Designing my first Office: Cue Marketing

Over the summer of ’17 I was lucky enough to secure myself an internship with Cue Marketing (May – September), a marketing company based in Manchester, Spinningfields. The company consists of a  team of creatives, digital marketing specialists, technologists, PR consultants and business specialists. Specialising in leisure, property, retail and hospitality, CUE Marketing works with many different businesses in the North West and across the UK.

IMG_5144(Left to right: Managing Director Melissa, Myself, Marketing manager Emma). On site at the development of the Cue Marketing Offices designed by  myself.

My job title was ‘Marketing Assistant’, throughout my time here my role involved:

  • Ordering company magazines, general office stationary or client requirements
  • Keeping up with award ceremonies that the agency and clients can enter
  • Updating the databases for all clients
  • General office and administration tasks where necessary
  • General monitoring of industry news and general news and how we can pick up on anything for marketing
  • Monthly list of events to attend – including CIM, networking events and trade shows
  • Updating company websites – regularly reviewing that information is up to date and fresh across all client websites including Cue Marketing
  • Updating the social calendar
  • Whats going on in Manchester and surrounding areas to Spinningfield’s
  • Working closely with interior design team (Hala) at Manchester Hall
  • Working on new designs for the new Cue Office

IMG_3348IMG_3350(The blank canvas before my designs were installed).

Through this internship I learnt the importance of working closely with the client, as well as builders, engineers and contractors. I worked with R and M Developments to get all interior fittings installed, this required me to produce and send over floor plans to the builders in order to keep the development moving forward.

I cannot deny that this was a very hard job, as every small detail counted within the plans, and everything from materials to measurements of the interior glass partitions had a huge impact on every design element following this. It was important for me to understand what the Cue Marketing team wanted within the new office, from working with the team everyday it was easy to understand how everybody worked. I had to consider the importance of collaboration and communication within the workplace, the team of creatives would need a space where they can brainstorm and come up with new ideas for clients etc. Whilst the managers would need the opportunity to break away from the workspace and have their own offices to meet with clients.

It reminded me of the reality of interior design, and that working as an interior designer in the real world is much different than studying the subject at university. With university projects, we are urged to be creative and not think within budgets and reality. This is purely so our tutors can see what we are capable of and how unique and imaginative our minds are. Initially, when I started to work on the office designs I did go into it with this student mindset, but this soon changed as budgets were set.

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Whilst trying to ensure that the office was completed before I left to finish my final year at Sheffield Hallam University, planning the grand opening of Manchester Hall was also at the top of Cue’s priorities. As one of our top clients, it was essential that we made sure that the grand opening was still good to go on schedule. For this, acts and entertainment had to be organised and booked, invitations to be sent, and not to forget keeping up to date with their social media to ensure the grand opening was well marketed.

Unfortunately, the office wasn’t finished before I headed off back to university, but I completed an InDesign document which Cue can refer to to complete the office. I am currently working remotely to help with any queries or help that Cue need in regards to the design, and I hope to stay in touch with the company and all of the great people I met in the future.

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Visit the link below to see my Cue Marketing office portfolio:

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Homeless-ness and the bear pit: 3rd Year Project

Happy Sunday guys! I’m back blogging after an amazing summer, ready to keep you up to date with the technicalities of third year and the height of the jump from second year. This is the year that counts! but I am not going to put too much pressure on myself.. as health and happiness comes first no matter what. So here is what I’ve been up to for the past couple of weeks.

For this module, each student had the choice of three briefs’. These were, homeless-ness, fine dining, and storytelling. Each brief had different initial requirements. After reading through all three briefs I decided I was going to challenge myself and change what I would normally go for previously, I chose Homeless-ness.

Secondly, we chose from four different sites, Studio 557, The Chapel, 5 Fitzalan Square, or the Bear pit within the Botanical Gardens. I decided to choose the Bear pit, as I remember stumbling across the structure whilst walking through the Botanical Gardens so I want to take this opportunity to find out even more about it.

The Location: The Bear Pit

Bear Pit MapMap created on Digimaps.

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The bear pit is located within Sheffields’ botanical gardens, situated off Ecclesall Road. The gardens were designed by Robert Marnock and first opened in 1836. The most notable features within the garden are the grade II listed glass pavillions, the main gateway, the south entrance, and the bear pit. The bear pit only has one entrance, however by accessing the pit from Brocco Bank or Botanical Road, the public can take a path which gives access to the top of the bear pit. In history, this would be a popular route for people to come and see the two bears without having to take the long route from the main entrance (Thompson Road).

