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Interaction – Bath Spa University

Bath Spa student wins one-year interior design placement competition and fellow student secures second place

Thursday, 12 October, 2023

Second year Bath Spa University BA (Hons) Interior Design degree student, Alan Stanley, has secured himself a one-year paid interior design placement after winning a competition to design a networking space in the centre of Bath. 

As the winner of this year’s national Student Placement Competition run by Bath-based interior design agency, Interaction, Alan was challenged to design a hub for networking and co-working in Bath’s Queen Square, showcasing his creativity while exploring the transition from interior to exterior. The space also had to accommodate 100-150 seated attendees and play host to the annual Creative Bath Awards. 

Successful in his efforts, Alan will now work alongside senior team members at Interaction and receive important training in software management, space planning, furniture specification and interior styling, as well as making the most of the opportunity to put his learning into practice by designing bespoke joinery. 

Interaction believes that peoples’ expectations of workplaces have changed. With a focus on challenging the everyday space in which people work, its take on culture, creativity and communication, attracts some of the sharpest talents in the industry, and its placements nurture the next generation of designers. 

Ahead of his placement, Alan spent a day at Naughtone in Manchester, immersing himself in the industry at one of Interaction’s key suppliers, with the chance to create and keep a designer piece of furniture. 

Speaking on his success, Alan said: 

“I am so pleased to have secured myself this opportunity. Ever since I was a child, I've been fascinated by the construction industry, thanks to my father's work in the field. As I've grown older, I've come to appreciate the significant impact that good design can have on people's lives. This inspired me to pursue a career in the design sector, hoping to have my own impact on others.” 

Also celebrating her success is runner up and fellow BA (Hons) Interior Design student, Megan Vaughan, who secured herself an eight-week placement at Interaction throughout July and August. Megan also joined Alan at Naughtone in Manchester for a day of designing. Commenting on the inspiration for her design concept, Megan said: 

“I was inspired by the history of Bath and its Roman architecture, by Queen Square and its original architect, John Wood the Elder. My design consisted of three ‘hubs,’ the main event space for the Creative Bath Awards and two smaller ‘hubs’ - one containing public toilets and the other left open for outdoor events such as markets and concerts.” 

Fostering a passion for interior design since school, Megan has been experimenting with creating spaces throughout her degree. Reflecting on this, Megan said: 

“Since starting university, I have gained confidence and developed my skills, putting me in the position to apply for the student placement competition with Interaction. I hope to continue to develop my work and grow as a designer during this eight-week placement, and during my final year.” 

Acknowledging these achievements, Nancy Bakopoulou, BA (Hons) Interior Design Course Leader, said: 

 “This was an amazing opportunity, giving insight into the boundless areas and sectors that our students in Interior Design can pursue. This is an inspiration for our current and prospective students to see examples of the kinds of industry competitions they can participate in. I am delighted for both Alan and Megan and I am looking forward to seeing where their journeys take them.”  

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