Academic staff

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Pauline Riley

Academy Director

Following an early career in fashion design with her own successful label, Pauline's passion for interior design developed from extensive business interests in property development, using interior design as an effective way of making buildings more attractive. Having investigated other training opportunities at that time, she set up the Academy to ensure that training was available to all. She has steered the Academy expertly, ensuring that all courses have academic rigour and are recognised internationally whilst remaining relevant to the practical application of modern interior design. She is adamant that learning should be fun. Her design skills have been applied to a multi award-winning high quality apartment complex close to the Academy.

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Anthony Rayworth

Director of Studies

Anthony has 25 years experience in design and decorative arts management. He holds a Master of Design Degree from the Royal College of Art, London, is now a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, an Affiliate Member of the British Institute of Interior Design, a Member of the European Academy of Design and an Approved Lecturer for the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies. He has taught and been an external advisor at numerous art colleges and universities. He has run a design gallery and participated in many exhibitions throughout Europe. He has extensive experience in course development and has worked with government as Director of Creative Enterprise at Edinburgh College of Art and later as part of the Lambert Review producing recommendations for a government white paper.

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Vicky McClymont

Senior Tutor

Vicky graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a First Class Honours Degree in Interior Design. She also has a background in many aspects of design, including graphics, product and textile design, she is committed to developing skills that coincide with the ever evolving nature of the creative industries. Having previously produced workshops on digital elements of design, including SketchUp and ArchiCAD, these skills are being utilised at the NDA to produce a progressive programme of study. At the National Design Academy, Vicky provides tutoring to Interior Design students, both at Degree and Diploma level.

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Simone Haley

Senior Tutor

Simone graduated from Birmingham City University with a BA (Hons) and a Masters in Interior Design. She then went on to study at Derby University and gained her Graduate Professional Diploma Teaching in the Life Long Learning Sector. Since then she has worked within Residential and Hospitality interiors and taught interior design within college and adult education. She also enjoys developing her creative skill set and has completed projects in branding and advertising. Her personal interests in interior design includes micro living and multifunctional spaces as well as keeping up to date with the latest designs across the discipline. Simone currently teaches on the Diploma and studio course.

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Sarah Watts

Tutor

Sarah has come from a retail training background with over 10 years experience in management. During this time she was responsible for training and developing teams with in-depth product knowledge while providing excellent customer service. Sarah completed both the Diploma in Professional Interior Design and the Diploma in Professional Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings. Following her outstanding performance, she became a tutor at the NDA.  She graduated from the Foundation Degree in Interior Design in 2010 - with a Distinction - which gives her excellent insight for her role, heading the Diploma in Interior Design course.

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Sarah-Jane Wilkinson

Tutor

Sarah graduated with a BA (Hons) Interior Design from Huddersfield University. She has also studied graphics, illustration and 3D spatial design. Previous experience as an Exhibition Designer has enabled Sarah to combine her passion for design and teaching together. Fluent in all current versions of AutoCAD, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and SketchUp, Sarah provides tutoring for Interior Design students at Diploma and Degree level and teaches several of the NDA's workshops.

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Odette Maine

Tutor

Odette began as a Visual Merchandiser and Interior Stylist working with one of the UK'S leading retailers. She has a BA in Graphic Design and a Master of Interior Design Degree from Suffolk University, Boston, USA. Odette worked for several years as a Designer and Project Coordinator for design firms in the UK and USA. Her design experience covers Retail Design, Residential, Hospitality and Workplace interiors. Odette's interest includes Universal Design and the design issue of aging in place.

She has previously taught workshops covering Sketchup, Artlantis and AutoCad. Odette tutors students on the Masters, BA and Diploma courses.

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Bilquees Nestor

Tutor

Bilquees graduated from Kingston University with a BA Hons in Interior Design. Bilquees has had experience in retail and pop up Interior Design. She was a part of a small team who were asked by a charity called the Young Foundation to design and fabricate a pop up ‘mobile' interior for one of their ventures called The "U"- A citizen's university. The design and finished product was successful in that it featured in Blueprint magazine and won the 'Best Pavilion' title at the 2012 Free Range exhibition London.

She is fluent in Photoshop Indesign and Vectorworks 2d and 3d.She very much enjoys Design in Detail, photography and producing excellent presentations. Bilquees tutors students on the Interior design Diploma course.

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Catherine Gatehouse

Tutor

Catherine started her early career in Accounting and then switched paths into Museum Education. Following an international relocation, she began studying by distance through the NDA and completed both the Diploma in Professional Interior Design and the Foundation Degree in Interior Design. Catherine has her own interior design company with a particular interest in residential design, interior styling and home staging. She provides tutoring for Interior Design students at the Diploma level.

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Claudia Francis

Tutor

Claudia thoroughly enjoyed undertaking the study of Interior Design with the NDA when she commenced with the Diploma. She progressed through the Foundation, BA and then ultimately graduated with BA (Hons) Interior Design.

Since graduating, Claudia has worked on various residential interior design projects as a freelance Interior Designer and has now joined the NDA as an External Tutor. She understands the expectations of the course and the challenges of studying from a distance and would like to pass on her passion and enthusiasm to offer advice and support to Interior Design students studying at Diploma level.

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Janet Bewicke

Tutor

Janet worked in the computer, insurance and retail sectors before following her passion for Interior Design. Janet studied the Diploma in Professional Interior Design and the Foundation Degree and was delighted to achieve a Distinction. She has experience in coaching and training and works for the NDA on a part time basis, tutoring students studying for the Diploma in Interior Design. Janet spends the rest of her week working with clients on residential interior design projects. Janet loves visiting trade shows to keep up to date with new trends and inspiration for her clients.