In 1855 Sir Henry Hunloke presented two brown bears to the gardens, although little is known about this.  The bear pit was fully repaired during the restoration of the gardens. The old railings have been replaced with more elegant ones to match the railings surroundings.

Grilles have been re-instated and can be pulled across the entrance to the pit, and also across the two side dens, which once housed the two bears. The grilles can be locked, thereby keeping things either in or out.

In January 2005 a mild steel sculpture of a bear (2.4m high) was installed to remind people of the history. The bear was originally a pale silver grey colour, but the sculptor, David Mayne, allowed the metal to rust naturally.

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The Brief: Homeless-ness

The concept of home is a broader notion than that of a physical building. It is a place where we feel safe and which embodies our very being, somewhere that we live out the most basic elements of our life such as cooking, eating sleeping and washing, and a point from which we orientate and position ourselves within the wider world.

This project will aim to explore the territory between having a home and being street homeless.

Essential / Social / Security

Objective 1

Pack your bag of essentials –

You are required to pack a bag of essentials for an undetermined length of time.
Be selective and critical to the essentials that you require as you will need to carry and take these items with you at all times.

You must carefully record and draw your bag in plan and section.
The items need to have a speci cation – for example and series of bullet points to describe each item and why you’ve pack it.

You are free to use any method of recording from free hand drawings / time lapse
photography / measurements of your bag / items / understanding the hierarchy of your possessions will help with designing your spatial requirements.

Design and model a space around your belongings – Explore in plan and section the relationship of your items and the spatial requirements to design a room.

It is critical that you are analytical of observations and re ective in the way to develop your initial moves. Your proposals should be developed to a high standard of resolution.

 

My Bag of Essentials

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I have chosen these items as I believe they would be essential for myself and many people to be able to survive on the street. I have based my items on surviving a night within the bear pit, doing this will further inform my design decisions of what facilities I will install within the bear pit, and what the user would need.

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Objective 2

You are required to build a model of you chosen existing building you can use card or any medium you see t to represent your existing building.

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Although this model didn’t come out as well as I would have hoped, I enjoyed photographing the model within the natural surroundings to portray how the bear pit is hidden within the landscape. I built the model out of clay onto a cork board, decorating it with fake grass and leaves. I could have gone into more detail when creating the model but working with clay was harder than I anticipated, and also making the model was just to inform me of how the bear pit is constructed. By understanding the construction I can then be more confident going forward with my design concept, and I will understand what will and will not work.

For the third and final part of my initial research, I must carry out a reasonable amount of site analysis in order to inform my design decisions. These things can include:

  • Street Patterns
  • Movement around the site
  • Public and Private spaces
  • The structure
  • The history
  • symmetry
  • light quality
  • views
  • sketches from the site
  • charts and tables
  • sun angles

…. and anything else which will help me with my project.

 

CoLAB Project: 2017

To finalise the end of a successful academic year, we will be working in groups of 5 for two weeks to prepare for an exhibition on May 9th. The groups are a mixture of first and second year students, collaborating together is important as this is what would be expected of us professionally and as designers often all projects are done as a group.

The focus is on Fitzalan Square, Sheffield, which is where our interior design studio is situated. Currently, the council is putting forward plans to completely change the square in order to deal with the anti-social behaviour problems which have been occurring in the square for many years.

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Map showing location of Fitzalan Square, Sheffield
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Some of the existing shops located on Fitzalan Square. The large number of betting shops may be a part of the reason for anti-social behaviour
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Panoramic View of the Square

Through researching the square and finding out what other people think of the square and how they would like to see it improved, our group will come up with a proposal for the development of Fitzalan Square. The new proposal will be showcased at the end of year interior design exhibition through a large graphical poster.

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The images above show a survey our group decided to do of the people who work in the companies around Fitzalan Square. We asked companies such as Bingo, William Hill and Cooplands what they think the current issues are with the area.

Through this primary research it was clear to see what had to change with the Square. Within our Proposal for Fitzalan Square there will be:

  • New shops replacing the current shops, bringing in a wider variety of people and making the area safer for students and the public
  • The shops will include: Pret-A-Manger; Tesco; Costa Coffee; Nourish; Revolution; Wasabi; Deli; Jessops; W.H.Smith.
  • A large area of greenery will be implemented in the square creating a tranquil, fun area where people can eat and relax
  • Seating and sheltered areas
  • Removing one of the roads through the square to create a larger seating area
  • An interactive screen where people can; watch the recent news; locate other destinations; find out about local events.

