BA Hons Interior Design degree

Student Spotlight: BA Hons Interior Design degree graduate, Gemma Drake

The National Design Academy are always proud to hear what our students go on to do once they’ve graduated. We are lucky enough to have such talented students, who have gone on to achieve a range of diverse roles both in the UK and Internationally. We hear from BA Hons Interior Design Degree graduate, Gemma Drake.

Hi Gemma, please tell us what you were doing before you started BA Hons Interior Design degree?

Before I started my BA Hons Interior Design degree with the NDA, I had been away at university full-time, but due to a number of reasons has to give up my course. Part of me felt I had failed by not getting through my course and after leaving university my confidence, pride and motivation on a subject I was once passionate about quickly deteriorated.

Why did you choose to study with the National Design Academy?

When I found your course there was hope that I could still go on to achieve what I set out to do. The idea I could still work full time seemed fantastic. I did find managing my time a huge challenge but with the support given it was easily doable. I also feel that if I had been given the same support from my previous university, things may have been different. I would have probably graduated there.

In your opinion what were the most valuable skills you learnt whilst on the course?

The course supported me in finding my own approach to interior design, as each module focuses on different aspects of design practice and theory. I really developed my technical skills which is an area I struggled with. By the end of the course I felt much more confident to apply this alongside creative design thinking.

What have you gone on to do since graduating your BA Hons Interior Design degree?

Since graduating, I have been lucky enough to have opened my own small interiors & gift shop in a little town called Bewdley in Worcestershire where I grew up. It has always been my dream to have my own business and I feel incredibly lucky to have achieved this at the age of 24. I sell unique home ware and gifts for all occasions.

Student Spotlight: BA Hons Interior Design degree graduate, Gemma Drake who set up her own interiors business Hidden Gems.

Student Spotlight: BA Hons Interior Design degree graduate, Gemma Drake who has set up her own interior store selling gifts, accessories and home décor, items.

Student Spotlight: BA Hons Interior Design degree graduate, Gemma Drake who has set up her own interior store selling home décor gifts.

Student Spotlight: BA Hons Interior Design degree graduate, Gemma Drake who has set up her own interior store selling home décor, gifts and accessories.

Student Spotlight: BA Hons Interior Design degree graduate, Gemma Drake who now runs her own interior store.

What are your plans for the rest of this year/ 2016?

I am currently in the process of launching my website for online shopping, which will be launching just in time for Christmas next week as well as focusing on stocking some personalised products and home-made products. Within the next year, I also plan to use my interior design skills from my interior design degree to also offer an interior design service.

Student Spotlight: BA Hons Interior Design degree graduate, Gemma Drake who has set up her own interiors business Hidden Gems. Website coming soon

Your plans for 2016 sound great Gemma. For those wanting to develop their interior design skills in the year, why would you recommend studying Interior Design with the NDA?

I felt the support I had from the NDA was fantastic. If I ever had an issue or was struggling with anything at all, I was given a response quickly. The feedback given after each project was really helpful and I always used the advice given in my next project. The NDA helped regain my confidence in the subject which motivated me through the course. I am really proud of what I have managed to achieve and would highly recommend the course to anybody.

Make sure to check out the Hidden Gems Website or check out the Hidden Gems Facebook page to see what lovely Christmas gifts are available. 

If you are interested in developing new qualifications or are thinking about starting a course in Interior Design in the new year, we offer a range of flexible, part-time Interior Design courses from diploma to MA level that are designed to be studied around work, family and personal commitments. To see the full range of courses we offer please visit our course overview page or for further details contact us on: +44(0)1159 123 412 or email us at: enquiries@nda.ac.uk.  

Student Case Study: BA Hons Interior Design degree

This week we continue our NDA Student Guest Blog Series with a Q&A with BA Hons Interior Design degree graduate, Jan Maguire.

