One student who we can say without a doubt you will be seeing more of in the future is Tom Carey. Tom graduated from the Blended Learning Diploma as Top Student 2014 and swept the board with an array of glittering industry awards at this year's graduation ceremony, including the Heals Award for Bespoke Design, University of Brighton Award for Academic Writing and the Zimmer & Rohde Award for Textile Research.
What were you doing before KLC and why did you decide to attend KLC?
Before I started my diploma at KLC in 2011, I worked as a corporate lawyer in the City. Before that I had studied Classics at Oxford. When I told my legal colleagues I was giving it up to become an interior designer, they were mostly very excited for me. Even people in the firm whom I hardly knew congratulated me. Perhaps many lawyers are secretly dreaming of doing something else?
I’ve always enjoyed designing rooms and objects. But it was only after I styled my own house in London that I wondered whether I could make a living from it. I was very impressed by KLC’s professionalism, which marks it out. It’s evident in everything they do and in the standard of work the students produce. When you chart the career paths of designers who trained at KLC, the results speak for themselves. KLC is recognised throughout the industry.
I enrolled on the Blended Learning Diploma – which was probably the best decision I’ve ever made. I chose to study part-time as I needed to continue earning and KLC’s Blended Learning Diploma delivers teaching in a flexible way that can be juggled around other commitments. I particularly liked the combination of self-directed study, the opportunity for studio time with other students and weekly one-on-one tutorials.
Can you identify some of the highlights of your time at KLC?
There were many highlights, all of which were underpinned by the high quality of the teaching at KLC. I have left the course with valuable friendships among the students and the staff. A particular highlight during the course was entering and winning the Savoir Beds Grand Prix to design a headboard. Seeing my design being manufactured and displayed by Savoir in their showroom was truly thrilling.
How has your career evolved since KLC?
Since finishing the course, I have been cutting my teeth at StudioAB, a commercial and residential interior design studio founded by Anna Burles, who herself studied at KLC a few years ago. The clients include pop stars and quirky retail brands, and it has been fulfilling to apply my skills to live projects and work with other creative people.
I enjoy collaborating with designers, artisans and manufacturers, and I am looking forward to much more of that. I hope over time to develop my own design ideas for lighting, furniture and textiles, while continuing to work on both commercial and residential design projects. The most inspiring designers for me are those who adopt a multi-faceted approach like Marcel Wanders.
Tom's rendered 3D visual