From the evolution in course delivery and content to the amazing alumni achievements and businesses, what began at a kitchen table 30 years ago has reached far and wide to influence design. With a growing range of courses and learning options, as well as students from 81 countries currently studying with KLC, the opportunity to inspire design continues to grow. We hope that by reading through these you will become part of our community and inspire design as well.
- In 1982 KLC has its humble beginnings inspiring design around a kitchen table in West London. Jenny Gibbs brought together talented designers and interior specialists and launched a series of short courses in Interior Design. In 1983/4 as the operation grew additional courses were run at Leighton House and St Mary Abbots Hall followed by a move to Blythe Mews in 1985 where the first Diploma and Certificate courses began. In 1988 KLC began undertaking company training for businesses such as John Lewis, British Airways, the Foreign Office, IDDA, Colefax & Fowler, Hamptons Estate Offices, IIDA, and the Savoy Group. In 1989 the school moved to Springvale Terrace with an annexe nearby and almost ten years later began to relocate to Chelsea Harbour. These days the entire fifth floor of the Design Centre East is now home to KLC School of Design with six studios, a presentation room and a CAD lab. Students and staff are afforded excellent views of London and the location is second to none with the school being right in London's interior design hub, Chelsea Harbour.011982
- The technology which is available to assist designers designing has evolved in leaps and bounds over the last 30 years. When KLC began designs were a combination of sketching and technical drawing and students received the necessary equipment to help them complete their inspiring designs. Today 30 years later they receive the same supplies. However in addition they need to be proficient with computer aided design and a variety of other computer programs. From the large desktops of the nineties to the sleek smart phones and ipads of today the technological side of design education has seriously evolved. Now it is commonplace to see laptops on every desk in a design studio and there are some excellent applications on the market to support designers. The art and importance of sketching has not died though and full time diploma students have a life drawing class as part of the curriculum to develop their sketching skills special awareness and perspective. Each student is also encouraged to keep their own sketchbook as a resource for ideas and inspiration. KLC also continues to offer a variety of drawing courses including: technical drawing, freehand drawing, perspective drawing.021983
Moving with Technology
- At KLC we focus on innovation in the content and delivery of our courses. From the start every effort was made to ensure that course content was up to date and relevant to innovations in the design industry (see inspiration 5 for more information). KLC was one of the first schools to place an emphasis on the environment and course content continues to evolve as planning and building regulations move on and technology continues to develop.031984
A History of Innovation
The onsite delivery of our courses is a combination of lectures, tutorials and workshops along with studio and site visits. Lecturers use Powerpoint or Prezi for presentations and the lecture theatre is purposely equipped for lighting demonstrations. For workshops there is a ratio of 1:10 which creates the sort of intimate and collaborative atmosphere you would find in an actual design studio. Innovation in technology has meant that flexible learning students who are studying via either blended learning or open learning can really benefit from the new virtual classrooms and online support KLC offers.
- In 1985 after three years of offering short introductory courses in Interior Design and related topics demand increased for the school to provide more substantial qualifications. So Jenny Gibbs introduced a one year Diploma in Interior Design and a four week Certificate in Interior Decoration. These courses, which have now been in existence for 27 years, continue to be the mainstay of KLC's offering and have evolved considerably. Today the year-long full-time Diploma has intakes in September and January and can also be studied via blended learning for two years and a term. In 2010 both study options for the course were validated by the University of Brighton making it a level 5 qualification.041985
Diploma and Certificate Courses
The Certificate can now be studied full time over ten weeks or part time over the course of a year and is entitled the Certificate in Interior Design. This change of title reflects the overall changes within the profession and increased emphasis on spatial planning and technology.
- It has always been a priority to ensure that the content of every course at KLC is relevant for a vocation in interior design. For that reason the School has endeavoured to invite key figures in the design industry to lecture students. Some are furniture designers; others are architects and interior designers as well as garden designers. Over the years guests have included: Kevin McCloud, Bruce Monro and Mrs Jean Monroe along with James Soane, Suzy Hoodless, Justin van Breda, Daniel Hopwood, Kelly Hoppen, Nina Campbell, Rashid Din, Mark Wilkinson, Mark Humphrey, David Keech David Collins, Sue Timney, Andy Sturgeon and Joe Swift as well as Sarah Jane Price.051986
The visiting lectures provide students with a fascinating insight into what influences the designer's work and the guests are always happy to answer many questions. By encouraging a wide variety of designers to speak students are able to consider how their education will enable them to participate in a variety of design-related vocations and this can greatly assist them in planning for their future careers.
