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After Bucks

Careers in interior and spatial design

Nurturing each and every student’s talent and skills to build their confidence as future designers is at the heart of our Interior and Spatial Design course. We aim to form versatile design practitioners, able to work in design teams and independently across a broad spectrum of creative practice. Our forward-thinking graduates become mindful of contemporary living and the client’s needs, reinforced by a clear sense of their own identity as designers. We believe that, without a sense of self and knowing who we are as individuals, innovation and creativity doesn’t come to fruition. Students become skilled in the use of essential tools such as AutoCAD and Rhino (3D visualisation software) in order to professionally communicate ideas to clients and design teams in the field of Interior Design. They develop an understanding of design concepts and processes by undertaking various design projects as well as producing professional presentations. Successful alumni over the years have collaborated on a variety of projects, including Alexander McQueen boutiques globally, Christian Louboutin boutiques, The Rolling Stones world tour exhibition, Design for Performance exhibitions at the V&A, and Spirit of Place projects by Travis Price Architects. Career destinations include well-known international companies such as Pentagram Design Ltd, Ted Baker in-house Interior Design, and Micasa Group.

Aleksandra Klos Recent graduate of BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design. I am interested in urban and theatre design so my research was focused on factors that make cities work, and what kind of influence theatre can have within urban spaces. The most valuable thing that I learned on my course was that creativity and hard work should be my strong suit. Every project should be a playground where I show others how to play in the most creative, reasonable and meaningful way. During my three years at university, I was introduced to many artists like Bjarke Ingels, James Corner, Juhani Pallasmaa or Renzo Piano. That is why in every project I tried to be inspired by different pieces of work. Nonetheless, the names that stick in my mind the most are Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Their work showed me how to create insane things from ordinary objects and the important role that colours can play. The best part of my experience at Bucks was being able to gain new skills, learning how to use my own creativity during the design process, and the opportunity to establish my own style and point of view by working harder and harder on each project.

Aleksandra Slubowska Studied BA Interior and Spatial Design at Bucks, and progressed onto the MA Landscape Architecture course at the University of Sheffield. Throughout my studies at Bucks, I have definitely gained a broad spectrum of different skills that help me not only to further my academic career, but also to benefit from it in all aspects of my life. Because of what I have learned, I feel confident that I have the solid basics to start following a range of career paths. From interior design, through to graphic design, 3D modelling, model-making, art, and drawing – all of these disciplines have made me grow in confidence. Also, I can’t even say how many times during my MA Landscape Architecture course when I have thought to myself ‘I am so thankful I have learned it at Bucks already’! The amount of material to learn on an MA course is tremendous, so any background in what is required is a blessing and allows me to focus on other areas. I don’t need to spend that much time learning AutoCAD, Photoshop, InDesign or 3D programmes like Rhino or 3D S Max because I can trust that my skills, which were shaped during countless hours

at the studio at Bucks, are solid. I use all of those on my MA course and it is a massive advantage that helps me make my projects more interdisciplinary and interesting through the use of different media. I am very glad that we were pushed at Bucks to never rely on only one form of getting the idea through and the tutors were not limiting us when it came to presenting our vision. My course at Bucks definitely opened my mind when it comes to how much I can actually learn with the right amount of time and good guidance. Being an average student at school, I have never perceived myself as especially talented, but at Bucks it turned out that a qualified tutor and an appropriate course works wonders. The whole experience made me much more self-assured and positive when I think about what is still ahead of me. I am sure I would not have this mindset if I had stayed in my home country. Although I have never been a risk-taker, going to a foreign country to pursue my dreams and ambitions has made me realise that sometimes it is really worth it even if it seems scary and impossible. I take risks much more often and reach much further now.

One of the most valuable things I learned from my three years at Bucks is the habit of questioning everything, which I have developed during the course. It looks great, but what does it mean? What message is the author trying to put across? What can I learn from it? There is a purpose of designing something in this exact manner, either practical or artistic, and only now can I truly appreciate it, because I have learned to notice and understand it on a deeper level. This sensitivity allows me to produce better projects as well as experience art in a new way. The course provided us with the opportunity to experience real life in a professional practice. It showed me what to expect after the course finishes and enabled me to reflect on which skills I still need to focus on. Moreover, every year there is the opportunity to go on an overseas trip, and it makes a huge difference to fully experience many amazing projects in New York or Helsinki rather than seeing them on paper. I have also had the chance to take part in the New Designers in London to present my final major project.

One of the best things about Bucks for me was that whenever I was doubting myself I could always find one of my tutors and talk to them honestly. They always did their best to lift us up when the stress level of upcoming deadlines was becoming paralyzing. I think this close connection is something that singles Bucks out among other universities. Nobody there is just a number in the register, and nobody will pass through unnoticed. I have always felt listened to and taken seriously. Bucks certainly values their students and there is nothing as motivating as being aware that you are always being supported - whether you are going through a tough time or need someone to celebrate your little victory with. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to learn from and work with people who really care.

