Studio Blackburn

Testing, Testing UCL

Blog — UCL SoM 50th Floor


Taking an idea from screen to something that lives in a physical space can be quite a leap. Scale, materials, tactility, light, interaction, transparency, legibility and accessibility all come into the equation.

Your idea then needs to be communicated clearly to manufacturers and suppliers whose industry language can sometimes sound distinctly alien.

All this was true of our recent project with UCL School of Management who asked Studio Blackburn to create a unique environmental and digital design system for way-finding, interior supergraphics, and a connected digital interface at their new level 50 floor at One Canada Square in Canary Wharf.

Fitting and Testing

Working closely with suppliers and signage manufacturers, the challenge was to ensure the ideas were brought to life consistently across different printing methods and multiple substrates.

It goes without saying that everything needed testing and prototyping.

Digitally printed vinyl wallpapers were tested to match map colours, while bevels of the CNC cut acrylic letterforms were checked to reduce sharp corners without compromising the integrity of the UCL School of Management typeface.

Percentages of transparency on glazing frosting were decided by applying a panel in the space, checked throughout different light levels. Finally came the digital integration, which involved a leap from a static analogue experience to a more immersive digital experience.

Juggling all these disparate elements was a challenge, but crucial to successfully deliver a memorable project.

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