Studio Blackburn Creates Engaging Environment Design System for UCL School of Management

Studio Blackburn Creates Engaging Environment Design System for UCL School of Management

May 27, 2021 5:43 pm EDT

Studio Blackburn has completed a unique design system for wayfinding, interior supergraphics, and connected digital interface at UCL’s School of Management at the heart of Canary Wharf. Having previously completed the environmental design for the school’s campus on level 38 of One Canada Square (Canary Wharf), the agency was set the task of developing the design system further for the school’s new floor on level 50.

Studio Blackburn has worked closely with the school since creating its new visual identity in 2015. The agency’s continued provision of brand design and marketing consultancy has supported a year-on-year increase in over-subscribed courses that the school offers. This rapid increase in student numbers led to the expansion of the Canary Wharf campus.

The design system includes wayfinding, supergraphics depicted on walls and glazing, Armourcoat display walls featuring metallic patterns and ‘zoom boxes’ for private study/calls. QR codes embedded within the supergraphics take viewers to an online portal of academic research papers.

“The school has an impressive research portfolio with a distinctive focus on technology, innovation, analytics and entrepreneurship,” said Paul Blackburn, Head of Studio Blackburn. “We wanted to reflect these areas in the fabric of the building. Our design concept explores the idea of looking deeper, and changing perspectives, while also bringing to life some of the school’s academic papers.”

“The glazing designs needed to work on a number of different levels,” added Ryan Jones, Creative Director. “Functionally, they need to act as a safety device and privacy screen. Creatively, it was a great opportunity to produce something powerful and memorable that worked in harmony with the interior space. The school is renowned for creating world-leading academic research that has a positive impact globally. Our challenge was to take these research papers and translate them visually, using a combination of layering, light, transparency, typography and colour. The chosen studies were given an area of the school where they were applied to glazing panels and Armourcoat with short ‘abstracts’ to describe each study. The images were inspired by the content of each paper but we consciously avoided anything too literal and left them open for interpretation. The circular pattern was inspired by the school’s desire to create disruptive research for the complex, interconnected world of the future.”

Photos: Courtesy of Studio Blackburn

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