Amy Underwood Studied BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design. Amy was Senior Interior Architectural Designer at Micasa Group until December 2018, when she moved on to a senior role as Interior Designer at Heighway Associates, an architecture firm. My time at Bucks provided me with the confidence and skills in design, including freehand drawing, concept development and technical detail, which meant I was able to get a job straight away after finishing university and have continued in a full-time career in design. After graduating, I went in to a job in high-end interior design for four years, working on small detailing to large design, which involve putting all the finishing touches to a project. Since then I have recently joined a RIBA ARB Architect’s practice to develop my knowledge of historic buildings, conservation, planning and building regulations and how the construction of a house works, with a view to potentially furthering my education to become a full Architect. My course at Bucks challenged me to think differently and developed my approach to design by encouraging me to work more conceptually and research a project before finalising my design. Although I have always had a life-long passion for interior design, I genuinely didn’t have any skills which would have allowed me to progress into a job in this field. Before my working career, all my skills and understanding of this role came from Bucks New University. After university I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to work on a project with one of my tutors. This meant I was able to build a stronger portfolio to take to job interviews. Before going in to university, I was classed as a mature student. I thought I might have been slightly dislocated from the university experience as I also did not live on campus. However I found there were a lot of age ranges, different levels of knowledge, backgrounds and levels of education which added a dynamic to the group. I left University with a great degree and lifetime friends.

… Tennis cour t pathways and planting…

Removal of r esin bound gr avel, r eplace with r eclaimed Yor k stone ar ound tennis cour t and down path leading to vegetable gar den

New beds with r oses

New br ick steps in to vegetable gar den

New cur ved flower beds fr aming the hedge Tennis Cour t


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New steps r eusing existing sleeper s, making tr ead of steps longer with planting of seasonal flower s gr owing thr ough

Daisy Munns Studied BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design. Currently working for Concept Corporate Interiors as an interior designer. Studying at Bucks was a great start to my career as an interior designer. The course gave me the opportunity to work on projects in many different areas of interior design and allowed me to determine what kind of designer I wanted to be. The course definitely challenged me creatively, and helped me approach each project in a very conceptual way, which I still try to apply to my designs now as much as I can. Since graduating I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of exciting commercial and leisure design and build projects, working from the initial concept stages right through to project completion. It’s great seeing my designs come to life and being fully involved in the whole process. Initially I worked on smaller projects or as part of a team but as I have gained experience over the past four years, I am now confidently running projects as the sole designer. The course really helped me understand the design process as a whole, and how to get from initial design concepts to presenting them as a completed project to my peers. Being able to confidently pitch my ideas across to my clients is a very important part of my job role and the course helped me gain valuable interpersonal skills. We were given a variety of both hypothetical and real-life project briefs. The real-life industry briefs were a great opportunity of gaining experience taking the initial expectations from the client and working to their requirements. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Bucks New University. The course offered a wide scope, allowing me to explore many areas of interior design. The tutors were very knowledgeable and offered valuable support and facilities that have helped get me to where I am today.

David Reading Studied BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design. Currently working as a store designer at Ted Baker. I achieved all the background skills I needed on my course at Bucks to fulfil a career in my chosen field. I was able to learn and develop a number of programme-based skills such as Photoshop, AutoCAD and 3DS Max, but also expand skills in terms of problem solving, concept development and research. I was able to provide a well-rounded skill set when leaving the course, which opened many more opportunities for me. The current project I’m working on is a pop store in Detroit, Michigan for Ted Baker as we look to expand our exposure in the United States. I really learned about how having narrative aides in design. For example, what do I want to achieve from this design? How will it affect others and is it just designing for the sake of design, as this approach lacks longevity and substance? The most valuable thing I learned on my course is self-belief. There are many people that will have a similar skill set to you, but it’s about having the belief in what you’re doing and why you’re doing it which will set you apart. Ultimately no matter where you go you will take your ideas, determination and attitude with you. My course provided me with a whole range of further opportunities. I don’t think I would be working where I am now without the opportunities the tutors at Bucks gave me. I did some work for the V&A Museum after leaving the course and even though it was only for a short period of time, I developed my model making skills. It was something unique which I could put in my portfolio and something I was happy to talk passionately about. The atmosphere at Bucks was great; I knew I was doing something really important for my future but never felt pressured. There was a lot of support and I think that was one of the reasons I was able to grow so much throughout my time there.

