The Applied Professional Practice sessions have recently consisted of exploring and analysing existing established interior design practices.
Blacksheep Interiors are an interior design firm based in London who specialise in the hospitality industry. The presentation featured below explores a little about their practice and dissects the pros and cons of their branding and website, with the intention of taking this information and applying it to my own professional practice, website and portfolio.
My favourite interior designer Ilse Crawford featured heavily throughout my dissertation on Emotional Design as she encapsulates the very understanding of this design practice.
The StudioIlse design company are a London-based firm and produce international commercial and residential interiors.
My fascination and obsession with Crawford’s ideologies and designs stem from her succinct understanding of human needs and desires that permeate her design philosophy. As an emotion driven person myself, I can identify with this philosophy and understand it as being crucial in producing memorable and poignant design.
I’d say I have been heavily inspired by Crawford’s philosophy in my NMP module. The creation of the women’s centre has been driven by the desire to help and serve women in need, putting their humanistic necessities at the forefront of the design. The whole concept of the centre is emotional; it serves to help, inspire and nurture visitors through the services provided (counselling, group talks, art galleries, a tea room) and thoughtful decor (biophilic design, colour schemes etc.), whilst celebrating and introducing the visitors to independent female artists/businesses through promoting their work in the centre, either in the gift shop, galleries or via leaflets/flyers in the reception area.
StudioIlse has been the only interior design company I have truly wanted to be a part of. I find Crawford’s work and attitude towards design like no other interior designer I am aware of, and if choosing to pursue interior design after I graduate, I would consider working towards an internship with this firm. Whilst this would be a massive achievement for me, I also consider taking inspiration and motivation from Crawford’s design ideologies as a personal achievement and hope to continue building on this holistic approach towards art and design in the future.
My time at the University of Salford has been valuable in highlighting my strengths and weaknesses, as well as where my talent and interests lie.
I have developed a keen interest and passion for illustration that I expect to pursue after I graduate. I aim to continue to better my skills by practicing in my free time and possibly freelancing when I develop my confidence in my own work.
After the excitement of the Specialist Studies (16-17) module, I am considering set design as a career path. I enjoy the idea of building something transient. I think this suits my personality well as I find the concept of a non-permanent physical object to be artistic, intriguing, and poetic.
I have family connections within the theatre and performing arts industry and so this may be beneficial for getting my foot in the door, should I choose to pursue this.
The success of my dissertation has led me to explore options of publishing it as an academic journal. I’ve always enjoyed writing essays and for my own pleasure and so this is something I feel confident I would excel at. One of my favourite interior designers, Ilse Crawford, started her career as a a magazine editor for Elle Interiors. This is something that really speaks to me and could be an exciting opportunity if I choose to explore it a little further.
I’ve visited LEAF a couple of times during the NMP process to have a greater understanding of the building structure, its atmosphere and as I sometimes struggle with visualising to scale, being in the building has helped with my ability to visualise LEAF as my proposed women’s centre.
The building itself consists of a basement and a ground floor, but lacks disability access – something I will incorporate into my design to make sure the centre is all-inclusive. There are existing dividers that I would like to keep in my design as they section off rooms nicely. The are beams on the ceiling provide a cosy and rustic atmosphere. The front of the building lacks window and light, although this could be beneficial for privacy/intimacy, but the back makes up for it with an abundance of windows, looking out into Manchester. LEAF has lots of potential for a quirky and on trend design for a women’s centre.
For part of my women’s centre, I have decided to incorporate the celebration of small independent female businesses and artists for the centre’s visitors to discover. The centre will be promoting their work whilst setting an example for women who are interested in building their own business or want to pursue their artistry further. Their work will be displayed in the galleries, advertised through flyers and business cards, and even sold in the gift shop.
I have chosen the following artists and business women;
Emma is a freelance Leeds-based independent artist selling handcrafted clay pots that embrace the female form and uniqueness. Sometimes collaborates with charities such as Every Month Mcr – a charity supporting women in poverty. Emma has a big online following with 29.3k followers on Instagram. Emma sells her work on Instagram, Facebook and via her own website.
Jasmine is a Leeds-based student artist selling a range of commissioned items each embroidered with the female body. “Fighting sexualisation and championing body positivity.” There is a high demand for her work and once live, often sells out within minutes. Sells on Instagram and own website.
Lou is another Leeds-based illustrator creating commissioned art prints from women wanting to celebrate their bodies. The project focuses on diversity and acceptance and has been described as a healing tool for women experiencing body negativity issues. Sells on Instagram, Big Cartel and own website.
Julie Gough‘Illustrated Women in History’
Julie is a Swindon based illustrator creating art prints and books of influential women throughout history to educate and inform about female accomplishments. Sells her work on Instagram, Tumblr and Etsy and takes on submissions.
