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So You Want To Work In Interior Design Education The Guardian

So You Want To Work In Interior Design Education The Guardian So You Want To Work In Interior Design Education The Guardian

You don’t need a specific degree, but you certainly require formal training for your own good, as well as your clients. I personally would recommend studying for a Master’s, because it involves a great deal of research and stretches the imagination and the scope of your own knowledge. Design never comes to a stop – it is an ongoing occupation which involves constant research to keep pace with artistic development, new technology and innovative fashions. It is also, in historic terms, a huge subject. It is notable that all the great designers are also great travellers and, thus, self-educators, drawing inspiration from foreign designers and other cultures. The good designer will tell you that he never stops learning.

Mentees also reported that their universities didn’t teach them industry skills, including how to write applications and gain work experience – or how to find an agent. “For a long time I felt that it was aliens from another planet who worked in the arts,” says Tuckett. “I think if I’d had classes at university explaining how the arts work and what the different roles were, it would have helped so much.”

When Titilola Dawudu was 16, an older woman took her out to the theatre for the first time. Dawudu put on an appropriately big, puffy dress and stepped into an alien world. “I was fascinated. I fell in love with the theatre world then.”

Design is a profession which requires excellent communication skills. It is essential that the designer is capable of translating ideas on to paper through drawings and specifications, and that he or she is competent enough to instruct and manage builders and craftsmen.

Obtaining relevant work experience while studying is of paramount importance. Students should really try to gain experience in about three or four different companies. In this way, they will experience different work environments and expand their understanding of everyday working experience.

James Dyson, inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner and most recently the super-fast Airblade hand dryer, is proof that a degree in design can quite literally make you a household name. Dyson studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art before doing a furniture and interior design degree at the Royal College of Arts.

Dawudu is now a successful playwright and theatre director working at Ovalhouse theatre in London. She credits Neal and the mentors she met as a student in dramatic writing at Central Saint Martins college in London with enabling her to launch her career. “Mentoring isn’t offered much in universities,” she says. “It needs to be, because sometimes for women of colour, or with disabilities, the door might be shut in your face.”

The industry is very competitive, and clients are becoming more and more knowledgeable and demanding of their staff. Breaking into the industry and finding the ground to allow one to develop a respected reputation requires a lot of ability and professionalism.

There is a more serious barrier facing women in the arts industries, highlighted by the #MeToo campaign following the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal. Tuckett is collaborating with the thinktank Gen Pol on a set of guidelines for students, teachers and lecturers on how to spot and deal with gender-based abuse, bullying and violence in the arts.

Data supplied by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit and Graduate Prospects

A degree in design studies gives you many options – you could even become the next James Dyson

The arts decision-makers are the old boys who hang around together. They programme work for people ​​like them

Of 2009 design graduates, nearly 66% went straight into employment. Most (35.4%) ended up working in the arts, design or culture industries. A quarter (25.5%) found jobs in the retail, clerical or secretarial sector, though many initially work outside their career field while they attempt to find their feet.

Mentoring schemes offer young women artists the confidence to thrive in a male-dominated industry – and they’re starting to show results

A helping hand can make all the difference to women in the arts. There is a greater proportion of women studying and training in the arts than working in the industry – and the gap is widest at the top. A report published by the Freelands Foundation last year showed that although 63% of creative arts students in 2016 were female, just under a third of artists represented by London’s major galleries were women. Similar underrepresentation is apparent in the film industry: the Fawcett Society reported that in 2017, only 16.4% of film directors and 30.9% of film producers were women.

Sat 26 May 2007 16.50 BST First published on Sat 26 May 2007 16.50 BST

If you want to work in interior design you need to become a sponge. You never know until the time comes how much you have picked up, so simply put yourself in the position to see and hear about design and you will suck up more knowledge than you realise.

When we are looking for a new member of the team, we would be expecting to interview creative people who understand design, personal services and the luxury market. Candidates should feel comfortable with high-end specifications, and be confident proposing and developing bespoke designs following a pre-established concept.

Margaret Holbrough, careers adviser at Graduate Prospects, says: “A specialist design degree will lead to a specific career area but an interdisciplinary design studies course equips graduates with visual communication and management skills to enable them to develop their career in roles such as design consultant, art director or project manager in any of the creative industries. Design graduates are of interest to organisations operating in the advertising, multimedia, media and broadcasting and publishing and promotional industries.”

If you think interior design is just about choosing fabrics and collecting colour charts, think again.

Malaika Shaw was a winner of the PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music fund. Photograph: PRS Foundation

“The gatekeepers and decision-makers are the old boys who hang around together. There’s this affinity bias; people hire or programme work for people like them,” she says. “As women, we need to support each other more, raise each other up – and know that there’s room for us all.”

For if you want to be a successful interior designer you will also need a sound business head on those creative shoulders. You will need to be able to develop a design that meets a client’s brief – within their budget – and see it realised. So, as well as drawing sketches and thinking about material and fittings, you have to calculate costs, recommend people to carry out the work and supervise its progress.

The British Theatre Consortium, meanwhile, said that in 2013, just 31% of new plays were written by women – despite the fact that the latest figures show that 70% of drama students are female.This is where the University Women in the Arts campaign is stepping in. The scheme aims to build the next generation of female leaders in the arts by connecting 15 female students with successful women each year. It also runs events to help arts students build a bridge between their studies and work. Jennifer Tuckett, the campaign founder and a dramatic writing lecturer at Central Saint Martins, recalls how Dawudu came to her tutorial crying, telling her that her mentorship changed her life. “There’s a real gap when you finish a course: nobody’s helping you get into the industry,” she says. “A lot of female arts students drop off at that stage.”

