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Student Story: Christine Newman, Interior Design

Written by Jasmin Woolley-Butler
Published date 11 May 2020

We caught up with Interior Designer Christine Newman who studied Interior Design Short Courses with us at Chelsea College of Arts. Christine will be exhibiting in Dezeen’s Virtual Design Festival as part of a student show alongside 8 other students who studied with us.

To date, my portfolio consists of my creative studio, also known as my home, as well as supporting family and friends home design projects. In parallel I have been training technically; completing two interior design modules (beginner and intermediate) at UAL: Chelsea College of Arts Short Courses, with plans to complete the third module (advanced) later this year. I’m also updating my technical skills to incorporate Vectorworks and AutoCAD.

My style is adaptable to my customer’s requirements, and I enjoy taking them on the design journey.  My designs are focused on building natural, striking, and inspiring environments.

Where are you from and are you currently based?
London, born and bred!

What is your occupational background?
I am a Senior IT Product and Project Manager, experienced in delivering a wide range of strategic and innovative technology products and transformation programmes both independently and from working within various Technology Consultancies.

How have you become interested in Interior Design?
I’ve always had a passion for product design, architecture, and interior design and chose to start my interior design journey after purchasing my first home - using it as my first canvas. After initially developing my interior design skills at UAL and a desire for more, my goal is to pursue a career change to establish myself as an interior designer and progress towards owning my own design company. I have previously completed the Introduction to Interior Design - Part 1 and Introduction to Interior Design - Part 2 beginner courses and recently continued my interior design journey at UAL by completing the Interior Design - Module Two intermediate course. Before proceeding to complete Interior Design - Module Three advanced course, I will be independently training in VectorWorks and AutoCAD.

What did you enjoy most about your course?
I always love the challenge of these courses; there’s a lot to learn and a lot to do, it requires personal investment and good time management, but when you have a passion the pressure for perfection and the achievement is so fulfilling.

This course specifically pushed me out of my comfort zone of residential properties and required me to think about the commercial world, it opened a new door and provided food for thought.

Christine's work

How has this experience benefitted your career and personal development?
This course provides a lot of theory and then enables you to put this into practice with guidance from experts in the industry; it’s helped me to gain skills required for a career in interior design, as well as give me confidence in my ability and my designs.

More personally it has also made me start to consider how I identify myself as a designer; my personal style, my delivery framework, and the type of customers that I’d like to work with.

And finally attending a full-time course, instead of the part-time evening courses, which I attended to-date, has provided an extra bonus of meeting new people and enabled me to initiate building an interior design network.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking a short course Camberwell, Chelsea, or Wimbledon Colleges of Arts?
Do it! I’ve loved every second and can’t wait to continue my Interior Design course journey.  Just make sure you have enough time to dedicate to the course(s) as the more you put in, the more you will benefit and take away from the experience.

What do you believe is integral to the work of an artist or designer, in any discipline?
The ability to have a vision, but to also -
1. Remember the importance of your client’s requirements so be prepared to problem solve, adapt and influence; it’s vital to take them on the journey with you
2. Remain open-minded, enjoy the journey and see where it takes you; appreciate that creativity can’t always be planned and you’re not going to know the end product on Day One

What 3 words best describe your short course experience at Chelsea?
Challenging, empowering, and memorable.

Anything else you would like to add?
All of the tutors who support the Interior Design modules are fantastic; they are experts in their fields and are so forthcoming to share their knowledge, experiences (good and bad) and they also take you seriously as a designer, which helps to build your confidence - thank you to all!

The main tutor, Lyndall Fernie, is amazing and so inspiring. She is fully invested with every student and gets on board with their vision and projects, supporting you every step of the way with constructive feedback to help you realise your potential - an extra special thank you to Lyndall for making it such a valuable experience!

To see more of Christine's work see her Website or Instagram.

We’re still here to help you. Did you know we have a wide range of online short courses available, including many Interior Design courses? Check out how online short courses can help develop your practice here.

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