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Where we learn matters: Designing to attract

Good design is intrinsic to the way we think, feel and interact with spaces

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | September 03, 2015 | Facilities

By Hannah Harper, Creative Lead, EMEA Segmentation, Interface

For any prospective university student, first impressions count, and the design of a campus, lecture hall or accommodation can heavily influence their decision to select one university over another. With this in mind, universities must consider the impact of interior design, and optimise spaces to attract students.

One element to consider when designing an area is its function. Increasingly, the way students and staff use and engage with a space is changing, with peer to peer learning, socialising and integrated technology becoming more prominent. Therefore, areas often need to be designed for a multipurpose function while providing emotionally supportive and inspiring places to study, socialise and work.

Zoning can be used to identify a space with in a space and create an environment students truly want to be in. This could be quiet zones that encourage concentration, communal areas for collaboration and innovation or breakout areas to escape from the busy education environment. 

Flooring is an effective way to achieve this. Interface’s modular flooring and product formats offer the opportunity to embrace flexibility through a combination of varied colours, patterns and textures. The company’s ‘design by tile’ approach means a tailored floor design layout can be achieved, making it easy to create different and interesting areas within one space. 

"While an attractive design is aesthetically pleasing, interior schemes can also influence our happiness, well-being and productivity"

While an attractive design is aesthetically pleasing, interior schemes can also influence our happiness, well-being and productivity. More and more universities are now following the idea of biophilic design, which is based on the concept that humans are innately drawn to the natural world. Extensive research has proven that re-establishing this connection can have significant physiological and psychological benefits. 

Interface’s Human Nature, Urban Retreat and Net Effect™ collections are prime examples of ranges that combine zoning elements and biophilia. The products take inspiration from the sculpted and tactile textures found in nature, including grassy gardens, pebbled paths and forest floors. The variety of designs can be used to differentiate areas within the space, while bringing the outdoors in and the benefits that come with it. 

For any university, attracting prospective students and securing applications is of the upmost importance. Interface’s concept design team is on hand to develop tailored flooring design solutions that reflect a university’s personality, and create truly inspirational spaces in which students desire to be.


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