- KLC School of Design was one of the very first schools to introduce open learning courses in Interior Design and Garden Design. The first course was the OL Diploma which was released in 1987. Since then the course has been regularly revised and updated, evolving away from the original "correspondence course" towards an online format including lectures and visual presentations. The great advantage of open learning is that students study at their own pace and in their own homes, making it ideal for people with work or family commitments or those who live far from the school and want to study for a vocational qualification. For this reason open learning has always attracted a wide variety of students from all corners of the world and currently has students in 82 different countries.061987
Open Learning Begins
Following the success of the open learning Interior Design Diploma, other courses soon followed: In 2000 OL courses in Garden Design, Antiques, Decorative Paint Finishes and Certificate courses in Interior and Garden Design were developed. In 2005 the KLC "Design Your Own Home" course was launched in collaboration with Homes & Gardens magazine. 2005 also saw the inauguration of the very popular "Designing with Plants" course. KLC Open Learning continues to go from strength to strength and this year celebrates 25 years of inspiring design!
- Over the last 30 years KLC has established a number of strong partnerships within the interior design industry. KLC has been partners in product design, community projects, and reader's days for magazines, sponsored courses and scholarships (see design inspirations number 12, 14, 16 and 27). Another way in which KLC has partnered with businesses within the interior design industry is to provide staff training for businesses. Companies which KLC has offered additional training for include John Lewis, British Airways, the Foreign Office, IDDA, Hamptons Estate Offices, IIDA, Colefax and Fowler, the Savoy Group and Brewers. The courses have each been tailored to the needs of the company so the businesses get a bespoke training service.071988
Industry Training Partnerships
- The Tutors at KLC are a talented team. They have their own clients and many continue to design and redesign their own homes. Recently Diana McKnight, Julia Begbie, Kevin McEwen, Simon Dodsworth and Kate Hildred joined forces to work on a project for a well-known London theatrical venue. Some of the other ways in which KLC's tutors continue to practise design are: • Commercial design, retail and hospitality design • High-end residential design: penthouses, apartments and country houses • Show-home design, decorating, interior styling and room styling, accessorising • Design co-ordination • Interior perspectives, digital illustration, Photoshop, CAD , Vectorworks, Sketchup • Graphic illustration, colour rendering and freehand drawing • Garden and landscape design • Branding and advertising design • Renovating and refurbishing period and listed properties; • Sourcing and restoring vintage furniture • Floor/wall coverings, window treatments • Lighting design and lighting • Aircraft refurbishment. • Technical spatial planning081989
KLC Staff Projects
- KLC Alumni have long been achieving recognition for the amazing spaces they design. In 2011 a selection of KLC Alumni were represented in the Andrew Martin Interior Design Review. Here is a round-up of familiar faces: Carl Emil Erikson, Mirka McNeil Farmer, Orla Collins (Purple Design), Mary Gannon and Cynthia Garcia, Honky Design where Rose Brown and Hannah Birtwistle are employed. Other design practices with KLC Alumni include: Katharine Pooley, Taylor Howes, Argent, Candy & Candy, Design Solutions, Joanna Wood, Federica Palacios and Fiona Barratt. KLC's affiliate, Details School in Moscow, has several of their alumni in here too! KLC Alumni have also been achieving great heights in other arenas as well; here is a small selection: • Jane Price-Stephens has a blog called 'A Design for Life' which was in the final of the 2011 Decorex Loves Blogger competition and she was also the interior design blogger for Interiors UK. • Two KLC Alumni Carole King and Adrianna Trappanni had award winning blogs and have now created their own online magazine called Hearthome. • Adrienne Chinn produced an award winning wallpaper and was recently invited to create an envelope for the Pushing the Envelope charity auction. • Spectacular Homes of London published in 2009 is a coffee-table book devoted to the best in interior design showcasing more than 40 highly respected designers. The book features Emma Pocock, of Turner Pocock and Tina Weaver of Tina Weaver Designs.091990
- It is a priority for KLC School of Design to maintain the highest possible standard for its teaching and qualifications, so we continue to work hard to retain and raise our standards of accreditation and to continually improve the education we offer our students. KLC is recognised by the following professional bodies:-101991
British Accreditation Council (BAC)
KLC School of Design was first accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC) for Independent Further and Higher Education in April 1991 and was most recently reinspected in February 2011. BAC's inspectors reported on an overall excellent level of provision in the College. They considered in particular that the working and learning environment was high quality, the staff team was committed, professional and well qualified, and graduates are provided with valuable continuing professional development. KLC was awarded continuing accreditation in April 2011.
