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Friday 7 June 2019

Two BA (Hons) Interior Design students are celebrating after receiving awards from the Society of British and International Interior Design (SBID) student competition, for their sustainability and refurbishment focused projects.

We catch up with Silje Johansen and Renathe Jacobsen, both from Norway, to find out more about their projects and what they are planning to do next.

Hi Silje and Renathe, tell us about your projects

Silje: My project was based around designing a sustainable container house. I have always wanted to design one because I think it is interesting and challenging to see what can actually fit into a narrow space. I was also inspired by all the shipping containers shipped in and out of Southampton.

In my design I focused on using sustainable materials for the construction of the house, ensuring it can function in the most sustainable way. The three main strategies in my project are solar panels, rainwater harvesting and geothermal energy. Other sustainable strategies I used are LED lights, motion sensor switches, a green roof, and natural daylight.

Picture of interior design student Silje's project titled Container House

Renathe: My project was based around a new café called the Greenhouse Café, located in one of Southampton’s parks. The park areas in Southampton are enjoyable areas that bring nature into the city and give a feeling of well-being. Nature experiences are proven to have a positive health-promoting effect, so was an inspiration for this project.  The aim for my project was not only to design an eco-friendly coffee shop but to design it with sustainability in mind.

The coffee shop has three main sustainable strategies: solar panels, ventilation and rainwater. The Greenhouse Café is built from sustainable elements and is run in the most eco-friendly way with local and healthy food.

Picture of interior design student Renathe's project titled Greenhouse cafe

How have you found your studies at Solent?

Silje: The interior design course has been very interesting and I have been inspired to learn more about sustainable strategies and materials through the lectures, guest speakers and visits. The lectures were informative and highlighted the need for sustainable design, especially when re-forming or producing interiors.

What’s next for you both?

Silje: I was really inspired by sustainable design, and am now embarking on a postgraduate degree in Sustainable Building Design - the course has given me the confidence and knowledge to progress onto a master’s. And with the course’s employer contacts, I hope to work in architectural interior design with both domestic and commercial clients.

Renathe: I'm also going to be studying Sustainable Building Design. As a technical designer and interior designer, I am excited to work with both the functional and the aesthetic in an interior process, as I think both parts are rewarding and important in the development of a project. 

Sarah Bax, Course Leader for BA (Hons) Interior Design, said: "Both Renathe and Silje did extremely well in the sustainability and interior design unit, resulting in them both being given awards by SBID in recognition. The talent and diversity the Norwegian students have brought to the course has been wonderful, as students have been able to discuss different cultures and their approach to sustainable design."