Isabelle Barron with her Corian desk, with Peter Watson of CDUK, left, and Tutor Paul Stackhouse

An innovative A-Level student from Burnley College Sixth Form Centre pushed the boundaries of design by creating with a contemporary, stylish desk that would grace any modern home, using Corian.

The impressive desk, designed and built by Isabelle Barron (18), from Clitheroe, was unveiled at the College’s annual furniture show. It has since gone on display at the College’s stand at the Manchester Furniture Show.

Isabelle, a former pupil at Ribblesdale High School, says: “I was curious about the additional different uses for Corian, which generally forms flat kitchen surfaces, and decided to exploit its potential in furniture design as part of my portfolio work. Corian has unique properties, including its ability to be thermo-formed, which made me keen to see how far I could push both the product and my design skills,

“I’m really pleased with the finished product and would like to say thanks for all the support I received along the way, from the encouragement of my Tutor, Paul Stackhouse; CDUK, the suppliers of Corian for their valuable input and advice, and Qubicle Ltd, Bolton, who created the Corian pieces using my designs.”

The contemporary desk designed and created by Isabelle Barron, using Corian and featuring 3D-printed brackets

Peter Watson, of CDUK, travelled to College to view the desk before it went on display and congratulate Isabelle. He said: “We’ve really enjoyed working with such talented young designers from Burnley College Sixth Form Centre, inviting them into our Leeds workshops to learn more about Corian and fire their imagination. We worked closely with Isabelle on her designs, helping her to create a desk that is both stylish, durable and a real talking point.”

Isabelle, who completed A-Levels in Product Design, Maths, Further Maths and Physics this summer is following her dream of a career in architectural technology, securing a place at Sheffield Hallam University to complete her degree before becoming a CIAT chartered archictural technologist. 

 She says: “I am fascinated by the application of materials in buildings and how the structural aspect of designing buildings that can impact on people’s lives. It’s been my dream to work in this sphere for some time and Burnley College Sixth Form Centre has helped it come true.”

Principal of Burnley College Sixth Form Centre Karen Buchanan says: “I’m so impressed with Isabelle’s desk – who would have thought that something that stylish and contemporary could be created from a product usually found in the kitchen? Isabelle’s curiosity and ability to question preconceptions is something we actively encourage at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre. 

“We are creating the forward-thinkers and innovators of tomorrow, giving them the space and freedom to research and explore in a safe environment, with the individual support of Tutors, who are experts in their chosen subjects and passionate about seeing our students succeed.”