Category Archives: new career

Beat the competition and fish out the best jobs first!

 

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The UK’s first degrees in Retail, Outdoor and Heritage Design start on Monday!

As August is literally on our doorstep and the British summer practically slipping through our mitts, it can all get a bit doom and gloom. But for us design enthusiasts, there’s something great to look forward to! Look over the hill and into next Monday you’ll find three new interior design courses, Retail, Heritage and Outdoor Living,  the first of their kind in the UK.  The National Design Academy in Nottingham will launch these sparkling new courses next week that will give students the chance to study a specialist area of interior design.

Retail design is becoming huge business with companies wanting their shop interiors to be more cutting edge than the competition. Window displays need to be bigger, brighter and bolder than the last to attract every last fashionista!

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A treasure trove of design gems at New Designers 2011

Well I’ve made it back from the New Designers Show 2011 part 2 which is being held in London’s Business  Design Centre, feeling shattered after two whole days of intense interviews and general press duties – but well worth it! I’ve come away totally inspired and have huge admiration for design students everywhere.

The level of work was exceptional, from furniture to textiles and product designs to Interiors, if I was a robot I’d definitely have a design overload!

Firstly I’d like to say CONGRATULATIONS to all the New Designers 2011 winners, they’ve worked so hard to gain recognition from the UK’s freshest student design event and of course their peers.

Here are some of my favourites and the names of the other winners can be found on the New Designers Website.

Luke Diaz Habitat Innovation Winner - Bucks New University

Judges thoughts: “We admired his innovative construction and use of material. We enjoyed his overall charm, warmth and character. The low storage with woven sliding doors is a product with soul.”

Oksana Akishyna - Interior Design Association Winner AIU London

Judges thoughts: “Oksana’s portfolio showed refreshing clarity and at times mesmerising presentation that was refined and at a professional standard.”

Northumbria University - Best Stand Award

Judges thoughts: “Northumbria have a huge variety of inspirational products on display. The graduates have made clever use of recycled materials-creating a highly polished and professional presentation.”

Brinley Clark - Business Designer of the Year winner University of Hertfordshire

Judges thoughts: “Brinley has got design in his bones. Passionate, inspiring and intelligent, with a wicked  streak of humour. His pigeon project is ‘shit’ – go and find out more!”

The event was split into three floors and then sub divided into specific design sections so it was easy to make your way around. Although, it wasn’t easy walking around each section without stopping to look every few steps and swooning over another fantastic design.

The One Year On section, curated by award winning designer Jethro Macey, showcased 50 specially selected designers who’ve set up a business in the last 12 months. In this wonderful room, I came across Imogen Heath who launched her first ever collection at the show. Her mid-century patterned wallpaper and fabrics instantly dragged me in. Imogen was just as colourful and sweet as her designs which are inspired by her love of geometric composition, art deco and contemporary art.

If you’re just as head over heals in love with Imogen’s designs as I am, you can bag a cushion from £48 – £55 and wallpaper for £100

As I  was interviewing Imogen, just opposite us a group of talented artists and illustrators under the name of Secret Wars, were doing a live graffiti demonstration on their white stand. Their creative flair attracted the attention of lots of visitors who stared in amazement at how effortlessly they drew – I couldn’t take my eyes off them!

After, finally pulling myself away from the One Year On section, I had a good gander on the first floor and came across a product which The Design Hub had already featured as a Design of the Day – the Tweetingseat. Created by Product Designer Chris McNicholl, who’s recently graduated from the University of Dundee in Product Design, the Tweetingseat has caused a huge stir.

The seat takes reality and combines it with the virtual world by taking pictures of anyone sat on the seat and uploading the image to a live Twitter feed. This is done by one camera in the shape of the blue Twitter bird which can be mounted above the seat and another camera inside the seat that takes an image of anyone standing in front. So in the end you get two images uploaded to Twitter – genius!

Chris McNicholl speaking to Kellie Hill

As well as the tweeting seat causing a buzz with social media lovers, some feel this idea of sharing images on Twitter of people unaware they have been papped is unethical. When asked, Chris told me he welcomes the debate and encourages it. Listen to Chris’ interview!

Innovative furniture makers

The level of talent and skill shown by the students at New Designers was breathtaking and one designer rom Plymouth University certainly took the biscuit. Michael Carroll had created a chair without using glue or nails.

Named “Tankard“, this chair is held together with…. well you’ll have to watch his interview to find out!

The young furniture maker also made a table using metal bars which resemble the shape of a mouse trap.

Another talented chap, Luke Diaz from Bucks New University, won the New Designers 2011 Habitat Innovation Award for his Eco cabinet that he bound together with hemp twine. Like Micheal Carroll above,  he didn’t use a single nail or drop of glue. I see a trend developing here!

Diaz taught himself how to weave the twine and create the doors of the cabinet, which I think make it look beautifully organic and earthly. He also designed two stools, a smaller cabinet and hanging stand to complete his sustainable furniture range.

