graceStudents studying Design Crafts, Interior Design and Architecture are helping to design DMU’s new Heritage Centre

The DMU Heritage Centre was built around the remaining two arches of Leicester’s Church of the Annunciation earlier this year. The aim of the project was to create a link with the remains of the building where the body of Richard III’s body was displayed shortly after his death.

The students involved started the academic year with a live project. They were given competition briefs, with one of the options being the Heritage Centre for which they were instructed to create a tiled piece to go around the doorway as the Centre’s entrance. The colour palette comprised turquoise, red and grey, and using those colours, the students had to come up with their own designs.

“We were given the project when we started uni this year,” said Gemma Whitaker, a 2nd year Design Crafts student. “I got told that I had been selected at Christmas, so I’ve been working on that, as well as the rest of my uni work. It’s getting there now. I’ve got the design done, so it’s just in the process. It’ll probably be done by the end of this year.

“I got selected for the main doorway, but they’ve been asked to make the larger tile for the DMU wall. It’s this big wall with photographs of us students and staff.”

Gemma’s design consists of ceramic tiles with transfers over one half and fabric on the other. She explained that they have been experiencing a few difficulties with the materials and the design, but the project is still making progress.

The students creating the tiles were briefed by the Interior Design head, and were asked by the students who built and designed the space suggested that they work on the doorway. At the end of that module, they were marked for their course, before having to present their ideas to the Interior Design head and the students who designed the space.

“It was exciting to do the project,” said Hitendra Ratilal, another 2nd year Design Crafts student. “At the end I just had to create four tiles. This took me a really long time.”

“It’s been a challenging opportunity,” said Gemma. “What I’m grateful for is it’ll be great when it goes up, and great for my CV, so I’m really quite glad about that. It’s enlightened me.”