Furniture group collaborates with Nottingham Uni

Furniture manufacturer The Senator Group has announced a new collaboration with PearsonLloyd and Nottingham Trent University.

Aimed at sparking the imaginations of emerging design talent, ‘CoLab’ is the outcome of PearsonLloyd’s intensive project with Senator, exploring emerging higher-education models and informed by behavioural insights at the University.

As part of their professional practice module, students studying for a degree in Furniture and Product Design, were invited to consider the thinking behind CoLab’s ‘café classroom’ concept. This intelligent solution is a response to the need for both formal learning and informal peer-to-peer collaboration, without the need to reconfigure a space.

By creating dynamic learning environments – creative hubs, quiet nooks, social labs and team touchdowns – CoLab expands the classroom beyond the conventional siloed four walls, to encourage students and teachers to engage in open discussion, that would usually only take place in the café, atrium or corridor.

The assignment challenged students to build on the existing range, suggesting enhancements which stayed true to both the original design ethos, and its use of sustainable materials. They were asked to consider intelligent use of space, muti-posture design, and access to power. All suggestions needed to be suitable for high traffic environments and have excellent environmental credentials.

The Groups presented their design concepts to Tom Lloyd, co-founder of design studio PearsonLLoyd, The Senator Group’s James Knight, as well as University Course Leaders. The presentations were a mix of vision boards, 3D models and prototypes, to bring their ideas to life.

Commenting on the collaboration, Tom Lloyd said: “Our research into how education is being delivered to Generation Z has taught us how different their needs and expectations are to the more senior people who are teaching them. CoLab challenges outdated thinking and replaces it with future-facing furniture that nurtures young minds.

“This project is a perfect complement to the research that informed the creation of the CoLab range and being a subject close to the hearts of the students, evoked an enthusiastic response to the design brief.

“I was impressed with the concepts presented and can see the beginnings of some very talented furniture designers.”

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