Interiors

We’ve all had to live in a boxy apartment or a ground floor flat that resembles a dungeon (like myself) when starting out on the career ladder.  Having to cook, sleep and shower in the same room is something which the majority of yuppie’s (young professionals) put up with until the day comes and a promotion lands on the table.

And if you’re like me and LOVE to decorate but also rent, it’s fair to say that the landlord wouldn’t be too happy at the next inspection to find two walls knocked out and the living room changed into a bedroom. Renting makes it near impossible to flex those creative fingers.

Well, I met young innovative Interior Designer, Henry Parker at New Designers 2011 and he has come to the rescue with a city apartment perfect for the hard-working yuppie’s, that want to make their flat into a home.

Adaptaflat is an apartment which is flexible, moveable and totally brilliant! These living spaces are the same size as a two bedroom flat but have maneuverable walls. Yes, you heard right, you can move the walls  in the apartment to suit your needs, lifestyle or make space for Saturday night’s party. Somebody PLEASE commission this!

How does it work? There are a series of custom made tracks on the ceiling of the apartment which the walls are connected to and this allows them to be moved in the desired place and clamped down when positioned. Want one? Then listen to Henry Parker’s interview with The Design Hub and learn more about this clever design or click HERE to go to his website.

 
 
 
 
 
Images: New Designers 2011, Imogen Heath, Kellie Hill

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New Designers 2011 Gallery

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Hear first hand from interior design student Felicity what distance learning is really like

Good morning folks! I hope you are all well. I feel like I’ve been pulled away from blogging the last week or so because of a side project, so I’d like to post something today which I’m extremely happy to show you all.

I’ve had the pleasure of following bubbly and energetic student, Felicity Dainton from Wiltshire, through her Professional Interior Design Diploma studio course at the National Design Academy (NDA) in Nottingham. It was great to see first hand how she went from strength to strength and thoroughly enjoyed every task, every day.

The studio course is made up of one week at the NDA learning about colour theory, technical drawing, rendering, how to set up a business and lots more. Then the students have four weeks at home to complete their assignments and have a final week back in the studio to go over the course again and brush up on the skills learned.

Hear Felicity’s experience for yourself and how she progressed throughout the weeks. I’d also like to say thank you Felicity for letting me join her through this journey!

If you fancy flexing your creative talents, want to build on a hobby or make the first steps to changing careers like Felicity, you can visit the National Design Academy website www.nda.ac.uk, contact them by phone on 0115 91234 12 or visit their Facebook and Twitter page.

This course is also available to international students and can be done solely at home instead of in the studio, just contact them to find out more!

Take the leap of design! It could be the best thing you ever do!

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Adult Learners Week open day goes down a treat!

To celebrate Adult Learners Week, the National Design Academy, who specialise in Interior Design distance learning courses, held a special open day on Saturday which went down a real treat with visitors and received a huge amount of positive feedback.

The team were thrilled with how many people came along to find out more about our range of courses and how distance learning works. The atmosphere was buzzing and people were really keen to know more about what they would be studying, how the courses are delivered and what students have achieved since studying. Continue reading

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Isle of Wight designer brings interior design services bang up to date with 21st Centry living

The usual practices of being a freelance Interior Designer such as; meeting clients, understanding their lifestyle, presenting sample boards, working out a design scheme and project managing, can be a little difficult to say the least, if your client lives in Durham and you’re based in the Isle of Wight.

Well, Interior Designer Jo Acheson wasn’t fazed by this hurdle and set up a clever design service which meets her clients every need without having to leave the island!

The design bug first hit Jo when she re-decorated her first home, she then started a Professional Interior Design Diploma course at The National Design Academy in 2004. After the success of her interior design business based on the island, Jo aimed for new heights and is now re-designing homes all over the country.

We don’t want to give any more away, so to find out how Jo challenges the traditional practices of  interior design and brings it bang up to date with twenty-first century living – carry on reading and get stuck in!

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Snap shots from April’s NDA Interior Design Diploma studio course

For information on studio based and distance learning interior design courses offered at the National Design Academy, please see their website www.nda.ac.uk

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Aussie designer Joanna Ford swapped figures for paint and has never looked back

Joanna grew up in Australia and trained as an accountant for many years, but she couldn’t suppress her creative hunger anymore. She took the plunge and enrolled on a National Design Academy Professional Interior Design Diploma and within a week she was hooked! Now finally doing something she’s loves and enjoying every minute, Joanna runs her own interior design business Joanna Ford Interiors Design , based in Australia, which celebrates honest and thoughtful design. Joanna is proof that successfully changing careers can be achieved and lead to positive things. Get comfy and sink into Joanna’s colourful story Continue reading

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Interior design duo push business from strength to strength

 

Sharon Kearney had read every curtain making book she could find, but wanted to take her skills to the next level. She enrolled on a Professional Soft Furnishings and Curtain Making diploma course at The National Design Academy, where she teamed up with old friend and fellow student Debbie.

The two decided to take the plunge and set up their own business, Grasshoppers Interiors. Two years on, the business is flying and team Grasshopper is still going strong. Put your feet up and enjoy Sharon and Debbie’s story of success.

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