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For their live client brief project, our HND Interior Architecture and Design students competed to create the best micro living design solutions for Neat Living's recently released new 'micro 40 home'. The winners were announced last Friday – discover who they are and get stunned by their designs!

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For the third year in a row, our Interior Design Department has been working together with Neat Living, a Glasgow-based company providing customisable, transformable and affordable housing solutions.

The College’s collaboration with Neat Living falls with the HND Interior Architecture and Design course live client brief project, where students get the opportunity to apply the skills they have acquired in class to meet real-world business needs. This year's project aimed at generating micro living design solutions for Neat Living's recently released new 'micro 40 home'.

Colin Taylor, Director and Founder of Neat Living, says:

This project is for and about the next generation of designers for the future. It gives emerging designers a platform to conceptualise and express their ideas, to show what they are capable of and striving towards.

Under the expert guidance of their lecturer, Lola Paterson, the class worked hard to produce innovative designs in line with Neat Living's concept. Students looked at different ways in which they could design a functional and comfortable interior solution within the 40 square meters of the micro homes.  Designs were conceived to meet the needs and tastes of different customers, in either a rural or urban setting.

Lola says:

This has been an incredible opportunity for our students who have responded with an excellent professional standard of work in a short space of time.  This experience contributes greatly to them articulating onto university or future employment and showcasing their work.

Once finalised, the students’ designs were assessed by Neat Living and the best ones shortlisted. For the final judging, the Company invited back some of our former and very talented Interior Design students including Mhairi Urquhart, Danielle Stewart, Chantal Mitchell, Stephanie Clements, Teri McLoughlin and Andrew McCaughran. The panel was honoured to be assisted on the day by Linsey McIntosh, Interior Design lecturer from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art Design, Dundee, where a number of our students articulate onto.

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Picture above: the judging panel, from left to right: Linsey Mcintosh, Danielle Stewart, Andrew Mccaughran and Mhiari Urqhart

Colin comments:

We were really pleased and proud with what the design students have managed to pack in to a short 12-week project, where they have had to meet the challenging brief and develop solutions, learn new skills and present their ideas across different media. They've done it, in style!

Shortlisted students and winners were announced on the 27 January 2017 during an awards ceremony hosted by Neat Living at the citizen M hotel in Glasgow.

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Picture above: the three prize winners (Joanne Cherry - first, Emese Tabani - second, Alexander Lake - third) with lecturer Lola Paterson and Colin Taylor, Neat Living.

Joanne Cherry, 26, from Paisley, won the first prize. She says “It was a shock to win first prize but I’m so happy the hard work paid off. I feel winning the award will contribute to my design portfolio to articulate onto university. It was also great to speak to Colin and guests afterwards whom have helped clarify which direction I should be going in. I hope to get a job in interior design then go on have my own business.”

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Picture above: design from Joanne Cherry, 26, from Paisley, first prize winner.

Emese Tabani, 20, from East Kilbride, won the second prize and Alexander Lake, 19, from Cardonald, the third prize. Both were delighted to have taken part in this project with Neat Living. Alexander asserts “The Neat Living team is amazing and was supportive throughout the entire project. Live client briefs are important because they give us real life experience. My future ambitions are to attend university to gain a degree in architecture.”

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Picture above: design from Emese Tabani, 20, from East Kilbride, second prize winner.

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Picture above: design from Alexander Lake, 19, from Cardonald, third prize winner.

Shortlisted students were Lesleyann McCallum, 23, from Dumbarton, Amy Savage, 24, from Clydebank and Aleksandra Gliwiak, 26, from Linwood.

Everyone attending the awards ceremony thoroughly enjoyed the event.

Colin says: "We were delighted to welcome senior management and staff from West College Scotland, Universities and guests from public, private and third sectors, as well as the students’ friends and families. The event was a celebration of each designer's work but equally this was an occasion for people to connect with others who are part of these sectors.”

Angela Pignatelli, WCS Assistant Principal Creative Industries, comments: “We cannot express our gratitude enough to Colin Taylor of Neat Living. He has established a meaningful industry link with our college and is responsible for co-creating such an innovative educational experience for our students both past and present.”

Stephanie Graham, WCS Vice Principal Creative Industries, concurs: “This was an excellent event to mark a very successful project and working relationship with Neat Living.  We have many close working relationships with employers across this College curriculum but this took on another form and provided the current interior design students with a real exposure to the industry, an opportunity to showcase their work, network with employers and ex-students and even win prize money.  Neat Living provided a tremendous support for the students, not only in funding and organising the event but also in supporting and championing the work of Colleges in preparing students for the design industry and progression to HEIs.”

Billy Kinnear, WCS Paisley Campus Design Curriculum Quality Leader, adds: “The Neat Living showcase and awards event, was a triumph in design excellence.  They are fantastic ambassadors for the Art & Design department at West College Scotland.”

Applications are now open for our courses starting in August. You could follow in these students’ footsteps: click here to browse our design courses and apply.

To learn more about Neat Living, visit You can also find out more about their projects 'Micro 40 home': and 'Designers of Tomorrow':

Header picture: WCS Paisley Campus 2016/17 HND Interior Design Students, from left to right: Beth Farmer, Kyle Skivington, Joanne Cherry, Hannah Sharp, Amy Savage,  Jenna Ross, Alexander Lake, Rhiannon Laing, Lesleyanne McCallum,  Alan Young, AshleyLawson, Aleksandra Gilwiak, Ania Lojko, Emese Tabani, Derek Rutherford, Michelle Curran, Gemma McNally, Darren McMahon, Keiron Carins, Marc Conway, Michele Casula.