Herman Miller Design Competition 2017

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Herman Miller Design Competition 2017


28 Nov , 2017  

Excitement. Anxiety. Aspiration. On November 26th, the spectrum of energy at Herman Miller’s Design Center was dominated by these three emotions. The reason? Herman Miller’s Design Competition! The finale of this exciting research project culminated in a presentation by finalists on November 23rd, each of them talented students from Dubai based universities AUD and Heriot-Watt University Dubai to top design firms in the UAE including AAID, Pallavi Dean Interiors,  and Perkins+Will. All in the hopes of securing a prestigious opportunity to intern at one of the three design firms.

Herman Miller Design Competition 2017

Students bring them with a vitality that few others do. The purity of their ambition and the raw skill they bring to the table is a much-needed jolt to spark innovation. Offering students the chance to leverage Herman Miller’s extensive knowledge in the area of learning spaces, students were given the opportunity to design a space that enhances the modern learning experience, enhances student-teacher communication, and reflects existing and new research on effective pedagogical methods. According to Oliver Baxter, Insight Programme Manager at Herman Miller, “We wanted to re-ignite the love for research-led design. While intuition and experience are still incredibly important, data does help connect the dots easier. With this competition, we wanted to give students an opportunity to leverage our research and experience and infuse their own creativity into designs.”

Herman miller design competition 2017

The Brief

Students were invited to create and propose a holistic design concept that displays a research-driven perspective for new learning spaces. This new learning environment is intended to foster the learning and growth of the students utilizing the space. The project was divided into three phases:

  1. A literary review of relevant research:  Putting it briefly, students would have to understand the teaching, learning and engagement methodologies and patterns. This would help them understand what works and what doesn’t in a space, and further help in the design of a learner-centered environment.
  2. Client Brief – Conducting Research with Students and Faculty: Participants would have to gather quantitative data using observation and personal interviews, and then analyze these findings to inform their design direction. The feedback would help students make practical considerations during the design process.
  3. Design: Based on the research and data from the first two phases, the final design was to be generated. Students will design a space plan, specify FF+E, and finally develop a solution that will expose a need uncovered during the first two phases.
Herman miller design competition 2017

The Finale

Herman Miller Design Competition 2017

Ten finalists were asked to present their research and designs to judges Diane Thorsen (Perkins +Will), Christina Morgan (Pallavi Dean Interiors), Stuart Allen (AAID) and Dolly Daou (APID). Stuart Allen, Founder and MD of AAID, says, “I’m incredibly impressed at the level of enthusiasm and dedication these students have shown in their work. Taking time out from university isn’t easy, but what they’ve done is fantastic. I can’t stress how important it is for students to understand what the real world is like, and I think an internship is a great way to do that.” Christina Morgan, Partner at Pallavi Dean Interiors, shared the same sentiment: “It’s exciting to see the future talent of the design industry! And even better considering it’s such a tough time for most of them to be involved in a project like this.”

Herman miller design competition 2017

It’s interesting to note just how much the students enjoyed the research element of the competition, a common response we got when asking them about their experience. The feedback was more insightful than expected, and students found themselves re-thinking what a learning space needs to look like.

And last, but not at all least, a big shout out to the winners: Mowada Arifi (AUD), Rashi Lakhotia (Heriot Watt University) and Therese Lucina (Heriot Watt University), who won internships at P+W, AAID and Pallavi Dean respectively. Lovethatdesign.com wishes all three of them the very best for an exciting career in the world of design!

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