How would you rate BA (Hons) Interior Design at Teesside University?
I would rate this course quite highly when considering the modules, learning environment, facilities, cost of supplies, teaching and the time and support for students at Teesside University.
There are a wide range of modules on the course to interest everyone, from 2D surface pattern design, technical drafting to 3D visualisations to furniture and spatial design. This allows everyone to work on a range of skills to become an ‘all rounder’ then choose to specialise more so on a particular area of interest or strength of theirs during their time on this course.
Workshop, printing and binding facilities at Teesside University are all located within walking distance from spatial design studio. The workshop staff and lecturers have many years’ experience and expertise and continue to stay up to date with the design industry and current trends.
The close-knit relationship between our lecturers and students creates a lovely friendly student learning environment fully equipped with computers, journals, drawing boards, light boards, drawers, lockers etc. Oh, and not to forget our own kitchen too! For those much needed coffee breaks during the three hardworking years.
As part of the interior design course it can get quite expensive purchasing materials or equipment for model making or presentation but the university has a fine art supplies shop and a students’ union shop to get some of the more basic things at competitive prices. But because of the location of our spatial design studios the Middlesbrough town centre and local art store, Jarreds, is also within walking distance.
At beginning of the course there was a lot more lectures and seminars which helped with the transition from further education to higher education but still required self-independent study. I didn’t feel that my class was particularly big but occasionally needed to be patient when waiting for one-on-one help. With larger numbers of students entering these courses around the UK and cuts in the number of teaching staff, I believe that this is an issue which is becoming increasingly familiar throughout a lot of universities and not just Teesside. However, I know and have found from my time as a student that student centred learning, as well as individual learning, is encouraged and can help overcome this problem and allow you to get the most of your learning and time at university.
As you work through to your final year, you will find that you will receive less and less tutor/lecture contact and taught sessions. By doing so, it helped us rely on our own initiative and increased our confidence to work on a project/ task with need for much guidance. Constructive feedback was always given after the assessment of assignments and this did not change throughout the three years at University. There is a strong support network at Teesside University, both in and out of the interior design course. I have found that tutors and lecturers are always within reach and willing to support our learning. Email queries are responded to quite quickly with further help being offered and arranged if necessary.
What’s the best brief you were given during the course?
It’s difficult to say as I have really enjoyed most of my project briefs during this course but if I had to choose one I would say my design project 5, experimentation project and module in my final year because I feel that I had really learnt and achieved a lot from this project. What I also liked about this project and module is that it there was so much freedom, perhaps a little too much, but it allowed us to develop our own fields of interest and negotiate a personal programme of study. The project focused on conceptual and experimental exploration whereby two words, reflection and transparency, were chosen to initiate the experimentation and exploration.
Did you spend time on a placement as part of the course?
This course at Teesside University doesn’t offer a placement year however taking on a summer internship is highly encouraged to gain an insight into the design industry.
Best advice you were given on the course?
Some of the best advice that I have been given during were…‘Do what you can within the time you’ve got’ and ‘Get to know your style and make it unique to you’
Where do you look for inspirations for your final project?
For my final project I took inspiration from looking into my Chinese roots and the part time job that I undertook at the Chinese takeaway, with a written dissertation about the history of the Chinese takeaway in the UK.
Good interior design is?
I believe that good interior design needs to be functional, be aesthetically pleasing, and have fulfilled the clients’ needs and interests as well as exceeding their expectations.
Can you tell us about the images used in the interview?
The four gentlemen project was to convert the ground and basement floor of Emerson Chambers (a Grade II listed building located on Blackett Street, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne) into a sophisticated modern Chinese restaurant. The Emerson Chambers building consists of 5 floors, attics and a basement with rich Art Nouveau/ Baroque style inherent in the building. The challenge of this new design was to integrate the Chinese ornamental style with sympathy to the heritage of the existing building.
The ‘four gentlemen’ otherwise known as the ‘Four Seasons’ or ‘Four Noble Ones’ refer to four plants, Orchids, Bamboo, Chrysanthemum and Plum Blossoms). These are typically depicted in traditional ink and belong to the category of bird and flower painting in Chinese art.
This title was given to the project as inspiration was taken from these four plants through the use of colour. Further inspiration for this project was taken from analysing the form, colour, symbolism, artistry and the materials used during the Chinese Ming and Qing dynasty (1368-1644 AD and 1644-1911 AD respectively).
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