Robert Mortimer, National Sales Manager at carpet manufacturer Heckmondwike, looks at how carpet design is helping to make higher education institutions more appealing to students.
Design is increasingly important in the decision about choice of higher education college or university. Research has shown that over a third of students have rejected a college or university, due to the quality of its building and lack of facilities.
The research involved 1,000 British students who were questioned on their views on the quality of their university campus. 76% of students ranked buildings and facilities as either ‘quite’ or ‘very’ important in their choice and it was the fourth most important factor after course, location, and reputation of the university.
With competition amongst colleges and universities becoming stronger, it is little wonder that these institutions are choosing to invest back into the design of their buildings.
Aesthetics are becoming increasingly important in higher education design, and universities and colleges are moving away from choosing carpets and carpet tiles for purely functional reasons. In the last few years, we have recognised a trend for higher education buildings to move away from neutral colours to more colourful shades in carpet, like red, purple and orange. Interior designers are also choosing accents of colour to be integrated within a lecture or study space, and are using carpet to indicate to students where they should navigate along a route to ease traffic flow.
Colourful carpet, such as the extensive choice available in our Supacord range, is being selected to mark out specific zones, for example, breakout spaces and private study areas, creating a stimulating and aesthetically pleasing environment. Universities are also choosing colourful carpet for their entrance areas too, as they recognise that they can integrate the flooring with bespoke logos and customised colours. Some institutions also opt to have their branding integrated within their entrance area carpet, to add impact and reinforce the values as soon as students or visitors walk through the door.
Our Creative range is also being widely specified in higher education environments, as it brings a designer element to lecture theatres or study rooms. In many cases, Array or Night Sky are used in conjunction with bold colours from the Broadrib range, creating a contemporary aesthetic in a wide variety of settings.
In an increasingly competitive market, it is essential that higher education institutions carefully consider interior design, including choice of good quality floorcoverings. The benefits in terms of reduced noise levels, better comfort, and a sense of design help to enhance the student experience, demonstrating just how important it is to get these factors right.
*study by London School of Economics Estates Division and the Higher Education Design Qualify Forum (HEDQF)
For more information on carpet for schools and public buildings contact Heckmondwike on 01924 406 161 or visit the website www.heckmondwike-fb.co.uk