Open & Distance Learning Quality Council (ODLQC)
The Open & Distance Learning Quality Council reviews our Open Learning courses on a regular basis. In their last report Dr David Morley, Chief Executive of ODLQC, said that KLC provides "a strong professional base, a first-class system of tutorial support, and a wide and imaginative range of services to supplement the core distance learning provision." KLC School of Design has been licensed by the UK Border Agency to enrol international students under Tier 4 of the Points Based System. In 2010 KLC's full-time and blended-learning Diploma was validated by the University of Brighton. See Design Inspiration number 29 for more information.
- A certificate course has been part of the KLC programme since 1985, it began as a four week full time course and in 1992 it was expanded to ten weeks. The course proved so popular it runs three times a year and can also be completed as a part-time year-long course. Originally entitled the Certificate in Interior Decoration the course was renamed in the last year to reflect the design nature of its content and is now entitled the 10 Week Certificate in Interior Design. It focuses on residential interiors and the skills gained will enable graduates to: • Follow design process to include taking the brief, analysing the client's requirements and consider varying solutions in order to reach the best result • Draw plans and elevations • Plan kitchens and bathrooms • Plan furniture and simple lighting layouts • Source materials and finishes for residential design • Create sample boards • Estimate quantities • Write decorative and soft furnishing specifications • Select suitable window treatments, textiles, trimmings, wall and floor coverings • Put together decorative schemes • Style interiors111992
Certificate Extended 4-10 Weeks
For those looking for a career change KLC's ten week Certificate in Interior Design is ideal. Graduates from the Certificate in Interior Design have gone on to: • Establish leading lighting design companies. • Import exquisite textiles and furnishings. • Develop ranges of soft furnishings. • Build successful interior design studios / Work for established design practices.
- Many of the residential and commercial projects completed by KLC students are proposed by our industry partners and based on real clients. Over the years projects have included: • For Interior Design Diploma students to focus on detailed working drawings and to consider the practical and holistic requirements of the smooth running of such a specialist space, the design of a nurse's station at Great Ormond Street Hospital and in contrast conceptual designs for the refurbishment of the famous Fat Duck restaurant. • For Garden Design Diploma students the opportunity to redesign the garden for Nina Campbell's offices. The designs of Jo Whitfield-Jones and Rupert Bonsor were implemented in early 2011 • Interior Design Certificate students under took designs for a city apartment for Berkeley Homes and the Kingston Shaw show house in Liverpool • An effective elegant design by Open Learning student Philippe Bougue was chosen for the VIP Tent for Deep restaurant at the 2009 Glastonbury Festival121993
Spaces and Places Designed by Students
- Whenever you enter a studio at KLC it is evident that the students come from near and far to study interior design. The school becomes a capsule in time for many to meet and share ideas before they disperse to various corners of the world. In the last year we have had fantastic stories from graduates in New York, Finland, Switzerland, India, Scotland, Singapore and New Zealand to name a few.131994
International Students in
While a number of students attending courses at KLC are international the reach through open learning is far and wide. When this is represented by pins on a map there are a total of 81 pins. This makes Gus, our post officer, very special as each day he carefully packages and posts work to travel across the world.
The KLC tutors also reflect this international environment with representatives from the many corners of the world, international students in the studios can generally find a tutor who speaks their native language.
- In 1995 KLC School of Design began to take part in homes fairs by designing room sets. The students' room sets would always be based on a theme and would be judged. Events that KLC participated in included the Ideal Home show, Homes & Gardens in 1995 and 1996 followed by House & Garden and the Spirit fairs between 1997 and 2000. In 2002 at the House & Garden /Daily Telegraph Spirit of Christmas graduates from KLC presented festive room sets with the theme Christmas Splendour. The sets received awards as follows:141995
Gold - The Gold roomset by Louise Gummer, Dip KLC 1994, and Pia Markerud, Cert KLC 2001, was a cosy dining room incorporating their own take on Scandinavian style.
Silver – The Silver roomset by Clare Howard, Cert KLC Hons 2000, was a lavish dining room that would suit a young family or a professional couple who like to have fun at Christmas and make an impact.