The project has inspired Tuckett to begin a PhD on the topic at the University of Cambridge. She hopes her research will inform government policy addressing gender inequality in the arts industry. Her initial findings suggest that confidence is one of the main barriers for female students – and one that is poorly understood by all-male management teams. “Our mentors have spoken about resilience – you get a setback and something goes wrong, so you think, that’s me; I’d better go and do something else. It’s about understanding that you have to keep going,” she says.

University Women in the Arts is looking for female arts students to submit work inspired by their views and experiences of abuse, bullying and harassment, in the arts or more generally, for an upcoming book. Full details here.

Sat 27 Nov 2010 00.01 GMT First published on Sat 27 Nov 2010 00.01 GMT

Founder, Inchbald School of Design, London (www.inchbald.co.uk)

Creative director, Casa Forma bespoke interior design and architectural projects (www.casaforma.co.uk)

Wed 6 Jun 2018 11.57 BST Last modified on Wed 6 Jun 2018 11.59 BST

Hours can be long and irregular, but pay isn’t too bad once you get a bit of experience. Junior designers can earn up to £20,000, but those with experience can earn more than £45,000.

I think the main interest for someone who wants to work in design should be a desire to make beautiful environments for people to live and work in. This is the case for me anyway. Finding the solution that you have been looking for or struggling to find is an awesome feeling.

James Dyson with the Dyson fan. He, too, did a Design degree. Photograph: Jonathan Player / Rex Features

Design degree courses equip you with a combination of practical and theoretical skills. Most design graduates will have specialised in a specific area, for example 2D- or 3D-design such as graphics or illustration, product or web design, fashion or textiles, building design and photography or interior design, but there are courses that give an overview of the whole process, so widening your career options.

A degree in interior design or in architecture will be requested. A good class of degree obviously makes a significant difference, but it would not be the exclusive factor on which we would base our decision. I would consider several points when selecting a new designer. Personality and experience would be the two main criteria. I would expect a new member of our team to be able to coordinate one or more interior design projects, to have the experience of how to structure a new project and to feel confident in dealing with suppliers and clients.

These guidelines will look at the ways women in the arts tend to be limited in their roles. “When we go to a museum, a movie or the theatre, we’re presented with tons of work authored by men, produced by men, and with plenty of women’s bodies,” explains Lilia Giugni, chief executive of Gen Pol. “There’s objectification and sexualisation of women, without much recognition of the fantastic work women artists do at all levels.”Vanessa Brady, founder of the Society of British and International Interior Design, says it’s not uncommon for her to work on a design project where there are 15 people leading – yet she’s the only woman. “Men will be front of the queue for everything,” she says. “They’ll be the first to grab the mic at an event, while women stand back. Women need to be much more engaging about their skills and abilities – they don’t promote themselves as much as men.”

I met Tim Gosling at my end of year exhibition. Tim was one of the judges and was involved in the prizegiving, so when he asked me to come and meet the team after the exhibition I jumped at the chance.

You will have gained a number of transferable skills of interest to employers, most notably your ability to think creatively and come up with fresh ideas. Other skills include resourcefulness, self-motivation, decision-making and an ability to work independently and as part of a team, as well as good organisational and communication skills and expertise in IT.

My day-to-day routine is varied. You have to learn most of the basics before you can even pick up a pencil. The tasks can be designing interiors for projects and pieces of furniture, project coordination, client liaison, supplier liaison, client meetings, site visits and installations. As a whole I would say that I spend more time coordinating than designing, but I know that without the organisation the designs often can’t be realised.

Without female leaders, ambitious young women feel they don’t belong, says Vanessa Reed, chief executive of the PRS Foundation, which runs a fund for new women songwriters. “Artists we’ve supported say that it is alienating to young, talented women to see that the recording studio backstage crew is mostly male – and that most senior roles in the music industry seem to be taken up by men.”Reed says targeted initiatives are important for supporting women who lack confidence to apply for funds. “We asked women who applied to our Women Make Music fund why they didn’t apply to another [of our funds], and they said: ‘I didn’t think I would have a chance’.” For Dawudu, the first step to help female arts students into the industry – and stay there – is for women to help each other. She’s now mentoring and supporting drama students herself.

That woman was Lucy Neal, co-founder of the London International Festival of Theatre. She was Dawudu’s first mentor, involved in a scheme at Dawudu’s school. Neal would instil in her a belief in the importance of mentors for those who are underrepresented in the arts, which, as a black woman from a working class family, she exemplified.

In 2009, 3.1% of design graduates opted for further study in areas such as animation, interior design or design management. Self-employment is often a desirable option, so some design graduates take a course in business, finance, marketing or management to supplement their degree.

In addition, “There may be opportunities for careers as retail buyers and visual merchandisers, internal communications or marketing managers, account and brand managers or in media sales and buying,” Holbrough says.

At Inchbald, students are told to loosen up on their preconceptions. They will put their ideas on paper for increasingly complicated projects, probably starting with a single space and culminating with the design and specifications for a large building. In the course of this progression they will have studied interior technology, lighting, decorative finishes, trade skills such as upholstery, soft and hard materials as well as building and furniture construction. Students may also study computer-aided design.

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