Productive design processes and creative collaboration: common grounds of fashion, music and interior design.



The paper presents workshops that have been applied in a 2nd year Interior Design studio in an exploration of the common grounds among fashion design, music and interior design. The workshops aim to generate discussions and design tools that support students into generating design briefs and alternative concepts, during their initial steps into the project. These workshops support the making process through the idea of analytical play, while introducing students to sustainability, co-design and different experimentations with materials.

Paper Garements – exploring the spatial potential

Conference presentation- “Assessment for Learning. ‘Patience and Snap’ Engaging Students with Assessment and Feedback.”

Conference presentation slides delivered in 2017 HEA STEM Patience and Snap

‘Feedback is much more positive, the marking criteria is much more clear so it enables students to clearly understand what is expected of them to reach each grade boundary.
The idea of splitting the marking criteria is excellent as it shows students which part of their coursework they need to work on’.

Sarah Roberts April Battrick and Debbie Murphy 2015

Patience and Snap images
Patience and Snap

Future Considerations for rolling out UPLift in CCi

Results of the 3 CCi pilots suggested that:

  • Students need encouragement from staff to pursue UPLift.
  • Lessons embedded into the lecture and presentation encouraged exploration.
  • Enrolment could have been a barrier to accessing it.
  • Content was relevant to their work and was particularly helpful at the early stages of the year.
  • Lessons were useful in introducing them to the subject prior to the lecture and clarifying elements afterwards.
  • UPLift could be useful in helping students to reflect on what they have learned prior to undertaking assessments


Actions based on evaluation of student questionnaires/discussion and Credo/Moodle data, following 3 course pilots in 2016/17.

  1. The complications of enrolment must be removed. LTI preferred method, Shibboleth may be an alternative.
  2. Ideally lessons should be embedded into Moodle at relevant places in the unit.
  3. Students should be encouraged to refer to lessons, by tutors, prior to the workshops/lectures taking place – this need not be a library lecture.
  4. The lectures/workshops should refer to the lessons within the content and a further lesson could be embedded within the workshop rather than after the workshop, where time allows.
  5. Librarian and tutor to consider embedding a range of lessons throughout the 3 UG levels
  6. Librarian to take greater ownership of the information in Moodle – with editing rights to the Moodle unit.
  7. In order to support student requests to go back to lessons, the full suite of resources should be made available on Moodle, possibly via the CCI Academic Skills suite of resources.
Credo Uplift logo
Credo Uplift logo

Information Literacy: Online Course Development 2nd update

The group met again shortly after the first meeting and we were full of enthusiasm. The summer was hot and the days were full of promise.

Knowing tranquillity would end in September all members were given access to the content. A name was picked and it was decided the same brand as the in-house version used before would carry on. The technical method to add the content to Moodle was shared and we could start to deploy the pilot content.

Usage reports were produced and provided opportunity to analyse the data. Meaningful value regarding engagement was discussed as being very hard to read from the data. The data was limited but more detailed reports in Moodle were analysed and compared. We realised we probably can’t get good data about student engagement from any kind of data report as it stood. The end survey was considered a better way to consider what value the students put on their engagement with the Credo tool. Feedback survey to be thought about later in the year. It was decided the pilot is about whether students thought it was helpful and getting them to articulate how.

The decision has been made on the pilot to drop the quiz which gauges prior knowledge. We have also dropped any progress quizzes as the project team thought they needed a great deal of work to be relevant.

Regarding international partnerships the Credo Information Literacy licence does not allow access to affiliates, so it depends on how the students and staff at the other institutions are defined. If they are classed at UOP students, counted in the HESA return and given a UoP username and password by IS they can access the resource. This does not change the pilot but may have implications for adoption.

The communication plan was discussed with this project maybe feeding into the Christmas L&T conference.

Information Literacy: Online Course Development

Greta, Justin, Coral and Heather held their first meeting on 27th July to exchange ideas based on specialist knowledge and understanding from within their job roles. So within less than 2 hours we had firm ideas for introducing 3 CCi-based pilots of Credo Information Literacy package and evaluating the outcome. All we have to do now is to ensure that we articulate clearly what we want so that colleagues in DCQE can have discussions with the Credo team and make it happen!

So here’s what we’ve decided to do, based on the goodwill and enthusiasm of those academic colleagues allowing us to pilot within their Moodle units:

Working with Heather Coleman and Martin Pearce, L4 Architecture and Interior Architecture & Design students will see a button at the top of their Moodle site linking to a set of 10, specifically selected lessons from the Credo package. The students will be introduced to the content early on in TB1. Heather will use the lessons within her seminars with IAD students, whilst architecture students will be left to explore the resource as they desire. A carefully worded questionnaire at a suitable time in TB2, likely to be around an assignment, will attempt to ascertain how students learnt about particular aspects of study skills, i.e. whether they used Credo or whether they found the information elsewhere and if so where. Combined with analytics available on the Credo platform, we hope to be able to identify whether or not students engaged with Credo and if it had an impact on students’ learning. The intention in this pilot is to identify how far tutor engagement is required for the success of the resource.

Working with Rebecca Janicker and L4 Film Industries students, Greta intends to embed specific Credo lessons at specific points within the Moodle unit. Most will be embedded around existing library teaching and others, such as referencing and citation and presentation skills may be embedded at appropriate places in the course. As with the Architecture and IAD students, a questionnaire and analytics will attempt to measure engagement with the resource and the impact on students’ learning. It could also indicate whether or not the librarian has any influence on encouraging the use of Credo.

Eva Balogh had offered to assist with testing of Credo in the L4 Visual Culture unit, but as students were not going to see Greta for information skills teaching until TB2, we wondered if it would be a bit late for the pilot. Then one of us came up with the idea, why don’t we just put the appropriate 10 Credo lessons into the Visual Culture unit, make no reference to it at all and see whether students notice it or use it. Analytics would be the main way of testing this but a questionnaire could also prove useful. It would also suggest whether students are motivated enough to explore additional information on the Moodle site without direction from a tutor or librarian.

There is still much work to be done around customising Credo content, but that won’t really happen to any significant degree until September 2017, so the pilots may also give us some indication of how necessary customisation really is. Sometimes what we think as members of staff doesn’t match what the students think and this has already become clear in the select focus groups which Greta has already run in the library.

Now we just have to see if Credo and DCQE can make this happen!

Bastion 6 WWI Exhibition: a live project with BA3 Interior Architecture and Design students


One of the highlights of 2016 was the 10-week live project where our BA3 students were able to work with inspiring and provocative clients, Ben French and Charles Haskell. The brief was to create a WWI museum to house a nationally significant collection of artefacts in Bastion 6, a Grade 1 listed building and Scheduled Monument that forms part of the Hilsea Lines.

The students responded with great sensitivity and integrity to the historic context of both the site and the collection and developed designs that revealed the personal narratives embedded in the artefacts; they also developed their professional skills by working on this live project with real clients who were very impressed with the students’ knowledge, skills and professional conduct.


There is a perceived divide between design work generated in the learning environment of schools of architecture and interior design and design work in practice operating within pragmatic, practical and profit-led parameters. Students entering practice can find that design skills developed in the academic arena are remote from what is required of them in the work place; The Eyes of the Skin by Juhani Pallasmaa (the ‘poetic’) is replaced with the New Metric Handbook (the ‘technical’).

This project set out to bridge the divide between education and practice by providing students with the opportunity to work very closely with the clients who briefed the students, led site visits and attended studio – this close contact allowed students to question their clients to fully understand their needs and to challenge the client’s preconceptions.

In addition, the students had to apply their knowledge of historic building conservation and to express their position associated with theories of conservation, preservation and restoration – theories that lead to very difference responses when adapting or reusing an existing Grade 1 listed building.


This project was initiated by Martin Andrews, who leads the Project Office.
The Project Office is a unique form of architectural practice set up within the School of Architecture at the University of Portsmouth. It has a small core team of architects and designers who provide traditional consultancy, innovative design approaches, knowledge transfer and research opportunities for a range of clients, University staff and students. Through its position in a University it is able to draw on the talent of and expertise of full-time and part-time staff members, undergraduate and postgraduate students within the School of Architecture and the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries. This enables the Project Office to give their clients a unique design experience, which connects directly to the next generation of designers; and gives students who work with them the chance to experience ‘real’ projects in preparation for practice. It is within this context that the BA3 Interior Architecture and Design students were given access to this live project experience and to work directly with the clients with considerable independence.

Bastion 6 Sketch


The project set out to enhance the students’ abilities to work with real clients on live projects and to understand the skills required to develop a brief and a design with client input and involvement; it also offered the students the opportunity to work within the historic naval context of Portsmouth and to deepen their knowledge of historic building conservation and the Burra Charter, an important reference for those working with existing buildings.

