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Showcase 2023 Student Spotlight: Khyra Shah

Student Spotlight featuring BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design student, Khyra Shah and her project, The Monastery – Celestial Connections.

Modern looking room with holes in the ceiling allowing sunlight to come through

The project

Climate change has caused major natural disasters, destroying the land and depleting the planets resources. To survive, the rich and powerful pooled together their resources and left earth in search of another planet to inhabit, leaving the remaining dregs of humanity to defend itself. Over the centuries, these space explorers became gods and the stories told of their journey turned into lore where they, alongside the night sky, are worshipped and studied.

The year is 2523 and a relic of the past - a radio - is found amongst some ruins in Lumsdale Valley, Derbyshire. This ancient object is thought to be a means of communication to the Sky Gods, so a monastery is to be designed on this site in dedication to this relic and its connection to these Gods.

Plans to a futuristic monastery

The inspiration behind the project

Khyra took inspiration from many cultures that are known for worshipping celestial deities, from Norse mythology to Native American practices, in order to understand how to design a space dedicated to connecting an observer to the night sky. Le Corbusier’s church (Notre Dame du Haut) in France was also a big design influence – she used the style of his windows as a base for her own work which allowed her to focus the outward views and achieve specific perspectives for an observer in the space.

Constructing a world 500 years in the future, has pushed me to think more conceptually when designing because I was not bound by the limitations that come with creating spaces today. This meant that my creativity was not restricted by things such as costs or function but rather that I could let my concept lead the design. I could delve deeper into my own interests, like my fascination with astronomy and ancient civilisations, and use my knowledge of these to stimulate my ideas. Having such a personal connection to the work has made this project a labour of love.
Plans to a futuristic monastery

Being part of NTU

Khyra has had a great time at NTU. The work is demanding, but the tutors are always open to discussing your work and their collaboration along with bouncing ideas off of your peers makes the design process really engaging.

She has not only developed great software skills (including AutoCAD, SketchUP/Enscape/Vray, Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign etc.), but also gained a lot of confidence in myself and speaking about my designs.

Khyra's most memorable moment at NTU would probably be the course trip they took to Lisbon earlier this year. They had so much fun exploring the city and it was a great way to bond with everyone.

Plans to a futuristic monastery

Closing remarks

Be ready to work hard but also enjoy the creative processes because I think its important to get excited and bring your passions with you. Also, don’t be afraid to talk about your ideas or showcase your work because collaborating with other designers is the best way to learn.

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