Design students head to St Michael's for inspiration

For the second year running, interior design students from Southampton Solent University are benefitting from an opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge to a leading building company’s show home.

The second-year BA (Hons) Interior Design Decoration students will be creating designs for one of Linden Homes Southern show homes at St Michaels’s Place Waterlooville. They will be using artists of their choice to influence their designs of a striking two bedroom ground floor show apartment in the former convent building.

Tina Chalk, Marketing Manager for Linden Homes Southern is fascinated to see what the students come up with: “We chose the show apartment for this project because it has so much character: It has very high, vaulted ceilings and huge stained glass windows. It will provide real food for thought for the interior design students.”

To fully understand the brief, the 35 students were invited to visit Claydon House at St Michael’s Place this month to get a feel for the development and the type of market it appeals to. The students will now spend time coming up with concepts for their designs.

Bronwyn Wotherspoon, 20 from Emsworth found the visit to St Michael’s Place really inspiring: “Having looked at the floorplans, coming here and seeing it in person has really helped make sense of the drawings, she says. “ The most challenging thing I’m finding is creating something that will have mass appeal,” she adds.

Lee Puddicombe, 20 from Gosport is enjoying the project brief, “I have always been into art since I was really young so this really allows me to express my creative side. I have been researching Van Gogh and Piet Mondrian as my artistic influences.”

Speaking about the practical experience he says. “Having this experience really allows us to see what it’s like in the industry, and I’m keen to get as much work experience as I can.”

Once the designs have been completed, the course lecturers will shortlist five designs which will then be ‘pitched’ to a team of judges, made up of experts from Linden Homes Southern and one of the company’s interior design partners, Claude Hooper.

Glenda Strong, Senior Lecturer in Interior Design Decoration at the University explained: “This project was such a success last year that we were really keen to work with Linden Homes Southern again. Wherever possible we are always looking for ways to give our students real-life experiences and this is a great project that puts them in the shoes of an interior designer.”


About Southampton Solent University 

Southampton Solent University offers more than 23,000 students over 200 qualifications ranging from HND to PhD, in subjects such as maritime education and training, fashion and design, media and television, music, health, sport and leisure, business, IT and technology. The University was awarded the 2013 Quality Assurance kitemark for quality and standards of teaching and learning. Solent was voted one of the most creative universities in the UK in a Which? University 2014 poll of students. Solent Business School has been awarded the Small Business Charter Award, which is supported by the Association of Business Schools and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and ‘gold approval’ by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).


About Us

Home to around 11,000 students studying everything from HNDs to PhDs, Southampton Solent University is dedicated to enabling learners of all backgrounds to become enterprising citizens and responsible leaders, while also promoting economic and social prosperity. Winner of the Times Higher Education ‘Most Improved Student Experience’ Award 2015, Solent is a dynamic university with strong local links and a growing network of global connections – and a reputation for developing grounded, well-prepared graduates with the skills and experience employers want. Holder of the small business charter, home to one of the world’s leading maritime training academies and voted one of the UK’s most creative universities in the 2013 and 2014 Which? University student polls, Solent applies passion and innovative practice to all its courses. Spanning business and law, the creative industries, engineering and technology, maritime, media, sport and tourism, those courses deliver a practical blend of career-focused tuition and real-world experience – giving our students the tools they need to shape their own success.




Wherever possible we are always looking for ways to give our students real-life experiences and this is a great project that puts them in the shoes of an interior designer
Glenda Strong, Interior Design Decoration Lecturer