What were you doing before KLC and why did you decide to study at the school?
Before KLC I had a career in marketing and marketing communications for a number of large multinational companies. Whilst this was fun and challenging work, I became increasingly interested in exploring my love of design, especially furniture design. I had done several side projects in furniture design by the time I started at KLC and really felt that it was time to follow my passion for interiors and change an interest into a career.
In deciding where to study, I looked at several schools, however KLC had the strong focus on practical application, which is what I wanted as I felt that this would give me the best start into the industry.
Can you identify some of the highlights and challenges of your time at KLC?
My time at KLC was immensely rewarding. From the outset the focus was on both theory and practical application.
I felt that the project work given each term in particular was a highlight (as well as a challenge). Here the focus was on giving a very realistic brief in terms of both project type, project complexity and overall timeframe.
Whilst a significant amount of work needed to be done in a relatively short time, this drove all the students in my class to really push themselves and to try and exceed the brief. I particularly enjoyed the final project, which was a large-scale hotel renovation.
How has your career evolved since graduating? How did you progress into Aviation design?
Straight after graduating I was very happy to be offered a job as an interior designer at Spencer Churchill Designs. I worked on some lovely projects both in London and further afield, including the full re-development and renovation of several Grade II* listed properties as well as new builds.
I had the chance to move to Switzerland in 2006, where I continued my interior design career, but this time in private aviation design. There is a hub of firms specialising in private aviation in the area around Basel and Zurich and I worked for one of the leading companies, Jet Aviation, first as interior designer, then manager of the design studio and lastly being promoted to director of the studio in 2015.
In 2019 I took a further step in my interior design career by setting up my own company, offering interior design consulting services, using my interior design experience built up over the previous 16 years – which have flown past!
What kind of projects have you been working on recently?
My work typically involves meeting customers early on in the project to really flesh out what they are looking for and then ensuring the design is detailed and the project managed right up until the end.
I am currently working on several proposals for private aircraft projects as well as offering design consulting services to a number of clients, both in residential design as well as aviation design.
Do you have a favourite project you can share with us?
Probably one of my favourite projects was a Boeing Business Jet for which I managed the detailed design and design project follow up, quite soon after I arrived in Switzerland. It was my first full aircraft interior project.
What made this interior special was the number of new developments which needed to be made to realize the interior concept including customized lighting, flexible seating arrangements and a transparent partition in the centre of the cabin. The finishing of the cabinetry was also an interesting challenge as the client wished for an open pore wood, which had not been certified at that time and required additional research and development work to make it happen.
Concept Design by Winch Designs
Completion by Jet Aviation
At the other end of the private aviation spectrum in terms of size, another favourite project was the introduction of the Boeing 777 aircraft as a business jet. I was approached by Boeing to work with my team and provide an exceptional design concept to introduce this wide-body aircraft to market.
Launched at the Middle East Business Aviation event in Dubai at the end of 2018, the below concept really pushed the boundaries of what is possible in a private aircraft interior. It gave me great pleasure to see how well this interior was received at the show and in the press afterwards.
Completion by Jet Aviation Design Studio
What advice would you give anyone starting out in the industry?
Remain open to all opportunities and be prepared for extremely hard working environments and tough deadlines - interior design is not for the faint hearted!