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Interior Design (MA)

Hannah Bradley

Throughout the BA (Hons) Interior Design course at Sheffield Hallam University, Hannah discovered a passion for using design as a medium for storytelling. Looking back at her projects, it is evident that Hannah finds inspiration in personal experiences and connections with others, letting this inform the narrative that develops. The attention to detail holds a great importance in her practice and each idea has intention behind it.

This continued into her role as a workplace designer over a period of 3 years. The workplace saw a transformation throughout the pandemic and this emphasised the impact the interior can have on wellbeing and productivity, highlighting the importance of interior spaces. Wanting to expand her practice, Hannah applied to the Royal College of Art and the potential in what could be achieved here felt exciting. It was an opportunity to be surrounded by creatives from which to learn, analyse and challenge the interior environment.

Nettleham Hall in Lincoln. The vines are growing around the ruin and they have combined to form a new structure.

The relationship between people and nature is essential, one of interdependency. However, the environment continues to be used, manipulated and destroyed in favour of people. Design plays a part in this as cities expand and urban development disrupts natural forests. Throughout working on the Reuse platform at the RCA, it has been Hannah's aim to explore the way in which the balance could be regained; using design to create a space that gives nature the same importance as people. The site of 'The Ruin' - Nettleham Hall, Lincoln - encouraged this exploration. After burning down and becoming derelict, the nature began to grow in abundance and surround the building. Hannah saw this as an illustration of the trees reclaiming their space and fighting against the disruption we inflict on nature, moreover establishing the stance for her work moving forward.

A black background with small painted shapes in pale yellow.
A black background with small painted shapes in pale yellow.
As the lights turn on in this duo of paintings, a scene of the Venice Grand Canal is gradually revealed.
The lights of St. Marks Square in Venice, painted in pale yellow and white.
Painted shapes in pale yellow with the light reflection on the water painted underneath.

Venice in a New Perspective

Yvonne Jacquette’s work of ‘bright squares on a dark canvas’ reminded me of living in a new city, experiencing feelings of uncertainty and homesickness - walking through the city, the glimpses of warm light within homes felt cosy and reassuring against the dark night sky. It illustrated the power of light.

Light can reveal an interior through a window, or the window could reflect the exterior space. We may only see a glimpse of the room within, so does what we see reflect what is true? How do our perceptions of the rooms we see differ? 

I applied these questions to Venice and considered the city through an alternative perspective; exploring reflection and how light determines the image we see. Alternatively known as ‘The Floating City’ and the ‘City of Canals’, I wanted my paintings to ‘turn on the lights of Venice’ and reveal the unique beauty of the city.


Oil paints on black paper
A reflection of Hyde Park in the silver card of the installation, with bright blue sky and green trees.
The reflective blanket photographed with the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park.
A wooden frame holding the reflective blanket and a background of green from the trees.

London in a New Pespective

Reflection, illusion and perspective... Three key elements taken from 'Venice in a New Perspective'. Upon the exploration of these themes, we considered 'What is it that we want to reflect?' and What is the perspective we want to create?' By applying these questions to London and discussing what is meaningful to us in the city, we discovered that our different backgrounds offered varying perspectives. The history, multi-cultural society and green space were three aspects that we felt to be unique within London, and ones that make it the exciting, multi-faceted city we live in. This conversation was the inspiration for our installation; a tessellating blanket that reflects the beautiful surroundings of the Royal College of Art and the 'many facets' of London.

The amended bench photographed from the side with the sun setting in the background.
Blue rope woven around the bench to form a new backrest that forms an x shape.
Blue rope tied through the existing hole in the bench frame where the timber panel had previously been.
Bright blue rope wrapped around the metal frame of a weathered bench.

A Bench Amendment

Benches are designed to encourage conversation. Or maybe to sit and watch the world go by. Throughout covid lockdowns, benches became a meeting place to catch up with friends and family that we couldn’t see indoors. 

My walk to the bus every morning takes me through Clapham Common and past a bench that has remained broken for a while. The way in which it was broken, with one of the bench slats missing from the back rest, meant that the bench couldn’t be used as it was intended. To sit on it like this would be uncomfortable and temporary. This is my reason for wanting to repair it. 

When approaching this amendment, the existing structure of the bench encouraged the idea of something being woven through to reform the missing slat. This, along with it being weather resistant, rot-proof and strong, informed the material choice of polypropylene blue rope. By weaving the rope through the existing forms of the bench, it has made a redundant object purposeful again.

Three rectangular shaped models made from plaster, that has been broken and tied/wrapped with brown string and wire mesh.
An investigation of Nettleham Hall
The Ruin at Nettleham Hall, with vines growing up the brick walls.

A simultaneous structure

Upon visiting the site, I was drawn to the way the two components of the site - the ruin and nature - had combined to form a new structure in which the vines had grown in and around the building. Therefore, a relationship that simultaneously damages and supports the ruin has been formed.

The investigative models I have displayed here aimed to explore this structure. Working with a broken plaster base, I explored wrapping, tying and binding as methods of holding the plaster in place. The use of wire mesh took inspiration from its application with climbing plants; a protective layer that allows the plant to attach to the mesh rather then the wall itself. The process of tying the brown string followed the strategy I had previously applied to 'The Bench Amendment'; using the breaks in the broken structure to my advantage and creating a structure with simultaneously working components.


Plaster, brown string and mesh

Woodland House

Nature has grown in abundance at Nettleham Hall; a physical representation of nature reclaiming the land. This project explores this relationship in a wider context, with the aim of using design to highlight the importance that trees have and their extensive potential in tackling the climate crisis. The UK has a high density of available space for new forests that does not encroach on cropland. Furthermore, this project proposes a tree nursery and educational hub - 'Woodland House'.

'Woodland House' is home to the Nettleham Woodland Trust charity; an organisation that has shown a huge amount can be achieved for wildlife, people and the environment with a small group of dedicated and passionate people. The charity aims to protect existing trees within the area, whilst additionally creating new woodlands and larger wildlife habitats. They also provide educational opportunities for children and their work helps to reduce the effects of climate change.

The woodland on site naturally lends itself to the expansion of woodlands across the UK, home to a diverse number of UK native species. The site accommodates each step of the tree growing process - seed collection, seed stratification and seedling growth - until they reach sapling stage, at which point they will be transported to their final planting point. With the journey of the visitors in mind, the design of the site follows this sequence and furthermore, the design becomes an educational tool.

An elevation with a ruin building surrounded by woodland and an installation that sits elevated above it.
Woodland House in elevation