Naomi McGuire

Interior & Environmental Design BDes (Hons)

Bridging the gaps between buildings for a more mindful student experience.


colour headshot

I am passionate about the dynamic relationships between object, space, user interaction and behaviour. I develop concepts through experimentation and play, aiming to draw poetic narratives from analytical and artistic interpretation of research. I believe that the key to holistic design is the highly relevant and well-considered storyline on which it is based.

My graphic style of illustration allows me to create suggestive images of the experiences I envisage users to have in the spaces I design. I love to test and remove the barrier between graphic and interior design and aim for clear communication through my visual art.

Whilst I don’t believe man-made spaces can cure us of our emotional difficulties alone, their ability to connect us with one another and the natural world is essential on the journey to growth. Many of us spend the majority of our time indoors and too easily ignore the spaces we occupy when they fail to provide for us both practically and emotionally. To make play and psychological refuge more accessible to adults, I feel it’s important for designers to develop an empathic connection with their design’s users and create public spaces that facilitate for our emotions.

The Capillaries

A plan view at night of the gap between two buildings in which sits an installation made up of blob shaped tents connected via staircases.

A plan of site 1, The Capillaries.

Breathing Space Video

An animated journey through Breathing Space.

Breathing Space is a four-part installation series located on the University of Dundee campus encouraging students to practise mindful behaviour in its presence in response to the rise in mental health disorders caused by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Inspired by the four stages of biological wound healing, the interventions question how we can learn to heal our minds much in the way our bodies heal. Located in the spaces between buildings, each space creates a pocket for refuge, a concept inspired by ‘the gap’, the moments during meditation when the meditator experiences no thought whatsoever. Taking cues from the ethereal forms of bodily fluids and the rhythm of breath, each zone corresponds to its healing stage in terms of its location, topography and characteristics. The four zones form a place to slow down, to wash away the dust, to fill one’s heart and to reflect. The aim isn’t to leave Breathing Space feeling ‘cured’ or to even be aware of its rationale - to take even a small break from your thoughts and choose to experience your surroundings from a new perspective is a success.

Axonometric and perspective views

Abstract elevations

Aerial views

Scale models

Studio set up

A collection of sketchbooks, models and a magazine displayed on a table.