Maggie McNeill - BA Interior & Spatial Design

Maggie McNeill is a first year BA Interior and Spatial Design student at Chelsea College of Arts.

What year are you in and where are you from?

I'm in my first year and am from America.

Why did you choose to study BA Interior and Spatial Design at Chelsea?

Because it fulfilled what I expected in a college. After doing a lot of research, I realised just how highly respected Chelsea is, as well as the wide variety of facilities they offer their students. 

I chose the Interior and Spatial Design course because of the freedom it allowed me. I knew I wanted to do something that involved interior design when I was applying to colleges, but I wasn't sure exactly what profession I wanted to pursue. 

This course lets you develop as a designer while focusing on spatial design, but you don't have to choose what you specialise in during the first year. This allows students to develop through the course, before deciding whether they want to pursue a career in Architecture, Interior Design, Set Design, etc.

What are you working on at the moment?

We were just introduced to a new project where we are supposed to assess a chosen spot, a small garden in the Notting Hill area, and decide how we would like to redesign the space to make it a more beautiful and functional area. 

Tell us about the most challenging aspect of your course?

Although it has turned out to be a very constructive thing for me as a student and a designer, the independence was a shock at first. I didn't expect so much independence and freedom so early in the course. I had to adapt the way I learned to fit the style of the course.

And what's been the highlight of your course so far?

I have really enjoyed getting to know my peers and tutors. I have also enjoyed the variety of different projects we have been assigned this year. Each one differs from the other and I have learned a lot about myself as a designer through working on these projects. 

What's surprised you most about studying at Chelsea?

During the first term I was pleasantly surprised by how trusting the tutors are of the students. The course is very independent and the tutors really allow the students to take control of their projects. 

Describe your course in five words.

Challenging. Rewarding. Stimulating. Exciting. Constructive.

Any advice for the next generation of Chelsea students?

It's a rewarding course but a lot of what makes it so beneficial relies on the student. The more time and effort you put into the course, the more you will get out of it.