What was it like being a student in Dundee?
Student life in Dundee was great, the city was small enough that you could walk everywhere easily which allowed you good access to the university campus, the main shopping area in the city centre and of course you never had far to pop round to a friends place. In my first year I lived in halls which were basically brand new and located on campus, between all the people met whilst living in halls and also with in my class I made some great friends for life.
More recently the graduation ceremony and ball were amazing events to finish my time of being a student in Dundee. The university worked hard to make life as simple and memorable as they possibly could.
The most useful skill you fee you’ve gained from Interior Environmental Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design?
I feel that over the past four years I’ve gained many skills with the most important one I feel in becoming a lot more confident in myself and speaking about my work. It is a big part of working in the design world and you need to be confident in your ideas and concepts.
Where do you see yourself this time next year?
This time next year I see myself working with in a practice helping to design interiors in many different types of projects. I would love to work in a firm that specialised in the restoration of older pieces of architecture, bringing them into the 21st century whilst saving as much of their history as possible.
Tell us about the final project for Free Range please
This year we were given free reign to what we wanted to undertake for our final year project. Over the past summer my Grandpa spent around two months in hospital, he hated being stuck in the clinical wards with only two hours a day of visiting from his friends and family. This gave me the inspiration to create a space where the patients could escape to take their minds off of being stuck in a ward.
When looking into where I could base my project I found the Old Asylum for the Blind, which was located next to the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow. It was and still is a derelict Victorian building with easy access to the main hospital buildings. I decided to combine the regeneration of this older building and the problem of patients having little to do in a ward.
My first step was to send out postcards to people who were either still within a hospital or who had been recently. It asked for four simple questions: First Name, Age, How long have you been in hospital and What in hospital was it that you missed. The answers to these gave me the groundings to my final design.
In my first semester I tackled the exterior of the building, seeing how I could use the car park next door as a window to the community and to close the gap the patients were feeling from “the outside world”. I also looked at creating an exterior area that allowed the patients to make it out for a little fresh area.
My second semester I focused mainly on the interiors, creating the different floors for different activities. One of the main ideas was to create a fake high street where the patients would feel that little bit of normality. The street would be interactive, going through the shop doors would lead you to other interactive rooms where the patients could be taken away to the countryside for instance. With smart walls showing a 360 view of the area and surround sound providing the ambiance, the patients would be removed from the hospital environment and relocated in a location they wished to be.
The other floors consisted of a library, private consultation rooms, activity areas for arts and crafts and a café/shop where local talent could perform.
How would you rate your course?
I would rate my course highly; Duncan of Jordanstone is not only a great art school to be part of but provides a great Interiors course. Over the four years I have partaken many different types of projects like furniture, exhibition design, straightforward interiors to name just a few. Many of these projects were done on an individual basis but every so often we were split into groups to work on a project.
We have been given access to many different skills like working in the workshop, using the laser cutter and improving our skills on programs like photoshop.
There has been the opportunity to take part in a few different competitions, the main being GIDE where we went to Magdeburg in Germany to showcase our projects alongside other art schools doing similar courses around Europe.
Model making, hand rendering, computer rendering, photoshop, sketching..and the list goes on. What’s your favorite tool when trying to complete a project?
I love to combine sketching with the computer. Generally I will hand draw all my final perspectives etc, work into them with water colour and pencil, scan them in then work into them on photoshop until I am happy with the final outcome.
Best advice you were given during the course?
I think the best advice I was given was always to be myself; an employer wants to see your work ethic, style and character. That is what they want to employ rather than someone who tries to produce work that is like everyone else out there.
Visit Jonathan Macdonald to see more works. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to offer a job in interior design.