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Gill Lotter

Tutor

Graduating from the English Gardening School (EGS) with Distinction and 3rd prize in 1999, Gill has a solid background in garden design and education. 

In addition to tutoring the distance learning courses at EGS, she delivered HNC Garden Design and Level 2 Horticulture at Pershore College and Moreton Morrell for a number of years.

In private practice, she has worked on a wide range of projects, from large rural gardens of several acres to small town courtyards.

Her passion is for Garden Design Consultation, thereby rendering good design accessible to all.

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Caroline Walsh

Tutor

Caroline Graduated with a BA honours in Interior Architecture and Design from Nottingham Trent University which combines interior design and Architecture in the repurpose of existing buildings. Caroline has worked for several companies including architect's practices as an interior designer. Whilst studying at Nottingham Trent University for her Certificate In Education and working at a local college as a design teacher Caroline set up her own craft textile business which she runs in evenings and weekends. She has an interest in photography, craft, sustainable design and using contemporary architecture to enhance old buildings. She is fluent in AutoCAD, Sketchup, Photoshop, illustrator and Indesign.

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Ruth Skrytek

Tutor

Ruth graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a BA (Hons) Degree in Interior Architecture and Design after completing a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. Ruth also has qualifications in Digital Photography, Graphic Design and English Language & Literature. She is also a writer and musician alongside freelance work in illustration and visualisation within architecture and interior design. Ruth has expertise in Photoshop and InDesign, AutoCAD, SketchUp and many other computer programs.

Ruth embraces subjectivity, sustainability and uniqueness in her projects, encouraging her students to explore their own perceptions of good design. As well as exampling an extensive portfolio, Ruth has helped designers and aspiring artists positively change their attitudes toward effective design development by perfecting the technique of hand sketches and drawings before using the computer to finalise designs. Ruth has been passionate about educating and encouraging others from a young age and did so throughout her own time in education.

No matter where students are, on their journey to becoming an accomplished designer, Ruth aims to make a true social impact on her students during their time with the NDA. She currently teaches students studying both Foundation and BA Degrees in Interior Design, Retail Design and Heritage Design.

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Stephen Matthewman-Knowles

Tutor

Stephen graduated from Teesside University with a BA (Hons) Degree in Interior Architecture and Design, and before joining the NDA, Stephen spent 15 years working in the design industry. His experience covers a number of different design disciplines, but having spent a number of years working for luxury brand Clive Christian, he specialises in high-end residential projects. Stephen continues to work on projects as a freelance consultant, challenging others to achieve results that go beyond expectation.

Throughout his time in the industry, Stephen has gained a proficient knowledge base that includes CAD, Photoshop and both technical and freehand drawing. He has also developed a strong understanding of genres within both historical and contemporary design. Stephen has always been passionate about design and relishes in sharing his enthusiasm with others. Whatever level of experience someone has with design, Stephen is committed to helping them to improve and facilitating them reaching their full potential.

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Ciara Langley

Tutor

Ciara began her training with a BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin, Ireland followed by a City & Guilds AutoCAD course at FAS. She subsequently received an architectural bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland to progress onto a Masters Degree in Interior Design from the New England School of Art and Design (NESAD) at Suffolk University in Boston, USA. While there she was also in receipt of a graduate fellowship managing and tutoring at the university’s Ballotti Learning Centre. In this position, she tutored at both degree and masters level including teaching workshops in Sketchup, AutoCAD, hand rendering, Adobe Creative Suite programmes and final thesis dissertation support.

Since graduating, Ciara has acquired over ten years experience in commercial and residential design in the UK, working in both architectural and interior design studios in London. Ciara provides tutoring for students on the Interior Design bachelors and masters courses and also runs her own interior design studio, working across numerous sectors.

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Yvonne Wilson

Student Support Manager

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Vicki Connell

Quality Manager

Vicki graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a PGCE in Education and a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management. Vicki has nearly 20 years’ experience in Education (15 of them in management) having worked at a variety of educational establishments both private and public. Vicki is the Quality Manager, ensuring the quality and delivery of all courses at the National Design Academy.

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Varisha Kampulvi

Admissions Supervisor

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Alison Grace-Gahan

Senior Tutor - Dubai

Qualified & experienced in Art/Design, Interior Design and Project management. Involved in a number of architectural and design fields including, residential, commercial, hotel, leisure, medical, aged care, conservation, retail and correctional facilities. Along with a wealth of experience, Alison has gained International exposure working on projects in Ireland, UK, Europe, Australia & Dubai thus strengthening her understanding of the industry, design trends and developments. Alison strengths are not only in design but in the sociology of people and how they work, live and learn. Alison is passionate about introducing, nurturing, and encouraging creativity through design projects, design writing and design tutoring.

Photo of Azza Refaat

Azza Refaat

Assistant Tutor - Dubai

After initially completing a BA(Hons) degree in Business Administration, Azza decided it was time to pursue her dream of a creative career and successfully completed the NDA Professional Interior Design Diploma. Following her Diploma, Azza felt encouraged to continue her journey and start studying for a BA(Hons) Interior Design degree course. Azza says ‘All my life I have been passionate about Interior Design and how it impacts our lives. I have always been a creative person who is constantly searching for inspiration. I’m a strong believer that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams and my dreams have no limits.’ Azza, who has lived in Dubai for 15 years, works as an Assistant Tutor in the NDA Studio in Dubai.