Bronze – The Bronze roomset by Judy Jarman, Open Learning Dip KLC 1995, and her colleagues at "design3" was a comfortable contemporary dining room with an ethnic slant.
- What do Turner Pocock, HeartHome magazine, and EQ Interiors have in common? They are all businesses partnerships established through the KLC network. The majority of graduates from KLC have their ultimate goal as going into business and many get some experience working for other studios before establishing their own design business. Then as their client base grows and design specifications increase they pair up for projects. For example Anna Burles and Paul Langston are fellow graduates who worked together on the SYZYGY project, the dramatic transformation of a 10,000 sqft Creative Advertising Agency office in London.151996
Alumni in Business Together
Another design team was made up of Mary Gannon who worked with fellow KLC Graduate, Cynthia Garcia, as her senior associate, on a project to design the Jimi Hendrix Suite at the Cumberland Hotel.
Arianna Trapani and Carole King together with Daniel Nelson launched Heart Home Magazine in 2011. Arianna and Carole both completed the Certificate in Interior Decoration at KLC and are both avid bloggers. "Having done the same course and also sharing the same vision we knew we could work together" said Arianna, "The idea of this magazine was to create the first UK digital lifestyle magazine championing British design" she continued.
EQ interiors consist of Emily Keith and Natalie Barker. "Emily and I met 5 years ago at KLC," said Natalie. "I was the BL support tutor and Emily was the BL course tutor. We hit it off immediately and found that we both worked really well together. Emily's class graduated in 2010 and she began to focus on her business full time whilst growing a family. I remained at KLC until 2012."
- In 1997 KLC together with the World of Interiors magazine introduced a World of Interiors Scholarship. We worked with the then Editor Min Hogg and ran it for two years. The first year's winner entered a photograph of a bathroom she had decorated entirely with shells. After it was featured in WOI she had too much work to take up the free place on the Diploma Course after all! The winner the following year was Mary Digance who was a nurse who wanted to do interior design and she came top in her year.161997
In 2005 KLC launched a new course in conjunction with Homes & Gardens magazine. The open learning course is entitled Design Your Own Home. It is a beautifully presented course developed for people who wish to take a professional approach to their own interior decoration projects. It covers the key principles of interior design and provides you with the skills and support to use you home as a project. Studying from home has great benefits as well. You can manage your course timetable so it fits around work and family commitments. It is a great way to make the most of KLC's excellent teaching material and support networks without needing to be based nearby.
KLC regularly hosts reader's days for the likes of Living etc, House Beautiful and The English Garden. These days are based on a seasonal trend or theme in design. Recent themes have been Back to the Future, Eclectic Design and Be your own Interior Designer.
We are also delighted to have collaborated with Livingetc for their recent House Tours. The tours took place in North London and West London and KLC provided around 150 volunteers to help out at the events ensuring the safety of the houses, visitors and homeowners.
KLC is also supporting the Country Living Table Talent Awards by sponsoring the Best Home category.
- KLC's Careers Services were in embryonic form in 1998 and were formally established in 2000, the department has been growing ever since. The dedicated Careers Department is a fantastic free service to assist our graduates with finding employment. Marcy Brown is the Director of Careers, and takes great care to match the skills and aspirations of an applicant to the requirements of a particular design practice. "The careers service is bespoke," says Marcy, "employment enquiries come from all the different disciplines within the design world including our strong alumni and extensive industry links as well as employment agencies." Many design studios return time and time again to request graduates for internships and work placements. They may also peruse the Graduate Exhibition to select graduates who may be suitable for their design practice.171998
The buzz in the industry is reflected in the Student Forum where job vacancies are regularly posted. Graduates are able to log on and see vacancies and apply through Marcy for job opportunities.
Garden design job opportunities are often referred through Annie Guilfoyle who says she "talks to students and can point them in the right direction." Annie also gets a call about once a week from people looking for garden designers so she is regularly referring graduates for work.
- KLC began to teach Garden Design in 1999 at the studios in Chelsea Harbour with a 10 week Certificate Course in Plants and Planting Design. This proved extremely popular and so the following year we started the full time Diploma Course, an intensive course packed with challenging projects.181999
Garden Design Launched
Many of our graduates have gone on to work in prestigious landscape design practices around the world as well as setting up their own design studios. KLC keeps in touch with the alumni and follows their achievements with great pride. For example Philip Woodburn who completed the KLC Diploma in Landscape Design in 2006 and established his own practice Fork Garden Design Ltd in 2010. The business started out with small projects but has now formed good relationships with several property developers who work primarily in Knightbridge and Kensington. These projects are normally very high spec and have average budgets of £40-£50k.
