Fostering creativity and concentration at Huddersfield University

Libraries are set to see an influx of students busily revising for exams. The last thing they need is added stress from working in an unwelcome, uncomfortable environment

by Donna Dent, Concept Designer at Interface

With the end of the academic year fast approaching, university libraries are set to see an influx of students busily revising for exams, finishing assignments and dissertations. The last thing they need is added stress from working in an unwelcome, uncomfortable environment such as a cold and uninviting library. This was front of mind when we came to refurbishing the library at my alma mater, the University of Huddersfield.

At Interface we firmly believe that the environments where we learn can directly improve our productivity and overall wellbeing. We wanted to create a space which fosters both creativity and concentration, and caters to the needs of students from all departments.

There’s no question that practicality and functionality are major considerations when it comes to developing spaces of this kind, but this doesn’t mean that design or the opportunity for inspiration should be compromised. Our approach provides subtle inspiration in key areas of the library, enhancing rather than overpowering its calm, organic aesthetic.

We wanted to create a space which fosters both creativity and concentration, and caters to the needs of students from all departments

We created three mood boards for the project, each showcasing a different colour scheme, then shared them with representatives from across the university’s departments. We opted to use Radial and Composure Edge, to provide the perfect foundation and then added the distinctive World Woven carpet tile ranges to bring diversity and movement to the project.

World Woven pays homage to some of the world’s most loved textiles, and creates a distinctive, handcrafted feel, which contributed to the overall inviting atmosphere of the library. Given the sometimes hectic nature of learning environments, we think it’s also important that students are surrounded with uncomplicated, warm and uplifting patterns to foster a happy and engaging environment.

We took further design inspiration from nature-inspired Composure which is designed with the flexibility to flow easily through large spaces, meaning it reduces distractions for students and promotes a sense of calm throughout the library. To complement this tranquil platform, we used the Composure Edge collection which links spaces together effortlessly through organic colour flow. To stimulate creativity and inspire students, we also introduced the Radial collection; its ombré effect provides a fresh perspective to study spaces.

The University of Huddersfield was extremely happy with the design we presented. Through the different mood boards we were able to offer the team variety, a mixture of layouts and well thought out narrative. We worked closely with the estates design team to deliver a finish that the client and students are incredibly pleased with.

 

Find out more about Interface’s Concept Design service here.