Studio Blackburn creates environment design system for UCL School of Management as it welcomes students to new campus
International branding agency Studio Blackburn launched a design system for wayfinding, interior supergraphics, and connected digital interface at UCL’s School of Management at the heart of Canary Wharf in London.
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.
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. 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,” says Ryan Jones, head of Studio Blackburn.
The glazing designs needed to work both functionally, to act as safety device and privacy screen, and creatively, as an opportunity to produce something memorable that complemented the interior space, explains Ryan Jones, creative director of Studio Blackburn.
“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,” he says.
The images used were inspired by the content of each paper but were left open for interpretation, while the circular pattern took inspiration from the school’s desire to create disruptive research for the future’s world.
“The designs and graphics really convey the innovative, disruptive nature of the school and provide a stimulating and energising environment for learning. We are really looking forward to opening up to students and staff once Covid restrictions are lifted,’” says Bert De Reyck, professor and director of the UCL School of Management.