To demonstrate our proposed ideas we were asked to create a quick poster exploring the history, current condition of the site, and inspiring images.

 

Landmarks: The Sensory Garden

What is a sensory garden?

Sensory Gardens, also known as healing gardens, are user friendly and encourage the users to touch, taste, admire and listen. Creating a sensory garden is an exciting and worthwhile project that provides limitless opportunities to teach and exercise horticultural healing therapy techniques.

The sensory garden being re-designed for Landmarks must be designed specifically for the user. Details such as materials, plant types, and layout are extremely important here as the students could be easily affected by just the smallest design error. It is important that the garden is easy for the user to move through and also that it is a safe area for the individuals to be in.

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The Sensory Garden Currently

A Sensory garden should satisfy all senses, as well as having a variety of different coloured plants and textures. As you can see the ‘sensory’ garden is really just a basic area of land, with a bench, trees and football nets, something which you would see in a normal college/school. However the individuals in which we are designing the space for have much more complicated and specific needs therefor good, well thought out design is vital here.

Landmarks Specialist College: Design Project

Landmarks is a specialist college for people with learning difficulties and disabilities, located in Eckington, Sheffield. The college offers a variety of educational programmes for the students. The building was bought 3 years ago and converted into a college, however the interior layout hasn’t been specially/specifically designed to cater for people with disabilities and learning difficulties.

The college is located in a idyllic setting surrounded by greenery and a picturesque landscape, creating a tranquil environment for both the staff and students here.

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After visiting the site, the staff made us aware of the current problems with the building and it was also clear to see for myself what the issues were which the staff wouldn’t so much notice not being designers.

Firstly, the space is too warm which is a problem which may affect the concentration of the students and may cause them to become frustrated and stressed. This it because the windows cannot be opened however the staff stated that there was air conditioning, but it didn’t seem very effective at this time.

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There is only 1 disabled toilet which is quite small and wouldn’t be practical if a student in a wheelchair was trying to wheel in and out of the toilet. This is definitely one of the biggest problems as this could also be a safety hazard.

 

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The corridor leading through the ground floor of the building is quite narrow, and the dark purple and blue walls are quite dim and unappealing. The purple and blue  colour scheme could still be implemented in the refurbishment but in a different way which opens the space up and makes it seem less enclosed.

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The mixture of such contrasting colours could confuse the students.

The teachers at the college said that the sensory room was full of equipment with a value of 26,000. It wasn’t said how often the room was used or in fact how effective it was, but I believe the room could definitely be improved at a small cost.

The sensory garden is a large outdoor space for the students, here they can enjoy some fresh air, grow vegetables in the green house and play football. There are no other pieces of equipment in the garden which was unusual, as I think the garden could be a great breakout space and if designed effectively could really stimulate the brains of the students and also influence social activity between the students which is very important.

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Becoming a Designer: Personal Branding

ca662c4cfe1984aab5a35d6ccf0b7a45Image from theroadtorecognition.com

Now that we are in our second year of the interior design course, it is time to think about getting ready to take those big steps into becoming a true designer. It isn’t just about creating great work anymore, we need to think with out business heads and start creating a brand for ourselves!

“Personal branding is essentially the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organization.Personal branding often involves the application of one’s name to various products.”

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Take real estate mogul turned president of the United States Donald Trump for example. If we see the world trump on any airline, casino etc. we instantly get an image of Donald Trump in our heads. He has decided to use his last name in capital letters for his branding, which targets an older perhaps richer crowd.

When creating a brand for ourselves, we must first determine what our profession is and what type of business we are wanting to succeed in. In my case this would be interior design, so my brand would be expected to reflect my design approach. I.e, if I design childrens’ play areas and nurseries, my branding would be younger and perhaps more colourful. If my designs were for luxury bars and restaurants, I would change my branding to attract an older crowd through the use of different fonts, colours etc.

My Current Retail Project: The Birds and The Bees

After much sketchbook planning, exploration, inspiration and ideation, I have decided to now name my retail ‘The Birds and The Bees’ with inspiration from the hard working bumble bee. The name was inspired by the saying ‘the birds and the bees’ which relates to the talk which parents give to their children about their body parts and growing up. I felt this was a relevant name to give to my retail as it will be a space where customers (mainly mothers) will come and meet and discuss their feelings with each other and take part in different activities. Not only this, but the products sold within my retail will all be honey based as this is a natural, readily available product which is very popular when used within skincare products and foods.

