August 2, 2019

Anouk

As a third year Interior Design student graduating very soon, I decided to take some time to reflect on my experiences at Cardiff Met over the past three years.

Here are some of the things I enjoyed the most about studying Interior Design at the Cardiff School of Art and Design:

1. The chance for self-exploration

My journey though university was an intense exploration of my identity as a designer. We took part in a variety of projects to discover our goals, our aesthetic and our potential.

These projects ranged from creating a performance space to designing a house of a real-life client, and sometimes we were even allowed to create our own briefs. This allowed us to choose whatever we wanted to do with the space, from a restaurant, to a gallery, to a hotel.

We were given lots of freedom as designers, resulting in lots of creativity. The atmosphere on the course was very professional, with a lot of respect shown towards students.

We were allowed to express ourselves in our work without being restricted to a certain style or ideology. Everyone showed an interest in each others’ work, asking about projects without any prior judgement.

All these things came together to allow every student to explore design through their own eyes, becoming aware of all the options that Interior Design has to offer.

2. The perfect balance between tutors

Craig Thomas is the course director and was the person we spent the most time with. He pushed our creative sides, seeing us as designers before we could even imagine being one. He encouraged each student to have their own voice, their own style and their own way of working.

Craig doesn’t classify or categorise anyone, he doesn’t judge, he lets you be creative and passionate, pushing you through every step and every issue to reach your maximum potential as a designer.

We also had tutors such as Carolyn Hayles who helped us approach the more practical side of Interior Design. Through her we learned how to reach the level of professionalism that would be expected from us in a real job.

Having tutorials with Carolyn allowed us to have a more realistic approach to our projects. She would question us and push us to achieve the best outcome possible.

The combination of these two different styles felt like the perfect balance for the course, allowing students to be able to communicate their ideas through their designs.

3. The opportunities

Here I am in front of my work at the CSAD Summer Degree Show

Throughout this degree I have had endless opportunities to grow as an interior designer. With live projects such as Villa Italia we had the chance to work with real clients – this was an amazing opportunity for all of us to realise how the real world works.

These real-life experiences don’t just teach you how to design, but they also start teaching you how to become a successful interior designer working in the industry with actual clients.  

We also had projects where we were given the opportunity to work with students from courses such as Product Design, Textiles and Architectural Design and Technology. I think having this opportunity was very good, not just because we got to meet new students in different courses and feel more integrated in the community, but also because it allowed us to learn from them, using some of the skills they’d been taught on their courses and applying them to our own projects.

We also went on trips including a visit to the Clerkenwell London Design Week, where we were able to interact with people from the industry about their products and learn more about design. We also benefitted from practitioners coming into university – we were able to show them our projects and get feedback from them.

I could keep going for days with an endless list of the opportunities that this course can offer you. From meeting practitioners, to doing work experience, to being able to use all the facilities provided in university – everything from a ceramic studio to a metal workshop. You can always find something new, something exciting to do.

I am going to miss having all these opportunities that at the moment we almost take for granted, but I am looking forward to going into the real world, as scary as it might look – I know I’m leaving prepared to become an Interior Designer and I couldn’t be more excited.

Check out work from Anouk and over 260 other students in our Cardiff School of Art & Design Summer Degree Show 2019 video: