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What is: Interior and spatial design?

Lucy Field. The House of Memories. BA Interior and Spatial Design. Chelsea College of Art. UAL. Photograph: Lucy Field
Written by
Nick Green
Published date
25 September 2018

Nick helps us navigate the real, imagined and ever-expanding worlds of interior and spatial design.

Have you ever considered being an interior or spatial designer? At its core interior and spatial design is about collaboration across disciplines, working with architects, artists, furniture and material designers among many others, to create unique spatial experiences. Whether student or practitioner, the potential of the field is almost limitless.

Each project presents the opportunity to experiment with the story behind spaces (narrative environments) or engage with local communities in different ways.

As you can see from the examples below of students graduating from interior and spatial design degrees, it’s your own passions and unique set of skills which form the basis of each project. Your development as a student comes through an exposure to both established techniques such as drawing, model-making and prototyping, as well as alternative practices, either borrowed and reimagined from other art and design disciplines or developed anew. Using these tools, you’ll engage with social, political, economic and sustainable design debates both through the spaces you create and the way you communicate and discuss your ideas with others.

Lucy Field: Installation

a photo of a man-made fabric wall attached to a wooden frame, shot in a dark environment
Lucy Field, ‘The House of Memories’. BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL. Photograph: Lucy Field.
Lucy’s project captures the life of her own mother, transporting both memories and dreams — the real and the imaginary — to the Suffolk countryside. The final installation can be explained as a storytelling device, which you may encounter in person or through images and film. At night, the spatial experience is defined in the relationship between projected images, translucent surfaces, silhouettes of performers, and the countryside which is rendered void without sunlight.

For more info about Lucy and her project check out her blog

Valeriya Burmistrova: Wayfinding objects/artefacts

2 terracotta models of ornamental window finishings
Valeriya Burmistrova, Models created for ‘Weaving Memory’ a proposal for Battersea Park. BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL.
Through Valeriya’s final project, themes of urban development, heritage and collective memory were all explored. The resulting proposals, a public drinking fountain, a water well and a watch tower act as wayfinders geographically and as markers through time. The layers of meaning are slowly uncovered by their users through interaction with their materiality, setting, and their form and detail.

Valeriya is currently embarking on a masters degree course and is keen to further her research into design for post-industrial landscapes.

Yuxuan Zhou: Technologically enhanced wayfinding

an architectural study displaying cut-outs of maps and buildings
Yuxuan Zhou, Visualisations from ‘The Search’ proposal for Battersea Park. BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL
In an era when our phones can offer us the fastest route to our destination with real-time information, what is the role of physical sign posts and wayfinding features in the city? For Yuxuan, it’s about maintaining a sense of curiosity and discovery for pedestrians as they move across a place. ‘The Search’ offers directions which allow for everyday ambiguity; they are open to interpretation which means users can engage in many various ways with the projects set in the park. Yuxuan keeps the spatial experience of the park ‘open’ and puts forward an alternative to the very useful, but sometimes closed relationship we have with the city when we switch on our GPS.

Yuxuan is currently working in Japan at the architecture studio of Junya Ishigami & Associates.

To see more of her work head to Yuxuan’s online portfolio

Julia Bertolaso: Technological landscapes

an abstract macro image of a substance floating on top of a liquid
Julia Bertolaso, Still from ‘Flow of Convergence’ proposal. BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL
Working at the frontier of new biotechnology, Julia’s project questions the terms of interaction between digital and physical space, exploring the role we, as users, might play in providing a bridge between them. The final project proposed interventions at three scales, the nano, micro and mega, using film, 3D computer modelling and material prototypes to explore and present each speculative interaction.

Julia is currently part of a masters programme in ‘Design for Emergent Futures’ at the Institute for Advanced Architecture in Barcelona.

Explore more of Julia's projects on her website

Lukas Gschwandtner: User and site-specific furniture

5 images of a beige coloured chair at different angles
Lukas Gschwandtner, Photographs of ‘Wiener Maße/Homage to Vienna’. BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL
Interior and spatial designers often make use of ergonomic and anthropometric data, like the average dimensions and proportions of the human body. However Lukas’ ‘Homage to Vienna’ does away with these standards and takes instead the specific metrics of his Viennese friends to create both site and user specific furniture. His final proposal for a pavilion and public furniture was explored through making and testing 1:1 prototypes as well as smaller scale 1:5 mock-ups of particular building components.

Explore other projects via Lukas’ website

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