Students work with local community regeneration project to transform Southend High Street
Interior Design students at University Centre South Essex and Level 3 3D Design students at South Essex College have been involved in a local community project with Kiwi Community Events CIC, to help regenerate an empty unit on Southend high street and turn it into a community arts complex.
Students were tasked with creating modern interior and architectural design ideas that would best utilise the space and fit with the client brief.
The project is underway with Kiwi Community Events CIC, who are delivery partners for Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and have been awarded the unit 90 High Street from the council’s regeneration team. The working title for the complex is ‘The Ironworks’ as it was first established as an Iron Mongers and then transformed by Percy Raven to become one of their flagship stores.
The plan is to turn the space into a cultural arts space with a street theatre green room, exhibition spaces, a community cafe, rehearsal space, bar, board rooms, a place to host community engagement workshops and much more.
Dani Ellis, Programme Leader for Interior Design, said: “We train our degree students to be solution based and provide ideas to real issues that we are facing. Working on real life projects gives our students confidence in the way in which to perceive a space and they are inspired to show their knowledge. They felt really happy to be part of something in Southend High Street and work on a local community project.”
Matthew Thompson, Course Lecturer for Level 3 3D Design, said: “The project gave the group first-hand experience of developing ideas to a unique brief and allowed them to research and explore ideas for unfamiliar clients. The client was keen to hear their ideas as they were one of the target age ranges that they wanted to reach out to.
“Working with the degree students and the client has helped them to get a better understanding of the standards required and to share experience with interior design students. We are looking forward to see how the project develops.”
Ami Solomons, Project Manager at Kiwi Community Events CIC, said: “It has been fantastic to work with the students, their designs will be instrumental to the final look and feel of The IronWorks. The innovative and professional ideas have been invaluable to the project, and we are extremely grateful for their hard work.”
Kiwi Community Events CIC is the sister company of Kiwi Productions who have been involved in many local community projects over the last 10 years. To find out more about their work visit: https://www.facebook.com/KiwiProductionsEvents/
To find out more about the Interior Design programme visit: www.southessex.ac.uk/course/interior-design-ba-hons and for more information on the 3D Architecture course visit: www.southessex.ac.uk/art-design