Protecting the Planet, Diversity and Inclusivity

Protecting the Planet

From the very early days we recognised the need to promote sustainable design and to encourage students to design spaces that support health and wellbeing.

That said, it is not just about what has been achieved in the past but what we can do to contribute to the future.  Our tutors and students are very aware of the crucial role that designers have to play in the post pandemic world.  Project briefs encourage students to take a holistic approach to design in buildings and gardens to enhance mental and physical wellbeing, specify responsibly to protect the planet’s resources, ensure the use of local materials and crafts and look to reinvent old traditions in a contemporary way.

Diversity and Inclusivity

Through online teaching, flexible study methods and sponsored places, we aim to make KLC courses more accessible and inclusive and to create a diverse body of students and staff.

In addition to offering a choice of online, part time and full time study methods, annual bursaries and scholarships are provided by The Design Changes Lives Foundation while sponsored places are also given to winners of design competitions such as Inspiring Young Designers in conjunction with Grand Designs or the KLC/House & Garden/United in Design annual challenge.  KLC is the educational partner of United in Design charity founded to address the lack of diversity in the interior design industry. KLC is also a signatory of Interior Design Declares.

Students are encouraged to apply these same principles to their designs so that the interiors and gardens they create are not just future proof but designed for ALL

Anna Whitehead

These may be the words of the moment but at KLC we have been working hard from the very beginning to find ways to protect the planet and make our courses more inclusive and our student body and staffing more diverse

KLC was one of the first schools or colleges to introduce talks on Sustainability as early as the 1980s.  In later years our talks were led by the wonderful environmental expert Anna Whitehead.  Loved by students and staff alike she very sadly died last year.  Her legacy is that sustainability is now an integral part of every KLC course and project brief and we aim to make students fully aware of the need for responsible sourcing and to encourage clients to embrace a sustainable approach


KLC has had a clearly articulated Environmental and Sustainability Policy for many years and recently became a member of Interior Design Declares which is part of a global movement uniting all strands of construction and the built environment.

34 - Design Changes Lives

In 2015 the Design Changes Lives Foundation was launched to provide bursaries to increase accessibility to KLC and support community projects.


Phoebe ReidRoxana Shafiee Bursary Cert 2Zoe Allen

2018 KLC announced the introduction of an annual scholarship in addition to Design Changes Lives bursaries. Scholarships/bursaries recipients have included (current employment included):

  • Aldane Plywaczyk - freelance
  • Laura Leach - Honor Riley Design
  • Jelena Radelji - working with My Bespoke Room, Yoko and Designs Direct
  • Zoe Allen - Imogen Heath Designs
  • Lina Hernandez - now offering interior design service as part of her architectural practice in Croatia
  • Vanessa Moore - Hamilford Design
  • Monty Adekanmbi - Stitched
  • Phoebe Reid – Covet & Noir
  • Robyn McCurry - just graduated
  • Roxane Shafiee - own business
  • Josephine Ward - still studying.


Inspiring Young Designers Competition

2017 saw the launch of the Inspiring Young Designers competition in schools to raise awareness of interior and garden design as a career with the chance to win a scholarship place on KLC’s 3-year BA (Hons) course in Interior Design.

Amy Keast 4Amy Keast 3

2018 was the first year of the KLC/House & Garden Competition to provide sponsored places on a Certificate course and allowed winner Amy Keast to change career from publishing to interior design.  This competition continues to provide opportunities for outstanding entrant.

United in Design LogoUnited in Design2.

In 2020 KLC became the Educational partner of United in Design which was founded to increase diversity in the interior design industry.  As part of this collaboration, KLC now provides inspirational introduction days and competitions for sponsored courses which is already bringing outstanding and diverse talent into the design world KLC was delighted to welcome Annabel Davies (United in Design Scholarship Recipient) onto the Certificate Residential Interior Design Course.

B&Q Logo

Over the years, KLC has provided training to boost sales and careers of staff at a wide range of companies including Colefax & Fowler, The Savoy, Brewers, Kingfisher and B&Q.



In 2017 the launch of KLC’s first MOOC, The Power of Colour, on the FutureLearn platform made KLC expertise accessible to thousands more people.

IHE Award

KLC has always pioneered flexible learning and increased accessibility via open, blended and online courses winning IHE (Independent Higher Education) award for Digital Teaching and Learning.