Category Archives: Careers in Interior Design

Interior design competition open to all undergraduates

The National Design Academy and Staffordshire University are delighted to launch a student competition for International Decorative Surfaces (IDS) to put forward interior and exterior design ideas for a new IDS Head Office in a prominent location in Stoke on Trent.

The competition is aimed at undergraduates with a view to kick-starting their design career. The winner will not only receive £1000 but will also be invited to join IDS at 100% Design and meet and be mentored by some of the UK’s leading composite material manufacturers.

IDS are the UK’s largest distributor of decorative surfaces and, as a forward thinking business, want to increase links with education in this important area of the UK construction market. An exhibition area within the reception of the building will be utilised to showcase students’ work.

The competition launches on 14th May 2012 and all submissions must be received by post by midnight 31st August 2012. Entrants should submit a selection of presentation boards from their chosen categories. Competition entry is entirely free and an application form can be filled out online from a dedicated competition webpage on the NDA website: http://www.nda.ac.uk/competitions/

For over 23 years the National Design Academy has been a Centre of Excellence for Interior Design. It is the largest provider of nationally accredited Interior Design courses in the UK, both in studio and by distance learning. Qualifications include Diplomas, Foundation Degrees and BA (Hons) in a range of design-related disciplines. All Degree level courses are validated and accredited by Staffordshire University.

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Best of Interiors UK 2012 Part 1: Contemporary Interiors

The Design Hub went to the latest Interiors UK event this week to scope out what’s hot in the world of interiors. Held at the behemoth that is Birmingham’s NEC, Interiors UK has been a valuable trade resource for over 25 years and an essential event for British Interior Designers; a useful place to research trends, make new connections and gain some inspiration.

For discovering cutting edge contemporary design we found The Design Village to be a welcome and friendly place to hang out, here’s what caught our eye there:

Modern Windsor Chairs by Sitting Firm

Classic Windsor style chairs receive a fantastic contemporary twist thanks to small family run business Sitting Firm. The workmanship and use of wood is fantastic. For chairs that feel modern and yet are steeped in tradition you need look no further.

Mensa Coffee table by Lazerian

The special edition carbon fibre edition of Lazerian’s dazzling Mensa Coffee table grabbed my attention straight away, as did the price tag: £9,000, which isn’t surprising once you consider that gram for gram carbon fibre costs the same as gold. The more affordable birch plywood version is available for £2,000.

‘Outside in’ reclaimed wood lamps and furniture by Nic Parnell

Tucked into one corner of The Design Village were these vibrantly coloured lamps and furniture created by designer Nic Parnell. Using reclaimed materials (apart from the Nylon Flock covering them of course) these lamps and coffee tables offer an original visual feast. Whilst not commercially yet available, Nic is finding himself busy creating items for commission. He plans to develop the range further by using other materials to cover the wood such as rubber and metal.

Illuskate tables by Stuart Melrose

Taking inspiration from skateboard art and materials, Stuart Melrose has produced a colourful range of tables/benches that I’m sure will prove to be very popular in homes and retail spaces.

The Design Village also hosted the The New Design Britain award which recognises up and coming design graduates and provides the winners with industry work placements.  The two notable stars of this years awards were James Uren who won the first prize for furniture design for his elegant, modular Chaise Longue design called the Luso Lounger (pictured below).

Lucy Alice Porter won the Highly Commended award for her multi purpose storage/seat/table design that uses woven material to create her highly unique style, which we would love to see commercially available! You can read a full report on these awards at The National Design Academy’s website as their Directors of Studies was on the judging panel.

Moving away from The Design Village and into the trade stands, there was still some commercial contemporary tid bids to catch our eyes. Whitebox Lighting are the UK retailers for italian design collective Emporium who make these wonderfully psychedelic lamps and lampshades.

Finally my last tip for contemporary interiors comes down to comfort as much as style. With the rising popularity of family media rooms and lounging about in ‘wearable blankets’, I found myself adding these modern bean bags by Beanbagcrazy to my ‘must have’ list for 2012. You can even use them outdoors thanks to the special outdoor fabric as these rather nice photo sets show.

Part two of this report from Interiors UK will focus on more traditional interiors, so if you are into heritage interiors stay tuned!

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Beat the competition and fish out the best jobs first!

 

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Set to impress in your design interview

 

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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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Nottigham Eco Artist and Designer turns heads with her plastic bottle designs

Nottingham based Artist and Designer Sarah Turner, is causing a storm in the interior design world with her eco-friendly lighting designs.  From her studio in the heart of Nottingham, Sarah uses old plastic bottles discarded from the city’s cafes and transforms them into eclectic pieces.

So far she’s been commissioned by the likes of SodaStream, London Fashion Week, Twitter, the Ideal Home Show and recently secured a place in the final of this years Philips lighting competition.

Read her exciting interview with The Design Hub and find out how Sarah’s made such an impact within the design world and what’s in store for her next! Continue reading

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Dear Interior Designer can you design the perfect home for me – I have Dementia?

Over 750,000 people in the UK suffer from Dementia and that figure is estimated to rocket to 1.5 million by 2051. The majority of people who are diagnosed with this horrific disease are over the age of 65, but there are around 16,000 under the age of 65 who have also developed Dementia.

This is ofcourse not taking into account friends and family who are left with the devasting effects of the disease, many of which struggle to cope with their loved ones changing behaviour.

Simple tasks like going to the toilet, cooking, cleaning and walking down the stairs can become a huge problem for Dementia sufferers and the place they call home is no longer a safe haven. As a result, we need to be more aware of how to create a safe and homely environment for a sufferers that will meet their every need. One problem… in the UK there are no formal courses where people can train and gain qualifications for designing for Dementia, in comparison to the US who have already pulled their finger out and got a head start.

Alesha Churba from Idaho, USA,  is a Certified Aging Place Specialist (CAPS) and Interior Designer,  she has a wealth of knowledge in this field and helps others to understand the importance of knowing how to design for people who have specific needs, like Dementia. The Design Hub are delighted to have Alesha share her expertise with us and we know you will too. Continue reading

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Want to get the most out of your Interior Design course? Check out these top tips to springboard you to success.

Former student and Interior Designer Karen Lane has created a list of her most important tips that students should do to ensure they get the best out of their Interior Design course and create a secure foundation to springboard them to a successful career.

Check them out and let us know if you have any more to add to the list. Continue reading

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