We catch up with recently graduated National Design Academy graduate Jan to discuss how her interest in interior design has been incorporated into her full-time role as a Planning Services Manager for the (UHMBT) NHS Foundation Trust.

INTRODUCING BA HONS INTERIOR DESIGN DEGREE GRADUATE, JAN MAGUIRE:

Whilst studying on the BA Hons Interior Design degree, Jan balanced a full-time job as a Planning Services Manager, at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT.)

Working in the role at the trust for over 10 years her role has involved aspects of interior design, working on a range of projects that include; the 2Go Café and Main Outpatients Department at Westmorland General Hospital, Coniston Suite, Breast Screening Unit and Oncology Day Unit at Furness General Hospital and Emergency Department at Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Her role with the trust also influenced her decisions whilst on the course, Jan’s dissertation looked at how care environments can have a significant impact on dementia patients and how different interior design principles can create calming and supportive environments.

Let’s catch up with Jan to learn more about how she uses her interior design skills within her Planning Services Manager role.

Hi Jan, What made you choose to study on the BA Hons Interior Design degree course with the National Design Academy?

I have a very demanding job working for an Acute Hospitals Trust so needed something that I could study in my own time and the NDA courses seemed ideal.

You balanced your full-time role alongside studying interior design online, how have you been applying what you’ve learnt on your course to your role?

Sometimes working in the NHS, there is rarely the time to stop and think. The BA Hons Interior Design degree course with the NDA has given me the opportunity to study areas of healthcare in which I am particularly interested, such as the care of people with dementia. I find it interesting how an environment can have a positive or negative impact on everyone, including those with dementia. Something as simple as painting and furnishing a room in a particular colour can help a dementia patient to recognise that is their room and help with their independence.

Also, through designing restaurants, hotels and apartments as part of my degree course, I have realised that the design principles for these projects are fundamentally the same as healthcare. Providing all NHS guidance is adhered to, a healthcare environment has just as much right to be innovative, modern and exciting as any other project. The skill is working with the nursing staff, patients, visitors, Infection Prevention, Health & Safety, Fire Officer, Health Building Notes and Health Technical Memoranda to fulfil the design brief.

BA Hons Interior Design degree Student Case study Jan Maguire: Concept Views of Bedroom.

Did your job influence the choices you made on the BA Hons Interior Design degree?

Absolutely! I am very passionate about healthcare and strongly believe that well designed healthcare environments can have a hugely positive effect on the well-being of patients, visitors and staff and has been proven to reduce length of stay for in-patients. I chose to look at dementia environments for my dissertation and in my final Independent Study Project I was inspired by Maggie’s Cancer Centres and the Hogewey dementia village in Holland and consisted of converting an existing building into a residential centre for people with dementia and their families.

BA Hons Interior Design degree Student Case study Jan Maguire: Southfield Concept Board

BA Hons Interior Design degree Student Case study Jan Maguire: Southfield Ground Floor Annotated Plan

BA Hons Interior Design degree Student Case study Jan Maguire: Kitchen Dining Presentation Board.

BA Hons Interior Design degree Student Case study Jan Maguire: Reception Gallery Presentation Board.

BA Hons Interior Design degree Student Case study Jan Maguire: Garden Room Presentation Board

BA Hons Interior Design degree Student Case study Jan Maguire: Southfield Ground Floor Lighting Plan

Tell us more about the projects you’ve been involved in whilst working with the Trust.

Dayrooms:

The existing Dayrooms were underused by the patients and their families and the ward staff wanted to encourage them to be used to improve patient interaction and mobility. I introduced colour with the furniture upholstery and wall decoration, pattern in the curtain fabric, texture with the wood effect vinyl flooring and colour and interest in the artwork depicting local views. The ceilings were replaced and the lighting improved to help the visually impaired. Whilst flat screen TV’s were wall mounted for safety and streamlining.

