HOT 50: RAVENSBOURNE

RAVENSBOURNE

With Government cuts set to change the way things are taught in colleges, particularly in arts and humanities subjects, it is good to see one design university effecting big structural changes and managing to sidestep the cuts in the process.

While other educational institutions are having to cope with grant-aid slashed by 20 per cent or more, Ravensbourne has actually seen its grant increased by a remarkable 11.5 per cent to £8.1m.

This builds on significant shifts for the university last year, when, at the instigation of its director, Professor Robin Baker, the university quit its Bromley campus to take up residence in purpose-built premises on London’s Greenwich Peninsula close to the O2 Arena.

Designed by cult practice Foreign Office Architects, the building offers a different, more open approach to teaching. The faceted facades meanwhile provided the prompt for a comprehensive branding programme created by Johnson Banks, which included input from students.

Ravensbourne is well known for its prowess in teaching interaction design. But its interiors school is also going great guns thanks to the proactive stance of interior design head Professor Layton Reid, who also founded research-led teaching practice and interior/urban design group
Desitecture in 2000.

It looks set to provide a model that other colleges might follow – funds permitting.

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