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Initially my store was going to retail baby and women’s clothes as explained within my blog post ‘Bambino Piccolo’ but after much inspiration and research into a retail which is truly different, I decided my USP would be selling honey based and inspired products.

The sector which my retail fits into is Health foods, and skincare products. Similar retailers in this sector include Holland and Barrett and Burt’s Bees. It was interesting to find out that Burt’s Bees have a mother and baby skincare range which influenced my project proposal even more.

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The Meeting Area

The meeting area idea came around after speaking about my project idea with a tutor. I had decided on what products I would sell, and how I would implement the ‘honey’ theme within my design, however he was interested to see what else could make my retail different. It is important to give customers a reason to come back and treat the store as a ‘Third Space,’ this is hard to achieve without understanding experiential retail. After studying experiential retail for 1 month, it was clear to see what I could do to get my customers to revisit my store.

Creating the meeting area for my target market of new mothers felt like a necessary and clever implementation for my project. New mothers usually suffer with feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness once having their new baby and adapting to their new lives. Through research and Facebook surveys it was interesting to find out how little support there is for mothers with these feelings, therefor I deemed it only right to bring this new meeting space to Sheffield. (Post natal depression in women is something I will discuss deeper in a following blog post).

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Example of a mothers meeting group

Now the hardest part of the design process has been overcome, the product and the purpose, it is now time to get into some technical drawing and floor plan designs to make this idea a reality.

Navigate to my following blog post which explores how I wish to incorporate the ‘Honey’ theme within my design.

“For Inspiration Only”

This post is inspired by a presentation given today in the design studio by lecturer Gihan. It was a light lecture just focusing on projects and existing buildings which may inspire us within our current projects or just as out thoughts as designers.

First we looked at Archigram

Archigram was an Avant-garde architectural group which came around in the 1960’s in London. The group was neofuturistic, anti-heroic and pre-consumerist movement, drawing inspiration from technology to create a new reality which was completely hypothetical.

main members of the group include  Peter Cook, Warren Chalk, Ron Herron, Dennis Crompton, Michael Webb and David Greene.

  • Cedric Price – Interaction centre, Kentish Town
  • Sou Fujimoto – final wooden house – Milan 2016 “only light”
  • Diller & Sofido – The blur building – The art of scent 1889 – 2012
  • The cineroleum- petrol station into a cinema
  • Tree hotel in Harads
  • Sleepbox: Dubai Airport
  • The suitcase house
  • Steven Hall

Project Proposal: Bambino Piccolo

Bambino Piccolo is a new fashion and home furnishing retailer located on 22 and 24 Chapel Walk, Sheffield. Bambino Piccolo focuses on mothers with babies, expecting mothers, and mothers with children up to 6 years old. My ideal mother will be middle/working class and aged around 28+ years as the product materials, quality and pricing will be the most appropriate for this target market.

The idea was founded as a twist to Victorias’ Secret. Whilst working here I noticed that mothers with young children felt slightly embarrassed whilst discussing their bra sizes and trying to manoeuvre through the store with pushchairs whilst young girls spritzed perfume everywhere.

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Victorias Secret promotes confidence in women, and presumes women shouldn’t be embarrassed when talking about bra sizes etc. However, I noticed that many women especially new mothers, are not comfortable in that environment. This is due to the bright colours and the way in which VS sales associates approach the women. Image: (Retail design blog, 2014)

Mothers want a calm, relaxing environment especially when shopping with young children. In the day time mothers and babies spend a lot of time together, and after becoming a mother, women need new loungewear/lingerie to accommodate their probably, new figures, as well as baby clothes and accessories.

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ByPias is a fashion and home wear brand with retailers in Norway and the Netherlands. This will be the mood of Bambino Piccolo, I have been inspired by the relaxing colours and the juxtaposition of clothes and furniture, designed in a way to look like somebodies home. Image: (Retail design blog, 2016)

Not only am i designing a retail space, but after researching postnatal depression and isolation within new mothers I have decided to make my retail a hybrid space. Bambino Piccolo will also sit as a meeting and activity centre for mothers, our women can chat and eat with our employees and other new mothers to lower the feelings of isolation after adjusting to their new lives.

To implement this within my design, I will ensure there are relevant seating and eating areas within my retail space whilst also ensuring the integration of products is also at the forefront of the design planning.

I will also look into the psychology of colours, scents and sounds, to influence my design process and meet the needs of my target market.