Written by Sarah
How Can This Works Help Us To Create A Building Full Of Happy Students?
To help bring The Project at Hoxton together, we worked with This Works – a branding and design consultancy specialising in spaces and places. Their brief was to create building full of happy students, and to do this they collaborated with leading strategists, academics and interior designers, to question, create and deliver a building of just that.
You specialise in spaces and places but how did you approach the brief of creating a building full of happy students?
We’re not tied to any one philosophy, any single set of rules. We listen, and drill down to the core of our clients’ business needs. In this case we were asked to create a building full of happy students. This involved a lot or research into what actually makes people happy and how branding, space and management can influence this outcome. After 6 months of research with students, academics and industry experts, it was apparent that everyone’s needs were different. The major insight was that students who had the ability to control and give input to their situation and environment were happier and more content. This then formed the basis for the rest of our work.
What did you do address students needs through the design and branding?
Our brand strategy, which came out of our research phase, was the basis for all branding and design outputs: Student accommodation collaboratively re-imagined for experiences that lift your mood and boost your potential. Everything we and the other experts involved created, had to come back to this and our experience principles of ‘Enriching, interactive and empowering’. This allowed us to deliver a strong cohesive brand and experience for the students.
Visually, the identity was formed around graphic representations of these unexpected connections students gain through their interactions, the experimentation, and being involved in something that was on the edge of something truly transformational. Students are able to select their exact rooms in the building, they can see how the spaces move and change depending on the events or use of space, and they can see what each room has to offer from custom soundscapes to moveable walls.
But to really bring this to life, we needed to go beyond the initial interactions the students had with our brand and building. Transparency and exploration are really important to students and the community, so we have been making sure we were visible and accountable throughout. Creating an online platform for ongoing advice and learnings on The Project (what you’re reading now!), producing a mini-documentary to talk through the process, getting new and useful systems and apps in place for the buildings community, and just as importantly, working with the interior designer Naomi Cleaver on creating inspiring, adaptable spaces, fit for purpose.
Ongoing, we will meet to discuss with the students to see what is working and what is not in the hope we can constantly evolve with the students needs.
What are some of your favourite parts of The Project at Hoxton and why?
The exploration of all senses to encourage happiness, which lead to bringing in SoundScape to create custom sounds for different rooms which will enhance productivity and relaxation. And last but not least, the collaboration between the clients, students, academics and experts. We all live in communities, so it only makes sense to work with them too.
Photographer: Andy Donohoe x Eat Work Art – Netil House