Ohne is a tampon business selling 100% organic, biodegradable female health and lifestyle products. The company donates 5% of its revenue to The School Club Zambia, a Zambian non-government funded organisation ensuring girls have access to a relevant, effective and sustainable education, whilst teaching its students hygiene hacks and innovative menstrual health education.
This module piqued my interest from the very start. The opportunity to work alongside a client with a specific brief whilst being given a rough budget was exciting to me as it resembled real industry practice.
The brief itself was also centred around performing arts and dance, which is a special interest and was once an extra curricular activity of mine. The client, Natasha Stott, was personable. As a dancer I could identify with her and therefore had a greater understanding of the brief because of my enthusiasm, terminology used and abstract concepts portrayed. I found this connection encouraging in developing my ideas to suit her needs.
This was my favourite brief throughout my 3 years at university. It allowed me to explore set design, whilst considering it as a career path, rediscover my passion for performing arts, and meet industry professionals to discuss ideas, whilst being advised appropriately. The design process was lengthy, during which I considered multiple design ideas, some were tested in practice – I filmed my construction of a gazebo frame covered by fabric with a light placed inside the frame to get a physical and hands on approach towards how the design would feel and look for both performers and viewers – this was submitted in my final piece. I came out the other side of this exciting and explorative design process with a finalised design idea that was well considered, carefully developed and something I am still proud of.
For the design, I created a model as my final visual piece. I chose this format as I thought it best demonstrated my idea. It was also the most suitable way of presenting my ideas to a client who I understood as being familiar with visually striking and tactile things, rather than a technical scale drawing.
My idea was based on the client’s performance history and the brief introduction to her performers she provided us with. After researching her dance company and partners a little further, I understood the abstract, contemporary styles associated with her and the company and so developed the idea of utilising the space to its full potential.
I explored ideas relating to heavily incorporating the frame into the performance. I considered a user-intuitive frame that involved the performers being attached to it, with the performer’s movements adjusting the shape and structure of the frame. For this idea I studied how Expandaballs work and looked at pop-up tent frames that snap into place. From this starting point of making the design user friendly and centred around the performers, ideas were flowing and I was enthusiastic and excited about each idea.
In hindsight and as time has passed since completing the module, I can be objective about my work as I am no longer as close to it as I originally was.
I have compiled a list of what I consider to be the positives and negatives of my design and handling of the module. This critical ability will hopefully aid me in my future practices.
Thorough investigative skills.
Good use of sources.
Ability to understand the client and their needs.
Good use of outside sources i.e. approaching professionals about ideas and not being afraid to ask for advice.
Enthusiasm and passion for the module was reflected in final piece.
Good use of materials.
Creativity – I explored, considered and showed evidence of different ideas and how the ideas were attainable, or not.
Understanding of subject matter
Not enough technical ability/software involvement – SketchUp models would have made nice visuals to go alongside the model and model drawings. Technical ability has been a recurring issue for me during this course.
Technical ability of the model- some aspects of the model were rushed or a little messy. I could have made more effort rather than settling. (e.g. curtain hooks, measuring materials before diving into creating the model, use of better materials for a more finished and professional aesthetic).
Tutor-contact involvement. I think attending more tutorials may have been beneficial towards discussing my software issues and therefore developing some technical drawings.
Not enough sketches to go alongside model. More development sketches would have been beneficial.
Photographs of the final model; seem rushed and don’t display the model as best as it could be displayed.
I went on a day trip to Liverpool to visit the Alphonse Mucha exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. Mucha is one of my favourite artists and I often take inspiration from his intricate and ethereal decorative Art Nouveau style. I believe I implement this delicacy and femininity into my own designs that are concerned with the female form and natural formations.
The instantly recognisable style of Mucha got me thinking about how I’d like my work and brand to be and what it should stand for. The core principal underlying his artistic philosophy is concerned with the celebration of beauty. I find his work is charming and elegant to look at, which is something I hope others will see in certain areas of my own work.
The typography and decorative motifs used are also elegant and keep in line with his subject matter. This is something I feel strongly about as I believe an artist’s work does not end at their chosen artistry, but it continues through their branding, how they are advertised and what people think of when hearing their name. To me, it is very important to keep continuity throughout my work, website, blog and any other platform I promote myself on, including my upcoming degree show where I will have the opportunity to express myself and show what my own personal brand is and stands for. I believe this consistency shows professionalism, which is important when trying to become a reputable designer or artist.
With the Advanced Studies in Interior Design redesign of Salford Museum and Art Gallery module in mind, I took this opportunity to examine the space and circulation of the cafe and gift shop area within a museum setting. The layout and furniture was simple and fairly uninteresting. The gift shop display seemed dated too.
In my spare time at my work experience I have been working on a version of my kitchen and creating the plans, elevations and visuals on Fusion. I have been doing this to practice and brush up on my software skills.
I have been working from measurements I have taken of the space and units as well as some photographs for details.