Jack McColm Studied BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design Currently working at Studio Anyo as an architectural visualiser. The skills I learned at Bucks proved to be very useful. Even the skills I didn’t believe were useful contributed to me getting the position I have now. For example, understanding how to use Sketchstyle Photoshop. I also worked out that for me, drawing on paper took too long; I taught myself to draw in Photoshop, which is a lot faster. The CAD knowledge sessions taught me a great deal, which I see as the most valuable to my practice today. I have a lot of projects ongoing at the moment. These are mostly residential and I’m working on a tower project in Stratford at the moment. My lecturers advised me about finding a job and they kept me motivated in finding a position. It’s hard to pin down my best experience at Bucks since there were plenty of great moments – perhaps my final exhibition which I was very proud of.

Magdalena Serednicka Studied BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design. Currently working at Basha-Franklin as an interior designer before starting at M Moser Associates. As a student at Bucks, I received all the background and skills necessary to get to where I am now. All the interior design jobs that I have had or been applying for since university always required a degree as well as the background knowledge. While being in university you also pick up very important skills that make big things happen like being able to present in front of people, working in a diverse environment, taking risks and not being afraid to experiment. Since graduating, I went straight into professional jobs in interior design, and I think that doing that in the first year is crucial as you get to see what the real world is about. My

practice has definitely improved hugely after university, as I was able to experience projects from the very early stages to completion. I have worked for more than a year at Basha-Franklin where I have been designing commercial workplace offices for highly respected clients. And I have managed to learn so much that I was offered a job at M Moser Associates, a global interior design company that will allow me to develop my skills further. I really think my course at Bucks challenged my ways of thinking. The course allows you to become the designer that you desire to be. The course encourages you to look beyond your discipline and find inspiration in other sectors of design. Having so many great tutors around you with different experiences makes you see your designs from many different perspectives.

I think the most valuable thing I learned on the course was that taking risks and going out of your comfort zone is what will progress you to reaching your goals. With conceptual design there is no right or wrong answer, therefore you should never take the easy route. The great thing about the course was that it gave us a taste of what it is like to be in the real world, with the internships that they provided. I also got an opportunity to study in Belgium for a whole semester which was a challenging experience, and it gave me many valuable lessons and memories that I will take with me. The best part of my experience at Bucks was the experimentation; when you are experimenting with the unknown you are taking a great risk which, in most cases, will pay off. The feeling you get when that happens is incredible.

There was no limit to the materials, software or styles we were allowed to use, so one of the best memories that I have was building a physical model for my final project. I was using materials that I have never used before, so I had no idea which way it was going to go, so the adrenaline was constantly there. However, in the final days of the project the whole thing just came together, and all the hard work paid off.

Patricia Grasham Studied BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design. Currently working as associate creative director at an experiential agency based in Dubai called Prisme. My course gave me a specific set of creative, technical and presentation skills that helped equip me for the professional world. It enabled me to develop my conceptual design thinking through sketching and model making, a technical ability in order to create something feasible through 2D and 3D drawing software, and presentation skills to visually and verbally express my ideas. The course tutors played a huge role in encouraging and building our creative skill set and broadening our knowledge through one-on-one sessions, tailored classes and larger seminars. Most importantly, it allowed me to explore my creativity, imagination and playfulness in a variety of design subjects, that set me up for a multi-disciplinary design world. Since leaving Bucks, my practice has developed in a number of ways. It gave me the ability to work as a freelancer for many years, travelling in the UK and Europe with projects and exhibitions. I made connections on the course who later became design partners, and eventually gave me the confidence to look further afield in Dubai. Currently, I am leading a design team and working on a number of experiences and events for private and government clients within the UAE. The course made me, and still makes me, question how far I can push my design ideas through different mediums, how I can explore those ideas and present them effectively. It taught me how to analyse a brief, how to approach the concept in terms of effective research and development and how to produce a thorough proposal. The course provided me with opportunities outside of the university, which later led to work experience, live projects and future work. It gave me a series of connections and contacts within the industry, that I have utilised to this day. The best part of my experience at Bucks was the variety of projects I designed and created, the places I visited and the cross collaboration that was encouraged, leading to some incredible connections and life-long friends.

Design for V&A

Transformation & Revelation: UK Design for Performance 2007-2011, PQ2011 and V&A2012; Make:Believe UK Design for Performance 2011–2014 PQ2015 and V&A 2015

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BucksNewUni @BucksNewUni BucksNewUni BucksNewUni BucksNewUniversity This publication was produced by Buckinghamshire New University in April 2019, and is accurate at the time of going to press. We reserve the right to amend information without prior notice. Š Buckinghamshire New University

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Bucks New University After Bucks: Careers in interior and spatial design 2019  

Bucks New University After Bucks: Careers in interior and spatial design 2019

Bucks New University After Bucks: Careers in interior and spatial design 2019  

Bucks New University After Bucks: Careers in interior and spatial design 2019

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