January 27 2020
A group of Interior Architecture and Design Students from Birmingham City University have started the year with a spring in their step, having won a concept design competition organised by LSH Auto in partnership with the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design.
Luke Reynolds and his team mates Gergana Ivanova, Wictoria Glowczewska and Pooja Halai, 4A studios, won the competition to create a new concept design for the interior of a Mercedes-Benz dealership of the future, set by LSH Auto, which has eight Mercedes-Benz dealerships across the Midlands and the North-West.
Luke Reynolds said: “The Competition gave us a real slice of what it’s like to work with live clients and although it gave us some challenges, it was the most rewarding experience. It's helped me to recognise what I offer as part of a design group and has helped to solidify the direction I want to take in my career after my degree."
Martyn Webb, Managing Director of LSH Auto, said: “We have two of the most impressive Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the UK in our flagship sites, Mercedes-Benz of Erdington and Mercedes-Benz of Stockport. We are lucky enough to work with the best interior architects and designers in the business so it’s fantastic to be able to bring some of that expertise and share it, to inspire the next generation of talent.”
The team at LSH Auto brought in their expert partners from 24twelve and Ten Design to create the brief and help judge the competition. 24twelve support LSH Auto with Project and Construction Management services and Ten Design have a unique understanding of the brand and its identity, both have worked with Mercedes-Benz for a number of years, so the team were perfectly placed to give students an insight into the real-world use of their studies.The team prepared a pack of information for the students, including CAD material and created a briefing presentation, which they shared with students at a virtual launch, explaining the various elements that should be considered when designing a motor retail site. A contact session was arranged partway through the project to provide further support and advice to the student groups, and a final judging session was held to assess the project submissions.
Gareth Hill, Director of 24twelve, said: “All the submissions were of a very high standard. The assessment team were genuinely surprised by the quality and the material that had been developed in such a short space of time.
“For me, the winning submission stood out for a number of reasons. The quality was excellent and included not just 2D material but provided visualisations, a 360-degree tour, an app, and a digital flick book, the team had really thought about the ways they could communicate with the client, which is really important, and they had made use of the various technology available to them. They had researched the Mercedes-Benz brand and established the typical profiles of Mercedes-Benz customers and were, therefore, able to consider the customer journey and how they would interact with the product.
“The concept really pushed the boundaries and was clearly targeted to a motor retail setting of the future. At the same time, it was easy to see how certain elements could be developed to become quite real. I also liked the fact that they had considered the local community of the dealership and recognised the importance of investing in the local area which is very much aligned with the LSH Auto ethos.”
Josephine Bridges, L6 Tutor, Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, BCU said: “This was a really exciting opportunity for our Level 6 students to work with a large commercial company and a strong brand identity. The students converted the client requirements and with creativity; re-imagined the car showroom as a client journey and conceptual form, finding new opportunities to create a unique experience.”
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