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Olga Harnett-Makem
BA (Hons)

Senior Lecturer

Department of Art and Music

Olga Harnett-Makem, senior lecturer


Olga is a senior lecturer in interior design decoration, teaching on the BA (Hons) Interior Design Decoration and BA (Hons) Interior Design courses in the Department of Art and Music. Prior to moving to Solent Olga was course director for BA (Hons) Interior Design at the University of Ulster which she formed within the School of Architecture and Design developing the interior field within N. Ireland.

While working at Ulster Olga developed and managed an international travel scholarship which offered Level 4 undergraduates across the faculty the opportunity for world travel with funds of £30,00 per year.

After growing the interior design subject as course director for B.Des (Hons) Interior Design in the University of Ulster, Olga took up a post with Solent University working to enhance the curriculum and student experience within the interior courses at Solent in particular interior design decoration.

The course has received 100% student satisfaction in the National Student Survey. Olga uses her 30+ years of academic and professional experience and diverse background in interior, furniture and product design to help students realise their potential and professional skills to prepare for the modern employment market.

Olga focuses on creating international connections and developing live projects to allow students to connect and learn from real world experience including collaborative projects with students in Norway and USA.

Further information

Olga has worked for 30 years as a practising designer with her own design consultancy as well as developing and refining her academic career in Belfast. After graduating from University of Ulster with a Hons Degree in Furniture & Interior Design.

Olga won an all-Ireland design competition sponsored by Kilkenny Design and the Irish government. She then progressed to work with Knoll International in their design & development division in USA. After returning to the UK, she worked as a professional Interior designer with companies in London, Kilkenny and Belfast before setting up her own Interior design consultancy.

Her unique professional practice has created a diverse body of work developing immersive and unique interiors for clients across a range of sectors and disciplines, including corporate, retail, healthcare, education, leisure and residential interiors and furniture design projects in UK & Ireland. Olga has worked across Europe connecting businesses in Sweden, Estonia, Riga and Italy with companies in north and southern Ireland to expand design capability and design networks. Olga is committed to creating international connections and developing live projects with businesses and other universities, with research focused on the Social Entrepreneurship in Interior Design and the application of innovative and smart materials in the design of complex interior spaces and bespoke furniture.


BA (Hons) Interior Design

Blend your artistic flair with technology and design, to create innovative and attractive indoor spaces for both domestic and commercial use on this SBID accredited degree.

BA (Hons) Interior Design Decoration

With award-winning graduates and a teaching team of industry professionals, our SBID-accredited degree will provide you with the design skills to turn your vision into reality.