Nikoleta Ostreva, an interior design student from Kingston, has created an award-winning concept as part of her final project.
The project was recognised by Nigel Reading, a Kingston alumnus and past architecture student. He awarded Ostreva a cash prize of £500 courtesy of his company Asynsis Architecture & Design, as well as their business partner Morrison Design.
Ostreva said: “I don’t necessarily do design because I want someone to like it, I do what is interesting for me. Art, craft and design are all subjective disciplines in terms of evaluation, but when somebody that doesn’t know you personally understands what you wanted to achieve and communicate with your project and sees the amount of work and dedication you put into it, the moment feels unique.”
The architecture firms giving the award are both based in Australia but do a lot of work in the UK, with Morrison Design having a UK branch in Derby.
“My major project showcases a cross-disciplinary approach to global issues at a local scale through the lens of branding,” said Ostreva.
When asked about her inspirations for the project she narrowed them down to the brand idea and the challenge of making it more sustainable. Global issues as well as the socio-economic, historical, and cultural context of the spaces she creates a design for were also considered.
“Initially, I had no clue what materials I would use or how the finished product would look. Through research into sustainability, I was drawn to mycelium due to its physical properties and because it is compostable, so I used it throughout my major project to create a strong relationship between the designs.”
Ostreva continued: “For the rest of the materials such as paper, wood and food waste, I wanted to approach a local issue related with waste. I asked myself: ‘what is commonly found on London transport?’ and concluded: free newspapers, and ‘what spaces do we have in Shoreditch?’ and came up with hotel, restaurants and shops which all generate food waste.”
When asked if she would continue working with sustainable materials, Ostreva said: “Yes, definitely. I’ve been following news regarding development of materials, and I plan to do the last part of my major project working with food waste biomaterials. I find the process of making and experimenting with biomaterials quite fun and I look forward to returning to it but with a different aim in mind this time.”
Kingston University has vowed to make an active effort towards being sustainable with initiatives such as the environmental management system, as well a team of people dedicated to making the university more eco-friendly, managed by Nigel Heugh.