As one of the largest and most active Student Unions in the UK, Warwick SU pride themselves on offering quality support and opportunities to students, staff and customers. The Students Union is the focal point of campus life, with the facilities building providing an active hub for learning, working, and information. The building is also essential in providing space to encourage students to come together, relax, mix and socialize. Yet, the original space failed to reflect the ethos of the Warwick SU and provided several challenges.
The team at Retail Experience Design began by reviewing and understanding the current space – they spent time watching and evaluating how students entered and travelled through and around the building, as well as how they interacted with key touchpoints. In addition to the brief from the Warwick SU Facilities team, Retail Experience Design also spoke with the Sabbatical team to gain valuable insights from a student perspective
From the discovery phase, it was clear that design consideration was lacking in the layout and flow of space. There was a crucial need to introduce and re-configure new touchpoints. These included: Entrance; Welcome; Sabbatical wall; Information point, Break-out areas; and Reception. With these components, it created consistency through clear navigational signage and designed pieces that protrude out from a toned down and muted background.
What we delivered
Having improved the journey to the core space, it was then essential to create a relaxed and comfortable area for the students to enjoy. The existing space was often mistaken as an office foyer, so Retail Experience Design designed and created an environment that students would see as their own, ultimately providing them with a sense of belonging.
To achieve this, the team worked with a raw materials pallet, ply boarding and existing brand colours to create an installation that added an interesting dynamic to the space. With the additional use of the infographics, it emphasized this was intended as student space, not an office foyer. Also, by reworking tired and previously unused space and adding industrial/raw finishes and furniture – an area was developed which was contained and private for students to work.
“I would highly recommend Retail Experience Design to fellow professionals who are looking to transform their existing spaces into dynamic and engaging areas that students and staff can connect with and enjoy. It has been great working with the team, and we are certainly pleased with the projects delivered to date!"
Jacqui Clements, Chief Executive
“We were really impressed with the whole process and the general commitment and knowledge that the team brought to the project. We are already working on new projects together and looking forward to seeing the end results”
Jane Batchelor, Director of Communications & Marketing