Main Outpatients Department:

The staff requested that the orientation of the old reception counter was changed to create space for Self Check-in booths and a new open and welcoming Enquiries Desk. I introduced modern vinyl flooring, new chairs of varying heights and style and bistro style chairs and tables for the café area. I also replaced the existing heavy curtains with solar window film in bright colours and now the department feels fresh, welcoming and friendly.

Relative’s Room & Viewing Room Emergency Department:

The Viewing Room was not welcoming and the Relative’s Room was used for storage. Colourful, built in storage, wood effect flooring, comfortable chairs, artwork and soft lighting transformed these rooms into calm and peaceful areas for relatives to wait and spend time when dealing with the death of a loved one.

Main Entrance & Café:

A new Enquiries Desk, waiting area and Information Point for patients and visitors have helped to create a professional and friendly first impression. New lighting, new ceilings, new vinyl flooring and completely new décor and furniture have made the entrance feel brighter and modern and the new café selling Costa coffee is extremely popular with everyone.

Your dissertation focused on ‘how care environments can have a significant impact on dementia patients and how different interior design principles can create calming and supportive environments,‘ what made you choose this particular topic?

I had already done some work with the Trust Matron for Dementia Dianne Smith on some of our hospital wards and attended a workshop with The Kings Fund “Enhancing the Healing Environment Programme.” This really inspired me to start thinking about designing surroundings that would improve the environment for everyone including people with dementia.  I am a great believer in dementia “transparent” interiors, creating a non-institutional feel and enhancing the environment for everyone. In each project I work on, I aim to include a variety of colour, different textures, natural looking finishes, good lighting, artwork and improved signage.

What upcoming projects are you going to be involved with?

I am currently working on the design of a new Birthing Pool Room, End of Life Room and have recently upgraded our Ward Dayrooms across the Trust. Most of my time at the moment is taken up with the re-modelling and re-design of the Women’s and Children’s in one of our hospitals.

It is great to see how you have utilised your interior design degree in your current role and industry. Many people are passionate about interior design, but don’t want to go down the traditional route once they have finished studying i.e starting their own interior design practice. What advice would you give to encourage these people to incorporate their passion for interior design into a professional role?

This is a very good point, not everyone wants to set up their own business. I am lucky because I can bring my skills to my existing role and have the satisfaction of seeing a project through to completion. If you work in an office, see if you can be involved in a decoration project or re-design project. Introduce some colour, de-clutter, bring in some green plants and artwork.

Or if you work in retail, get involved in the store layout and customer displays. This can often lead your career in interesting directions.  I showed an interest in interior design in my own job and with the support of my manager started to get involved in different projects, which has led to this!

Join us next time as we continue our guest blogger series. Don’t forget, you can submit your questions and topics you want our student blog series to include by either posting your comments below or posting your questions on our Facebook page wall or tweet your questions on Twitter using the hashtag #NDABLOGGER.

Or if you are interested in studying on the BA (Hons) Interior Design degree course or any of our other interior design courses, then please visit our course page to find out more information. Or alternately email us at: enquiries@nda.ac.uk or call us on +44(0)1159 123 412 to discuss our range of courses.

National Design Academy graduate Anita Brown shares her top 5 tips on how to render a realistic interior render. 3D Visualisation Edison Bulb
Top 5 Tips: How to Create a Realistic Interior Render

NDA Student Guest Blogger Series: We are always interested to hear what our students go on to do after they graduate. To launch our new guest blog series, we will be handing over to National Design Academy graduate, Anita Brown who will be sharing her Top 5 Tips when creating a realistic interior render.

We want to hear from all of you

Each guest blog will feature an NDA graduate or a current student, sharing their interior design related tips and advice on a guest topic or to discuss their experience studying interior design with the National Design Academy. Whether it’s finding out the best tips on rendering, understanding more about how our courses are delivered online, or you’d like to learn how our graduates went on to start their own interior design business, submit your questions.

This is a great opportunity for our current students or for all those interested in studying interior design to submit the questions or topics you want our guest blog series to include. You can either post your questions on our Facebook page wall or tweet your questions on Twitter using the hashtag #NDABLOGGER.

Introducing our first guest blogger: NDA graduate, Anita Brown.

Anita Brown is the founder and director of her business, Anita Brown 3D Visualisation. She is a Maxwell Render Certified Xpert Trainer whose photo-real interior renders have been showcased at Grand Designs Live. And have also been featured in a range of print publications including Image Interiors & Living Magazine and 3D World Mag.

Enrolling on our Interior Design Diploma, Anita initially wanted to pursue her interest and passion for Interior Design. But it was during her diploma that she discovered her keen interest in 3D modelling and photo-real rendering.

After completing her Diploma in Professional Interior Design, she immediately signed up for the BA (Hons) Interior Design Degree and balanced a full time job, studying and launched her 3D visualisation freelance career.

Fast forward a few years, and her expertise and knowledge of 3D visualisation is now highly recognised by industry experts such as Sketchup and Maxwell Render. Anita’s vintage Edison bulb photo-real 3D visual  has been used as a cover image across Maxwell Render’s social media channels, and earlier this year she was awarded their sought after accolade of ‘Maxwell Render Certified Xpert Trainer.’

In August this year, Anita has made her biggest career decision to date, to leave her office job of 17 years and launch her 3D visualisation business full time. Congratulations Anita, over to you!

Anita’s Top 5 Tips: How to Create a Realistic Interior Render

A huge thank you to the National Design Academy for giving me the opportunity to write my first guest blog! To briefly introduce myself, my name is Anita and I provide a 3D Visualisation service, where I create photo-real interiors primarily for the Interior Design and Event Design industries.

To help those who are interested in taking their rendering skills up a notch, I thought it would be useful to share my top 5 tips when trying to create a highly realistic interior render.

 1. Scale

I use SketchUp when constructing my 3D models and I continually use this little guy when building any interior. If you’re importing models from the 3D Warehouse (a sofa for example), it’s imperative that you use the tape measure tool to check its dimensions and edit its scale if necessary.

Guest Blogger Anita Brown's Top 5 Tips: How to Create a Realistic Interior Render. Example 1. SketchUp Tape Measure.

It’s glaringly obvious when a piece of furniture is out of proportion in a 3D render, whether it’s too small or too large and this will invariably make the final rendered image look unrealistic.

 2. Study Your Subject

If you’re constructing a specific light fitting or piece of furniture in your 3D model, undertake the necessary research of reference images and study the various textures of this item, including its reflections, refractions (if appropriate) and materials.

Guest Blogger Anita Brown's Top 5 Tips: How to Create a Realistic Interior Render. Example 2. Anita Brown 3D Visualisation Edison Bulb visual.

Including the finer details, no matter how small is one of the most important factors when aiming for a high standard of realism.

3. Lighting

Natural environment lighting and emitters (artificial lighting) contribute hugely to the realism of a photo-real image. All forms of lighting create shadows, pockets of illumination and can highlight reflections of glossy surfaces.

Guest Blogger Anita Brown's Top 5 Tips: How to Create a Realistic Interior Render. Example 3. Anita Brown 3D Visualisation Modern Bathroom.

But most importantly, lighting adds depth and can provide amazing atmospheric qualities to a photo-real render, thereby increasing the overall realism of the image.

4. Textures

One of the most important elements of creating a high degree of realism in a 3D render is the incorporation of good quality textures. High resolution, seamless textures are a must! Ensure the direction and scaling is accurate and avoid using textures that have obvious/frequent pattern repeats (for example wood grain).

Guest Blogger Anita Brown's Top 5 Tips: How to Create a Realistic Interior Render. Example 4. Anita Brown 3D Visualisation Victoria Beckham Office.

Take the time to search online for the right texture (there are loads of free online resources) and your final rendered image will thank you for it!

