‘PETAL’ concept sews graduate's seeds of success

The budding career of a University of Dundee graduate is set to bloom after her flower-inspired housing concept won a £30,000 prize.

Katarina Spenerova’s modular living design ‘PETAL’ wowed judges as she was named overall winner at the Society of British and International Design’s Student Design Competition.

Having taken six months out after receiving her Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Interior and Environmental Design in the summer, Katarina, who lives in Aberdeen, said that the prestigious accolade would allow her career to take root.

“Being named overall winner is a massive achievement,” said the 32-year-old.

“As a finalist I was invited to attend the award ceremony at the House of Commons in London. I didn’t know I was the overall winner until the announcement on the night. I felt privileged to be granted the award and incredibly delighted and proud to receive recognition for what I created.

“The win has made me trust my abilities and made me even more determined to achieve my goals. I believe the credibility of the award will really help me when pursuing employment within the design industry.”

Katarina’s PETAL concept is a modular community building system designed in response to environmental and social change. The project was influenced by the increasing number of people living alone, meaning that many households today tend to be under-occupied, while older homeowners often refuse to downsize.

According to their changing circumstances and requirements throughout their lives, PETAL allows homeowners to stay in their communities for longer by adding or removing modular rooms, similar to petals extending from the centre of a flower.

Having been developed as her final year project, it was Andy Milligan, the Interior and Environmental Design course director of the University’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, who encouraged Katarina to enter PETAL in the competition.

“The opportunity to submit my project to such a renowned platform could not be missed and I am honoured to have been named as winner. It will make a real difference in my career.” she added.

“Even before I started studying at Duncan of Jordanstone I knew what I wanted to achieve in my life. This life-changing award will ultimately help me launch my own creative business in the future, potentially developing the PETAL building system further and taking it into production.”

For media enquiries contact:
Jonathan Watson
Media Relations Officer
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
Tel: +44 (0)1382 381489
Email: j.s.watson@dundee.ac.uk