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Tuesday 31 May 2016

A look inside interior design at Solent

It’s been a busy year for our interior design students and the course team. We’re really pleased for those who’ve already been successful in their application to start the course this September and are looking forward to welcoming everyone to Solent. Here, interior design course leader, Sarah Bax, shares some insights into what’s been happening over the past few months, to give new students a taster for what to expect.

Industry links and speakers

We've had lots of interesting industry speakers visit us recently, including Diana Celella from the Society of British and International Design (SBID) and Alex Naraian from Adam Architecture. Diana met with our first year students and gave them tips on client presentations; she also provided them with some great advice on how best to go about pitching for their first interior design job. Alex has recently worked with students on a project for a boutique hotel in Soho, London, and will be involved in feedback and selection of the best designs.

We were also delighted to award international multi-award-winning interior designer and founder of the SBID, Vanessa Brady OBE, an honorary degree of Doctor of Design in recognition of her contribution to the industry. Vanessa is the figurehead of our course and is sponsoring our degree show and graduation, where awards will be given for student excellence and achievement.

Image of Alex Naraian

Real-life projects

A key area of the interior design course is working on real-life projects and client briefs, and our students have certainly been very busy! Students are currently working on creating scheme designs for the shop interior of Re:So, the University’s student-run retail shop in Southampton city centre. The student whose design is chosen as best overall will see their work implemented into the store during the year. We’re excited to find out who the winner will be! As well as giving interior design students a feel for working on live briefs, this assignment also demonstrates how students across different course areas and disciplines at Solent can collaborate on lots of different projects.

We’re also very proud that one of our students, Carlos Marjano, won the prestigious SBID annual student design competition with his creation of an environmentally sustainable hotel lobby and bar. Carlos was presented with his award by the Lord Mayor at the House of Lords in December.

Enhancing employability prospects

We've been mentoring our final year students to help give them the best start in their careers. They've had their CVs reviewed, completed various mock applications and interviews, and have been given lots of employment hints and tips. We’re delighted to see that some already have work placements and employment lined up even before graduation.

End of year show

As we enter the final semester of this academic year, we’re gearing up for the end of year show. We can’t wait to see our final year students’ projects being showcased to the public, as well as to potential employers. Watch this space for more information!