Anna Mokhova graduated from Chelsea College of Arts with an MA Interior Design in 2011. She is originally from, and lives in Russia, and is the co-ordinator of the new alumni group there. The group have just formed and are looking for UAL alumni to join them at their upcoming events…
What made you decide to come to London and study at Chelsea College of Art and Design? And what specifically interested you about Interior Design?
I was recommended the Graduate Diploma course to explore an unconventional approach to interior design and shape independent thinking. Throughout the year I realised my interest in a particular theoretical debate within the discipline and moved on to the MA to work on my research. I was fascinated by the phenomenon of the sensual in perception of space, and I think this interest is still shaping my work.
What’s your favourite memory from your time at Chelsea?
Greatest of all was sharing days with my fellow students in the Chelsea workshops when creating work for the final show. This was a very inspirational period full of support from the local community of tutors, technical staff and friends from other MA courses.
What was the best thing about living in London? What one piece of advice would you give a student moving to London?
While living in London I met some incredibly interesting people and created industry connections. I value this experience profoundly. I would recommend anyone moving to London to be open to new people, ideas and places. Explore and learn as much as possible!
What have you been doing since graduating?
I moved back to Russia, where I gained some solid experience working in the interior design industry. Currently I am lecturing at the British Higher School of Art and Design in Moscow, and find supporting students during their creative development fulfilling and rewarding.
What has been your greatest achievement?
I hope all the great results are ahead, but probably the biggest achievement by now is being persistent in following my ambition. I hope in future I will be able to set up a project, which would positively influence the development of the design industry here in Russia.
What made you want to set up the UAL Alumni group in Russia?
I think it is important to keep in touch with other professionals within the creative industry. I believe forming a local community will provide space to connect for experienced professionals, and recent graduates from different creative spheres. I hope the Group will become an environment for some great networking, learning and inter-disciplinary collaboration.
Tell us about the Russian alumni group… How do you visualise the group growing in the future?
We have recently had our first meeting, and this proved we already have really active members who enjoy collaboration and sharing. It was fun to meet and network within the group, but I believe it would also be interesting to work on events open to the public. Currently I have a couple of directions in mind, which I have discussed with other alumni, who are already greatly supportive of the initiatives. One of the directions is forming a space to hold a monthly contemporary debate in different disciplines, where group members could share their personal work and get feedback from other UAL graduates and the local creative community. As well as that, there is an opportunity to set up a larger annual event, which would be interesting for members of the public. This bigger event would allow UAL alumni to promote themselves and their work by sharing their expertise with visitors through talks, master classes, setting up sales and group shows. I hope we will get more graduates involved soon to make it exciting!