students and graduates elsewhere is a big confidence boost, not only for Becky, but for students across all three years of the programme.”

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