The Garden Design course projects are often based on actual gardens with clients who brief the students and attend presentations. This year the final project for the Diploma in Garden Design was based on The National Trust Gardens of Mottisfont. The students worked in conjunction with The Head Gardener, David Stone to re-design The Old Frameyard, an area formerly used for growing fruit and vegetables and latterly was even a car park. A key part of the brief was to ensure that this area would act as an 'appetiser' for the jewel in the crown, which is the world-famous Rose Garden. The Mottisfont team who came to review the work were most impressed with the creative thinking and design outcomes from the project.
- Studying Garden Design from home requires great discipline and drive and KLC has offered Garden Design open learning courses for many years now. It all began in 1999 when KLC launched Be Your Own Garden Designer, written by Director of Garden Design Annie Guilfoyle. This course was aimed at people who really wanted to design their own gardens and it proved to be so popular that demand soon grew for a professional open learning course. This led to the development of a more career-orientated course, the Open Learning Diploma in Garden Design. The next development, Designing with Plants, however, particularly focuses on plants and planting design and really appeals to those for whom plants are something of a passion. Garden Design open learning students have had considerable success in competitions even as they continue to study:192000
The Open Learning Diploma in Garden Design
• In 2010 Kim Woods Rabbidge won in two categories of The Society of Garden Designers photography competition. • In May 2011 Barrie Thompson won the Southport Flower Show Student Garden Design Competition. Barrie built his garden design for the show and it was awarded a Large Gold. • Christopher Tessier's garden based on the 'atom' theme was awarded a RHS Silver Flora Medal at the 2011 Malvern Spring Gardening Show.
- KLC has three affiliate Schools in very different design locations firstly there is Details School Moscow, then Machida Academy in Japan and also Cread in Lion, France.202001
Details School Moscow began in 2000 and has been put firmly at the forefront of the Russian design world by its charismatic Director Tanya Rogova. When Details school visits the UK KLC hosts a master-class to provide graduates with a greater depth of knowledge in specific design-related areas, traditional and current trends and eminent UK designers. It is not unusual for end of course celebrations to involve a little vodka and caviar!
The Machida Academy has its headquarters in Tokyo with several branches around Japan where indigenous skills and crafts are taught in addition to the fundamental design skills. The management are supporting a strong move in Japan to raise the profile of the interior decorator/designer and a KLC master class, which is intended for working professionals and Machida graduates, is part of that programme. The first week focuses on the development of style and lectures at the school are combined with a fascinating series of field trips while the second week is a combination of lectures and workshops on various aspects of contemporary design and decoration in the UK. Both courses are timed to take advantage of the many design exhibitions in London in September.
Careers Placements and Partnerships
Work shadowing, work experience and job placements began in earnest in 2002. For Diploma students their placements may be for a week or so in the Easter break or summer holidays. Once students have graduated they can keep in touch with Marcy Brown, Careers Director, whose role is to help them make a successful transition from course to workplace. The placements vary and can be for lighting design, general interior design, in showrooms or even magazine work. It can consist of drawing plans, site visits, technical input, sourcing and sample boards, depending on the firm and the work they have on at the time. Marcy takes particular care to ensure there is a good fit between the graduate and the design studio and, as a result, work placements often become full time employment.
As KLC has grown the Alumni continue to liaise with Marcy for the recruitment of interns and designers. There are regular requests for senior designers so it is a good idea to keep in touch with Marcy because she can assist graduates throughout their career. Some of the businesses we regularly supply interns to are The Studio at Harrods, Taylor Howes, Candy & Candy, Joanna Wood, Todhunter Earle, Cochrane Design
- At KLC it is not only the students who achieve in the design area. But also the staff. Tutors regularly undertake design projects of their own, study to update their knowledge and develop their teaching skills, or are invited to sit on judging panels and give talks outside the school.222003
KLC Staff Achievements
In 2011 Diana McKnight, KLC Director of Studies, and Julia Begbie, KLC Director of Flexible Learning, both achieved a Distinction Award for their Postgraduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education. This one year part time course requires 600 hours of study which relates to the teachers' work environments and subject matter. This year Simon Dodsworth and Kate Hildred are studying the same course.