The clients explained that their existing WWI Remembrance Centre is currently housed at Fort Widley, Portsdown Hill Road a venue that is set up to display artefacts, reproduction exhibits and memorabilia from World War One, and is complete with a walk-through trench system. However, as a Grade I listed building, there is limited access to the impressive collection via a steep staircase. In order to grow the exhibition to a ‘National’ collection, the client plans to move the museum to a new location at Bastion 6 which forms part of the Hilsea Lines – a venture that is supported by the local authority and Historic England.

Completed in 1871 as part the Palmerston Fortification Strategy, Bastion 6 is a Scheduled Monument protected by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The red brick casement of Bastion 6, with bombproof vaulted ceilings was, “designed to provide gun emplacements which afforded protection to the guns and their crews”. The clients explained that Bastion 6 will now be renovated to house the National Centre for First World War Remembrance, and the move will also facilitate the upgrade of the collection to a National Museum status.

Currently the Bastion 6 building is in an uninhabitable state, but under continuous renovations to bring the building back to a habitable state. With voluntary contributions from the Armed Forces, Skills Force and other interested parties including the University of Portsmouth, tasks such as stripping lead paint from the vaulted ceilings, woodwork repairs to the fenestration and surveying the existing building, have already begun. However, it is anticipated that the move will be slow, relying primarily on work carried out on a voluntary basis. The Clients were now in need of skilled volunteers to help deliver this project, and keen to involve students of the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Portsmouth.

Interior Architecture and Design students were involved in completing a full survey of the building and were then briefed to analyse the collection and propose designs for the new site.

Ben French and Charles Haskell have been involved throughout the project to provide information, input, advice and critique at key stages and they have been happy to debate alternative approaches with the students.

Clear academic learning outcomes were described and assessed using a marking matrix, whilst allowing for the ‘live’ nature and feedback from the clients who participated in project reviews; this was a particularly challenging and fruitful experience for the students as they had to negotiate the feedback from their client and academic staff and make their own judgements.


Ben French and Charles Haskell have been most appreciative of the work our students have completed and will use some of the ideas presented to support funding applications and designs. They stated that the students’ proposals went far beyond what they themselves had imagined could be possible and were delighted with the sensitivity, commitment and rigor the students applied to the project.

The students also expressed their appreciation of the project and the opportunity to work with real clients on a live project with 89% stating that they enjoyed the unit and felt that it made a positive contribution to their learning. The students recognized that they were able to develop and enhance their brief writing skills and that they felt better prepared to work with clients in practice, feeling more confident in navigating the complexities of working with clients and understanding their needs. The students also improved their verbal and visual representation and communication skills and also noted that they found the project very motivating as their ideas could have a real impact on the development of Bastion 6 (the project was not just academic).

Tutors observed increased levels of engagement and motivation on this project and were also impressed with the students’ attitude towards real clients; they were respectful and attentive and learned to listen, ask appropriate questions and challenge the client’s thinking in order to progress designs that were functionally rigorous, poetic and engaging.

Although we wait to hear how Bastion 6 will be developed we are now working with Ben French to develop a brief for next year’s BA3 students who will be working on proposals for a different part of his estate – another existing building in Portsmouth with a very different social, cultural and economic context.


  • Scott, F. (2007). On Altering Architecture. Routledge. London.
  • Brooker, G. and Stone, S. (2014). Re-Readings Interior Architecture and the Design Principles of Remodelling Existing Buildings. RIBA Publishing. London.
  • The Burra Charter (2013)


  • Clients: Ben French & Charles Haskell
  • Unit coordinator: Martin Andrews
  • Tutors: Martin Andrews, Rachael Brown, Lynne Mesher & Annie Templeton
  • Students: Kelly Ballard, Elena Cacciatore, Olivia Davies, Jessica Davis, Jolyana Dawod, Laura Day, Hannah Dodarell, Georgette Dombey, Shruti Dudhaiya, Emily Dulson, Thomas Franklin, Sarune Giedraityte, Sophie Harris, Hannah Hitchens, Alexandra Hodson, Ashton Holmes, Henry Inman, Abigail Izatt, Dimitrios Karamoutas, Henry King, Olatundun Lawal, Jane Lehmets, Hollie Lynn, Gemma Machon, Zara Mahmood, Nicoletta Malinowska, Deborah Murphy, Racheal Namuddu, Alexandra Norman, Stefani Norris, Kirsty Nutbrown, Agnieszka Orzlowska, Victoria Randall, Vijay Suresh, Rebecca Swain, Pernille Toresdatter, Ngan Truong Thu, Brogan Turner, Kayleigh Wright, Penny Yap.