 5. Scene Set Up

When setting up your scene for the final photo-real render, consider the field of view (how wide the camera angle is.) If it’s too wide the interior scene may appear distorted, which will distract from the overall image.

Guest Blogger Anita Brown's Top 5 Tips: How to Create a Realistic Interior Render. Example 5. Anita Brown 3D Visualisation Industrial Inspired Interior.

Carefully consider the placement of the camera so that the final render will be as visually captivating as possible and don’t forget to crop the final image if necessary, to help draw attention.

I hope these tips have been useful, and you have enjoyed my guest blog for the National Design Academy. Don’t forget to check out my website, www.anitabrowndesignstudio.com for more useful 3D Visualisation tips and design inspiration or ask any questions about 3D visualisation and rendering in the comments section below!

Join us next time as we continue our guest blogger series with past and present National Design Academy students. You can submit your questions and topics you want our guest blog series to include by posting your questions on our Facebook page wall or tweet your questions on Twitter using the hashtag #NDABLOGGER.

Student of the Month - National Design Academy
Student of the Month: BA Hons Interior Design Degree

Bradley Gibb has been awarded this month’s Student of the Month award for his Independent Study Project submission for the final module of his BA Hons Interior Design Degree.

About Bradley’s course: BA Hons Interior Design degree:

The BA (Hons) Interior Design course is the ideal degree for those who are passionate about interior design and want  to pursue a career as an interior designer,  or expand their existing skills and knowledge in the design industry. The course offers an in-depth, professional approach to design projects to provide students with an impressive accredited qualification to add to a CV.

This course is the ideal next step for students that have successfully completed the Diploma in Professional Interior Design Skills with the National Design Academy, or those who hold a previous qualification in a relevant subject or have relevant industry experience.

Covering a wide range of modules student’s will successfully learn to complete client briefs to exact specification in an accurate, creative manner for the following core projects: Research and Contextualisation, Space Planning, Design in Historical Context, Creative Lighting Technology, Sustainable Design and Technology, Home Staging and Show Home Design, Professional Practice, Furniture & Furnishings.

The BA honours degree also offers students the opportunity to focus on a specific element of design such as hotel design or exhibition design for their final project submission.

Bradley Gibb has been awarded this month’s Student of the Month award for his Independent Study Project submission for the final module of his BA Hons Interior Design Degree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Bradley’s tutor says…

Bradley has always applied himself assiduously to all his assignments, however I was particularly impressed with the level of care and attention that he has given to the overall presentation of his final project. The presentation was very professional in both the written and visual work as you can see from the chosen examples of his work.

Bradley Gibb has been awarded this month’s Student of the Month award for his Independent Study Project submission for the final module of his BA Hons Interior Design Degree.Bradley Gibb has been awarded this month’s Student of the Month award for his Independent Study Project submission for the final module of his BA Hons Interior Design Degree.

It is clear that Bradley has thought about the technical aspects of the project, but has also made carefully considered decisions throughout seen in his approach to choosing suitable materials and colours schemes for the interior.

Bradley Gibb has been awarded this month’s Student of the Month award for his Independent Study Project submission for the final module of his BA Hons Interior Design Degree.

The quality of the printed finish was to a highly professional standard, and showcases that there was a clear thought process throughout. Also the consideration of the application of the logo throughout showed a good level of professionalism to support a very creative production.

Bradley Gibb has been awarded this month’s Student of the Month award for his Independent Study Project submission for the final module of his BA Hons Interior Design Degree.

Bradley Gibb has been awarded this month’s Student of the Month award for his Independent Study Project submission for the final module of his BA Hons Interior Design Degree.

This project submission has been completed to a very good standard. Well done Bradley, you should be really proud of your outstanding work!

If you are interested in studying on our BA Hons Interior Design degree course visit our BA Hons Interior Design degree course page to download a prospectus. For further information email enquiries@nda.ac.uk or call us on +44(0)1159 123 412.