International pitch for Interior Architecture students
A Russian museum invited students from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) at Farnham to pitch ideas for a new exhibition space in Moscow.
Second Year BA (Hons) Interior Architecture & Design students travelled to internationally acclaimed design firm RAA in London where they presented their ideas to bosses of Moscow's Gulag History Museum, via video-phone.
The live brief asked students to design a space that would remind visitors of the harsh realities of the Gulag labour camps that were set up under Stalin in the 1930s.
Designers from RAA were so impressed with UCA's Akua Agyeman's ideas that they offered the 20-year-old from Croydon an internship.
Peter Waters, Course Leader in BA (Hons) Interior Architecture & Design, said: "This initiative provided an excellent opportunity for our year two students to gain a sense of design on an international scale in relation to a sensitive and important topic.
"It is part of an ongoing project to assist the museum in Moscow with the task of preserving the memory of those caught up in the tragic events of recent history".
Akua's internship-winning pitch revolved around the symbolism of the White Birch and drew on ideas of new beginnings and the cleansing of the past. It would break the museum up into different layers based on the different parts of a tree, from its roots to its canopy. In the museum's courtyard there are birch trees, the leaves of which represent individual lives lost to the Gulag system.
Akua Agyeman said: "This project has been really enjoyable and helped me realise the sort of route I now want to take.
"It was a really sensitive project, and I wanted to make sure I took into account what this part of history meant to the Russian population.
"I wanted to create something that was empowering and said, 'okay this is your past, but it doesn't have to be your future'. That's why I chose this concept."
Other works presented by students related to soundscapes, spatial composition and artifact displays.
Akua will start her internship with RAA in December.
For more information contact:
David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939