Product development | Awarding-winning furniture design
Empty university lecture room showing the Connect educational furniture
Race Furniture logo - business that designs bespoke seating for venues

Simple Design Works was invited to collaborate in the furniture design and layout optimisation of the lecture theatre for Loughborough University. They required thoughtful seating in an educational setting to enhance the students’ experiences as well as allow lecturers to interact better with them.

We coordinated our design work with the architect to make sure all tables and seats were fitted correctly to the structural support in the floor. There were compliance considerations to this project as we needed to achieve all minimum clearance gaps. This is required by the current regulations so as to provide sufficient emergency exits throughout.

Educational furniture design concept sketches by product design company, Simple Design Works for Race Furniture

Distinctive bespoke furniture designed for the educational environment

We took the initial layout from the client and produced a 3D model of the proposed design. First we made sure it complied with the clients and regulatory requirements. Following approval of the furniture design, we updated and optimised the layout. We also produced numerous realistic renderings. These renders showed specific detail and demonstrated the view from different seats throughout the room. We went on to produce the engineering drawings for manufacturing and assist with making a sample module.

Collaborative bench seating shown at a university lecture designed by product design company Simple Design Works

Award winning design

The result was the award winning Connect system. Connect creates the perfect learning environment as it can be completely customised using the newly designed flexible seating solution. Whilst it allows different teaching layouts, it also reduces the overall space requirement. Crucially for everyone in the room, it gives everyone a clear line of sight.

Connect has solid wooden seat backs, fixed writing shelves and integrated power and data ports. What’s more it’s been thoroughly tried and successfully tested in universities across the UK and Europe. This project has gone on to win numerous awards. This includes the RIBA East Midlands Building of the Year and FX International Design Award for Workplace Seating.

You’ll find this seating in numerous theatres throughout the UK. You’ll also find it in many prestigious universities including Leeds University, Newcastle University, Glasgow University and SOAS University of London.

Loughborough university lecture room with Race Furniture CONNECT educational furniture
Loughborough university lecture room with maroon collaborative educational furniture and devices

Stuart Finlator

Race Furniture logo - business that designs bespoke seating for venues

“We have used Simple Design Works for a number of projects varying from conceptual design through to CAD drawing projects and always found them to be efficient and diligent. We would recommend them to any other company looking for a one-stop solution to all their design requirements.”

Stuart Finlator
Director – Race Furniture

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