How to align interior design with branding: our work with Nido Student
Did you know that in today’s Student Accommodation sector Branding is one of the most important factors to take into consideration? It was highlighted in the Pan-European Session of Class of 2020 that I discussed in my article. Right now and even more in the future, is not building’s intrinsic value that generates profit. But the managers’ activities and the brand’s identity do. And it is here that Interior Design and Branding come into play.
This is a fascinating aspect of my work as an interior designer, and probably my favourite.
Since the beginning of our collaboration with our client Nido Student, we have met weekly with the marketing team. We thoroughly discussed every feature to implement in order to make the interior design consistent with the brand’s values.
Our Work with Nido
We gradually defined proper brand guidelines for Nido Student. So, I thought I’d bring our concept as an example of interior design and branding complementing each other in an effective way.
In our case, the main values defining our projects for Nido were: Community, Wellbeing, Sustainability, and Design & Tech. Along with other projects then, we developed this concept for the Nido reception. The core of the entire Student Accommodation.
Consistent Interior Design Elements
First of all is the freestanding desk, which is a point of reference for students to meet the staff and feel welcomed. By being open at the back though it offers also a more fluid experience, easing the communication and enhancing the sense of community. For a similar purpose, we also introduced information pinboards to facilitate students’ engagement. The large windows for the ‘back of house’ are intended for the staff to be always able to see the reception area in case of need. Some of the brand colours and textures we specified strengthen the brand image in different locations.
Other consistent interior design features instead are aimed at sustainability and wellbeing. The water fountains allow students to refill their bottles and avoid wastes. We used Smile Plastics tables, obtained by recycling yogurt pots and other plastic materials, in various communal areas.
To integrate technology, we employed interactive projections displaying social media feeds such as Instagram or Twitter at the back of the reception area. This solution offers also the opportunity for fun and aesthetically cool graphic choreographies.
An exclusive identity for each Student Accommodation
Last but not least, other design features instead are different in each location but still very important. Such elements help to define the brand values going beyond the simple look by reaching a deeper and personal feeling. Here, the use of biophilic design features such as hanging plants and other natural material helps not only the people’s wellbeing, as discussed in our previous article. By stimulating other senses such as the smell, with natural aromas, they can create a powerful positive connection with the surrounding environment. In the same way, the research and use of materials and colours coming from the local culture celebrate each location’s uniqueness. They are significant for the Student Accommodation to be different but for the Nido brand as well to convey the respect and the will to integrate the local values of every specific place.
All in all…
Working on many different spaces, and even more in different countries is a great experience. It is an interesting challenge that can bring amazing results in terms of Interior Design effectiveness and efficiency. It pushes us to find new and original solutions to convey an exclusive feeling while still integrating those important elements that define the experience of our client’s brand. When creativity, marketing, interior design, and branding find the perfect mix, this necessary process becomes amazing and fun!
Embracing the creative process was really engaging. We looked at the bigger picture through the message and core values of the brand. The aim was to define a look and a physical identity for Nido Student. That is what ultimately distinguishes a Student Accommodation from any other. It is in there that the real value of this new market lies. And interior design plays a crucial role in the success of it.
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