CCI Placements: Case Study Special

The Project Office


In 2013 the Project Office were asked by Head of Catering at the University of Portsmouth, Nick Leach, to hold a Design Workshop or Charrette event for the creation of a new Café space in Eldon South Wing. 

Twelve final-year BA (Hons) Interior Design students were invited to take part in the six-day event, held in Summer 2013.  During the intense Design week the students were taken on a 'precedents study trip' to Brighton to experience the Bohemian Café culture there - for many of them this provided inspiration for the proposals they produced. 

Throughout the rest of the week students worked in teams of three or four to produce a set of high quality drawings, 3D visuals, materials palette and models for a professional proposal presentation to the client and client body on the final day of the event.  Following the presentation the client, Nick Leach, chose a winning design: 'Blank Canvas' by Lisa Jensen, Sofie Gustaffson, Hanna Paterson and Emily Davies.

The winning design was then progressed by the client and University Estates team with consultancy from the students and Project Office.  This project gave the students involved a real taste of what a client expects from a design professional, and now that the Café has been created - the sense of achievement of their first finished project!  Each of the students has now gone on to work in design practices in the UK and Europe.

A ‘Grand Opening’ event was held in January 2015 to open the new Café officially.  The winning student group was invited with one of the team, Sofie, coming to the event from Norway.  Many guests were present including the Architect Paul Moisan and Fiona Bell, Director of Estates and Campus Services.  The evening was a great event and the students were extremely proud to see their winning design in reality! 

Working with a real client has been a really beneficial opportunity that is rarely experienced during a University degree. Having to satisfy the client’s wants and needs is a new experience for me and I think it has huge value on my learning experience. It made me consider the project in a different way in which I’m used to.

Emily Davies, BA3 Design Team, Blank Canvas