Posted: Wed 3rd Feb 2016

What’s your idea of a Perfect Pub? /
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2016

Zoe Parr, Interior Design undergraduate and Perfect Pub competition winner, Andrew Misell of Alcohol Concern Cymru, and USW lecturer Elys John. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

With the end of Dry January and the start of the Six Nations rugby almost upon us, students from the University of South Wales (USW) have put forward with some revolutionary ideas to make a visit to the pub less about alcohol and more about having a memorable experience. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Working in conjunction with Alcohol Concern Cymru, South Wales Police, and the force’s Police and Crime Commissioner, the USW Interior Design undergraduates have produced a series of designs that are being unveiled as part of the launch of the annual Know The Score #DrinkLessEnjoyMore campaign, which promotes sensible drinking before and during the Six Nations rugby tournament. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“As part of our work to help create a healthier drinking culture in Wales, we want to know what makes a healthier pub – one that is a welcoming social space where alcohol is sold and enjoyed but does not dominate,” said Andrew Misell, director of Alcohol Concern Cymru. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“There is already a body of international evidence about the importance of things like furniture, lighting, flow of people, creating atmosphere, managing customers’ expectations of premises, and providing food and music, in encouraging sensible drinking and a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We asked the students to add their own design flair to the evidence, to come up with a range of options that can inform and inspire the pub trade to create a drinking environment we can all enjoy.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Responding to the challenge, the students to come up with their visions of a ‘Perfect Pub’, with elements including juice barrels and window displays of soft drinks to make them an enticing option; performance spaces; skittles, board games and retro arcade games; and even an indoor garden providing herbs for use in drinks. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The designs were put before a judging panel including USW lecturers, representatives of Alcohol Concern Cymru and the Welsh Government, and are now being launched by the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales, Alun Michael. The winning creation came from third-year student Zoe Parr, 23, from Devon, with her design called Biophilic, which is based around a theme of ‘getting back to nature’. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“What the BA Interior Design students have done is to take the research from Alcohol Concern and put in their own ideas to create various ‘slow drinking’ venues,” said Elys John, Course Leader on the BA (Hons) Interior Design course at USW. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“They’re all very different and they’re all interesting, and add to the original concepts that Alcohol Concern came up with. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“It’s also really good experience for our students here at USW, as they get to respond to a real-world brief to make pubs and bars more pleasant places for all sorts of people, including people who don’t want to drink heavily.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Police and Crime Commissioner, Alun Michael, said: “With at least 50 per cent of serious violence linked to alcohol consumption, it is imperative that night time economy venues look to the future when designing spaces for pubs and clubs. If we can create environments which positively influences people to drink less and enjoy more we will have less alcohol related crime throughout South Wales ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The best of our social meeting places in South Wales create a positive atmosphere where people can enjoy themselves in an atmosphere of mutual respect rather than having a sort of ‘drink till you drop’ atmosphere and this is about encouraging the positive approach.
“Another way in which South Wales Police is trying to combat excessive alcohol consumption and related violence is the Know the Score #DrinkLessEnjoyMore campaign . The message is simple, it’s illegal to serve or get someone a drink who is already drunk plus you won’t be allowed in to night-time economy venues.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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