Jenny Gibbs, the Principal of KLC and other staff are regularly invited to judge various design awards and, in the last year, these have included The Deco Debutante Award, The Savoir Beds Design Grand Prix, The Hotelympia Design Award and the International Property Awards.
Over the years KLC tutors have given talks at design shows including Decorex, Grand Designs and the London Festival and KLC has also worked in conjunction with Design Centre Chelsea Harbour and Living etc magazine to provide Master Classes at London Design Week and Focus which always involve members of the tutor team.
- While technology used in the teaching studio has seriously evolved so has the use of technology in commercial and residential property. Lighting is an excellent example of this. KLC's current Advance Lighting Workshop now covers; harnessing natural light, the change in lighting and lamp regulations and specifications as well as the clever use of LEDs to create spaces with atmosphere and elegance along with specifying lighting from circuits to fittings and lamps for a space.232004
Technology in Design
Technology has also added to advances in materials which a designer may specify, heating techniques, such as eco-friendly fireplaces and under floor heating, as well as security and entertainment systems. The integration of a number of these factors also needs to be part of the interior designers' repertoire. Every room has been impacted by technological change and designers need to be equipped in their sourcing techniques to supply the best solutions for a space.
A KLC graduate who has been inspiring lighting design is Rebecca Weir who is the Design Director of Light IQ, an innovative and award winning independent lighting consultancy. Rebecca's design career started almost 15 years ago as a student at KLC. Light IQ was established by Rebecca in 2001 after three successful years at John Cullen Lighting. Rebecca's team has now completed in excess of 800 projects, ranging from hotels, bars and cutting edge restaurants to luxury private homes world-wide. Last year Light IQ won a prestigious RIBA award for the sensitive development and stunning contemporary extension of a listed Mill House. Rebecca works closely with private clients, high profile Architects, interior and landscape designers on a variety of projects ranging from listed buildings and gardens to state of the art contemporary new builds.
- Over 30 books have been written by KLC lecturers and tutors. Jenny Gibbs is the author of 5 books, her most recent, Interior Design: A Practical Guide has been translated into 8 different languages including Chinese and Japanese. This book aims to inspire new designers and describes the qualities and skills needed to become an interior designer, examines the varied career opportunities available and gives a balanced inside view of the interior design business today.242005
KLC Authors: Over 30 Books
Simon Dodsworth was the author of The Fundamentals of Interior Design published in early 2009. The book is part of a series of educational books published by AVA Publishing, and is intended to fulfil students' and teachers' needs and allow professionals of all levels to understand new approaches to creating good design.
Jill Blake, who was head of KLC Open Learning for twenty years, is the author of a string of interior design titles, Morwenna Brett has written specialist books on tiling and soft furnishings, and guest lecturer Judith Wilson is another prolific author with 13 books to her credit.
While not all tutors have time to write books they are regularly called upon to provide comments for publications. You can see some of the published comments in the Press Cuttings section on the website.
- From early 2007 it became possible to study for the KLC Diploma in Interior Design via blended learning. The great advantage of the blended learning method is the flexibility it gives students plan their studies around work or family commitments but with the discipline of set timeframes and deadlines to meet. The study method is a happy medium between full-time and open learning with numerous online lectures and tutorials in addition to the short periods of study at the school. Each student logs into the student support services where the timetable is laid out and course work and projects are handed out. Many blended learning students continue to work full-time or part-time whilst completing the course as well as dedicating 15 hours a week to study. The blended learning Diploma in Interior Design takes two years and one term to complete, is validated by the University of Brighton and provides an excellent way for people who need to keep working whilst preparing for a career change. Many graduates find that interior design is a fantastic addition to their career and exciting new doors open with their new Diploma.252006
- In 2007 KLC celebrated its 25 anniversary and to mark this milestone we teamed up with the children's charity Place2Be, which provides highly effective in-school counselling for troubled children, who are mainly of primary school age. The students and staff alike were involved in Place2Be projects designing indoor and outdoor spaces for children at designated schools. It is part of the ethos of KLC to focus on community based projects wherever possible, and these have included the design of a nurses' station for Great Ormond St Hospital, gardens for schools and a project for the Battered Wives Refuge. The Garden Design Diploma students also had the opportunity to design an eco-friendly, wheelchair accessible garden that would enable residents to grow vegetables and plants for the charity called Dimensions Owl – an organisation that supports adults with learning disabilities.262007
25th Anniversary Charity Links
This year, as part of the 30th anniversary, KLC is focusing on our own initiative entitled "Inspiring Young Designers"; to involve students aged 14-15 in a project that might inspire them to consider a career in interior design or architecture in the future. "We hope that participants in this project will get a real insight into the work of interior designers and architects as school leavers often bypass these careers as they are unaware how exciting and rewarding they can be," said Jenny Gibbs, Principal of KLC School of Design. This year St Thomas More Language College and Sion Manning Catholic secondary school for girls are participating. They have been given a brief which will require them to carry out some research and consider a client's needs which they will then translate into a design for presentation.
