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Creative brilliance of MDX student concepts for Sentinel Square Hendon shopping precinct praised

20/06/2022
Interiors MA students work with peers at Politecnico di Milano, and students on three undergraduate programmes collaborate on project for Barnet Council

A young white man with a beard and a young white woman with brown hair tied in a topknot look at a large architectural modelTeams of second-year MDX students have produced design proposals for a pop-up installation in Hendon shopping precinct Sentinel Square on Brent Street, in a project instigated by Barnet Council as they seek to refresh the space.

MA Interiors students created designs to renovate and remodel the precinct, working collaboratively online with Masters students at Politecnico di Milano, one of MDX’s international partners. The MDX students used the research gained through this experience to develop ideas for their longer term individual MA study.

Both sets of proposals were displayed in the Ritterman Building as part of the 2022 Graduate Degree Show Festival, Radical Creativity.

Student design development on the undergraduate project was mentored by visiting designers from eminent practice Brinkworth, who along with representatives from the council and the site’s owners attended a private view on Tuesday 14th June. Next year’s second year undergraduates on the BA Interior Design, BA Interior Architecture and BSc Architectural Technology programmes may have a chance to design concepts for Sentinel Square’s retail and public spaces.

A young South Asian woman and a young East Asian man examine an architectural model“These studies, focused on Sentinel Square, offered an excellent opportunity to our students on all programmes to engage with a real live project and client, that emulates an authentic experience of professional practice" says Dr David Fern, Director of Interior Architecture and Design Programmes at MDX.

"The project also fulfils a key objective at MDX in our pedagogy towards designing interior environments. That is to engage with collaborative inclusive practice, connect our students on a global stage and ultimately endeavour to shape better and more purposeful public experiences through positive engagement with local communities. Everyone involved in producing this exhibition is delighted with the high level of creative outcomes and we look forward to further collaborations with London Borough of Barnet.”

“I'm so excited about the opportunity it has brought to three undergraduate courses - both for students and staff, and I’m excited to expand this project for next year,” said Senior Lecturer in Construction, Architecture and BIM Dr Homeira Shayesteh.

“What students have produced is fantastic – their ideas and creativity have gone through the roof.

“The teams across two faculties have never met each other necessarily: a replication of the real world [where] you don't necessarily choose your colleagues”.

Barnet councillor Mark Shooter said: “One of my goals as Hendon ward councillor was to improve our high street, Brent street in particular, of which Sentinel Square is a large part.

“I am thrilled by effort the Middlesex students have put into designing new concepts for the centre. It shows creative brilliance in some cases and our hope is we can implement one of the concepts in due course.

“Much thanks also to the University and tutors for taking this project on board with enthusiasm and partnering our Hendon community. We look forward to a continued close collaboration in the months ahead”.

Peter Phillips, representing the owners of the precinct, Sentinel Square Management Ltd, said: “It was a true pleasure meeting some of the students and teaching team and having the privilege of hearing about their initial ideas and designs.

“Sentinel Square faces many challenges and would certainly benefit from ‘Re-imagining a Sense of Community’. I was very impressed with the clear depth of thought and wealth of creativity expressed by both student cohorts.

“I excitedly anticipate seeing the final proposals of the MA programme’s collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano at the end of the year and hope to draw inspiration from some of the concepts from them and the BSc students. Sentinel Square and Brent Street as a whole can only benefit from the efforts and imagination of the students”.

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