Ambitious Aaron showcases his work at New Designers

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Date: 12th Jul 2019

BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design student Aaron Sahota was shortlisted for the New Designers Award at 2019's New Designers exhibition and received a Recognition Award from houseware manufacturer Joseph Joseph for his work.

The work, Aaron's final major project, is a proposed 30-metre x 50-metre pavilion made from steel with 240 cones showcasing India and its culture and architecture at the 173-day Expo 2020 in Dubai, from 20 October 2020 to 21 April 2021.

Aaron has told us about his work, how he felt about the quality of his pieces being recognised at New Designers, his reflections on his three years studying Interior and Spatial Design at Bucks New University, and what he plans to do when he graduates.Aaron Sahota

Could you tell us about your final project for Expo 2020 and what it involved?


My work focused on designing a pavilion for India’s part of Expo 2020, using the Expo theme of Opportunity. I want to explore different social issues within the country to trigger positive change.

Many people in India are working in the brick kiln industry to produce materials for construction. However, the working conditions can be quite unsatisfactory and this reflects what I see as the chaotic way of life in India.

For my pavilion I researched different types of Indian architecture constructed from these bricks and noticed lots of temples with different types of domes and arches were constructed using them.

So, I created a structure that is quite chaotic that clashes all these different types of Indian architecture to reflect the complexity of the culture. All aspects are attached to create one massive dome which is designed in individual pieces to represent a unity, where, if one piece was to be taken out, everything would fall.

Why did you do it, where do you hope it could be used, and how pleased are you with it?

I focused on creating an exhibition space that combines architecture and interior design because I hope to work in a design firm that work with other aspects of design such as architects, product designers, and graphic designers.

I would ideally like to see my design used as the actual India pavilion at Expo 2020 and it could then be de-constructed and re-assembled in India so people could experience it there too.

Aaron Sahota workI feel I have designed something showcasing my good design skills, concept drawings, and problem solving.

I feel this was my best project so far and am very pleased with the outcome. I was able to showcase my design skills through the renders I did for the India pavilion, concept drawings and the story I came up with behind the pavilion, through my research, as well as problem solving with the use of materials.

What is it made of?

As the pavilion is quite big materials had to be thought out carefully and as this was a temporary event lasting a few months it would have to be manufactured with materials that are easy to assemble on site and transport to the site, as well as disassemble.

Therefore, I analysed my design and decided to use steel for all the 240 feature cones and then powder coat the steel in white to get a nice white and slightly glossy finish.

The different types of Indian architecture attached to the featured cones would need to be lightweight for easy installation so are created out of fiberglass, similar to material used for London's Serpentine Pavilion.

How pleased were you to do so well at New Designers?

It was a great experience and seeing lots of other design students  and their work, and to compete against them, was amazing.

I was able to speak about my design project with the CEO of Jospeh Joseph, who was very interested in my work. Aaron Sahota Joseph Joseph Recognition

He said that my design was ‘different’, which had been my aim, so that was pleasing. For my project I wanted to explore different way to design interiors instead of a typical design that asks a designer of where to put furniture, walls, and doors. Furthermore, I wanted to design something different to show potential future employers that I can design new updated interiors for people to enjoy.

Even though I didn’t win the New Designers Award, being shortlisted out of 3,000 other students was really remarkable and is great for my CV.

This event really did inspire me with new ideas as I got to see other design students’ work from other disciplines and I recommend other design students check out New Designers.

How much have you enjoyed your degree and what have been its high points?

I have enjoyed the Interior and Spatial design course and would recommend it to anyone who is passionate about design, is creative, and loves to draw.

When I first applied for universities, Bucks New university stood out to me the most because I liked how this course focuses on different parts of interior design such as retail design, exhibition design, and landscape architecture. It was one course that allows you to go in to a variety of different design jobs and for the Final Major Project you get the freedom to design whatever you want in the direction you choose.

One of the major benefits of this course is the support you get. The tutors support you all the time in your work making sure you are on track and helping you if you are not. They were easily contactable so getting help outside of university hours was easy to do. This is particularly useful in design when you have loads of different concept designs but need helping choosing the right one. Tutors were always there to help you in the right direction.

The other main benefit was the travelling. Most of the time when you study at university you sit at a university desk or in a lecture hall going through study books. With the Interior and Spatial design course you had the option to travel to different countries such as New York, Helsinki, and Milan. I liked that Bucks offered this to their design students as it allowed you to not only get away from your design desk to take a breather, but also experience other countries and what their design offers to get inspirations for your own designs.

What do you now aim to go on and do?

I eventually hope to go on working for an architecture/interior design firm as a junior designer and then progress up the ladder to a more senior role. I would like to be employed in a firm that allows architects, interior designers, graphic designers, and product designers to work together on design projects as I think it is important for all design disciplines to work together and learn from each other. Therefore, this would be useful to me to expand my knowledge and skills in design.

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