- Over the years KLC has fostered some very good relationships in the Interior Design industry and from time to time this has opened up opportunities for students to work on products designs. In some instances there has been the chance that one of the designs might be manufactured and so the focus has been not only on detailed working drawings but on the commercial viability of a piece as well. Some of the product designs have been:272008
Product Design Partnerships
Chesney's chimney piece and fire basket: Diploma students were set a project to design a chimney piece and fire basket that could be manufactured. The Chesney's judges were unanimous in their choice of winners: the Pacific chimneypiece, designed by Kuew Lih and the Fibonacci firebasket designed by Tara Craig.
Cole and Son wallpaper: Caroline Hough won a competition to design a bespoke wallpaper that could be manufactured. The design inspiration for the wallpaper entitled River came from a photo of a meandering river, taken against the setting sun, showing the river as threads of gold against a dark background.
Savoir Beds headboard design: Savoir Beds ran a competition for students to design a headboard based on the theme 'glamour'. Two KLC entries were finalists and Louise Corser, who designed the headboard entitled Crystal, was the overall winner.
- In September 2008 KLC's Garden Design courses were relocated to a private apartment within Hampton Court Palace. The studios have breath-taking views over the formal gardens, which are a constant source of design inspiration. The outdoor practical elements are held in the tranquil 20th Century Gardens, which appropriately used to be the apprentices' garden. Both the part time Garden Design Diploma and the garden short courses are run from the studios at the palace so there is plenty of opportunity to visit for a course.282009
Garden Design at Hampton Court Palace
"It is a great privilege to be able to offer our students the opportunity to study in such a prestigious historical location" said Will Gibbs, KLC Managing Director, "and it is a great privilege to work with the Royal and Historic Palaces"
Since the courses have been based at Hampton Court Palace, the gardens of several graduates have been displayed at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show with great success. In 2011 Anoushka Feiler designed a garden entitled 'Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky' and Nete Hojlund and Corinne Sharp created 'Enduring Freedom' – both silver-gilt medal winners in the Conceptual Garden Category. Anoushka's garden went on to win the People's Choice award. This year Matthew Childs, Jo Hanslip and Anoushka are creating show gardens. It seems that once you have studied Garden Design in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace the RHS Flower Show is an irresistible challenge.
- The 2011 Full-Time Diploma Students were the first to graduate with Diplomas' validated by the University of Brighton. At the July graduation the students were presented their diplomas by Professor Stuart Laing, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Brighton.292010
Validation by the University of Brighton
"Today allows us the opportunity to celebrate the completion of the first year of our formal partnership with the University of Brighton." Acknowledged Will Gibbs, KLC Director, "Even in the relatively short time span, we have found this partnership extremely beneficial and we are much looking forward to working with them on future developments." There are many benefits to our students for having this validation in place including: • The award is clearly benchmarked against the QAA HE Level Framework giving it international recognition, thereby increasing employment opportunities worldwide. • This external validation enables KLC to continue to operate as a Tier 4 Licence Sponsor and issue study visas to overseas students for successful applicants on the Full-Time Diploma in Interior Design. • KLC students are able to visit the University libraries and attend open research seminars at the University. • Students gain credit points that can be transferred to other courses nationally and internationally.
- On the 27th January 2010 Jenny Gibbs was appointed President of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID). For the previous two years she was the Board Director responsible for the re-development and expansion of the CPD programme in London and the regions, substantially increasing attendance numbers. Her role as President involved encouraging high standards of education and professional practice as a key part of the Institutes on-going strategic plans. Jenny's tenure as President of the BIID was for eighteen and during this time institute greatly advanced the development of career pathways for Interior designers.302011
Jenny Gibbs President of the BIID
Over the course of the last 30 Years Jenny's leadership and vision for KLC has seen the school go from strength to strength. She has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the British Interior Design industry and its role in an international context and ensures that the education KLC students receive is second to none.