Last month LSE students submitted their entries for our design competition. The panel, made of members from the library, IMT, estates and the student union selected their best entries and here are the results :

  • First Prize (iPad Air 2) : James Dunn
  • Highly Commended Entry (£100 Amazon voucher) : Portia Roelofs
  • Other commended entries and students who submitted their ideas via our online survey received a £10 Amazon voucher


James was awarded his prize by Nicola Wright from Library Services and Nick Deyes from IMT

The objective of the competition, open to all LSE students, was to “Create a modern and engaging environment for the Library lower ground floor that caters for contemporary and future study requirements.”

The panel selected their best entries according to the following criteria:

  1. Functionality of the new space design
  2. Quality and accuracy of the rationale
  3. Originality, innovation and imagination
  4. Considerations of limitations, explicit or otherwise

As a member of the panel explained, James’ design was selected because he “has done a masterful job addressing the multiple functions required of a space like the LSE library lower ground floor.” His design was praised for taking into account students’ explicit needs as well as anticipating less obvious ones : “This design would transform the space by giving students more of what they want, and a great deal of what they did not even know they were missing.

Below are some elements from James’ design, as well as a plan of the current layout:

As he himself put it, the rationale behind his design “is a simple one : transforming a large box-like space into a more humane, functional and beautiful study area without diverging too far from the aesthetic of the rest of the building’s interior”. James’ focus was on increasing the number of study spaces by using vertical space. Accessibility, light, sound, charging points and sustainability were also key to his design and choice of equipment and materials

Portia’s work was also highly commended, in particular her idea of fitting the space with “spiral study huts”:



Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the students who took part in the competition or answered our online survey! LTI will be happy to answer any comments or further questions on the competition. Please email them to