Siobhan Hughes

Name: Siobhan Hughes
Age: 37
Nationality: British
Course: Foundation Degree, FdA Interior Design

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Q. What was your background before KLC?
A: Prior to studying at KLC I worked for a Location Agency. My job involved scouting and managing locations for the filming and photographic industries. This granted me access to some incredible spaces, which further fuelled my long-held passion for architecture and interior design and culminated in my decision to retrain at KLC.

Q. Why did you decide to study Interior Design?
A: KLC’s reputation, industry links and dedicated Careers service, coupled with the fact that the course is validated by the University of Brighton, made it the obvious choice for me. I have loved getting to know my fellow students from all over the world and all sorts of different backgrounds. Studying online gave me the flexibility I needed with work and family commitments, however the syllabus was very well structured with regular seminars and submissions to keep us on track.

Q. Tell us about your experience of the course?
A: Studying at KLC has been a rollercoaster ride, in the best possible sense! It has challenged me far more than my previous English BA, but I can’t believe how much I have learnt. The course is varied and stimulating, covering both residential and commercial design. I particularly enjoyed the Evolution of Style module (exploring 17th – 21st century design), and having the opportunity to work on a live group project for the Royal Hospital of Neuro-Disability, including a real client pitch, was a great experience.

Q. What are your design interests/strengths?
A: I have an interest in all aspects of the design process. I love charting the evolution of an initial concept, through to spatial planning and development and then the gratification of seeing the design visualised in the final renders and sample presentation. I can’t wait to take this to the next level and see my designs realised in working life.

In terms of personal strengths, I am constantly being told I have an eye for detail and have been known to get a little obsessed with Technical Drawings and renders. During the group project we were encouraged to play to our strengths, and I ended up looking after the visual presentation aspects of our pitch, as well as working on spatial planning and design. I have also learnt to embrace the conceptual stage of a project and now find that it can really help to anchor my designs.

Q. What space inspires you?
A: Spaces*, plural, and where to even begin…
I am currently working on a personal project for an Arts & Crafts house and have been enjoying researching the aesthetic movement, particularly Whistler’s famous ‘Peacock Room’ which features an opulent colour palette of blues, greens and gold and a mural of fighting peacocks (intended to represent the artist and his patron, who had fallen out over the cost of the project!). In a different vein, I also love the visionary work of Frank Lloyd Wright, particularly his mid-century period, and Niall McLaughlin Architects’ Bishop Edward King Chapel in Oxford is a stunning example of contemporary minimalism.
I believe that interior spaces have a profound ability to affect and enhance our mood.

Q. Who is your favourite designer?
A: Again, I’m going to struggle to narrow this down, but work of Martin Brudnizki’s Design Studio consistently excites me (the interior of Annabelle’s speaks to my inner Maximalist). I particularly admire their work with period interiors: referencing historic styles but re-imagining them for the future. Nicola Harding (KLC alumni) also has a similar skill for breathing new life into period interiors, whilst respecting their original bones. I have also enjoyed following the progress of US designers Pierce & Ward.

Q. Where to from here?
A: Having recently completed work experience at a multi-disciplinary design studio I would relish the opportunity to work in a similar environment and continue to further my professional development.
I feel that studying online with KLC has prepared me well to adapt to the present requirements of remote working.

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STUDY TIP - Respect the process, particularly when it comes to concept models – you might be surprised at the results! Time management can be challenging, especially when studying around work and family commitments, however I found my fellow cohort members really supportive and encouraging. I’ve made great friends on the course, even though we were studying online, so don’t be afraid to reach out. Adopting a collaborative mentality not only prepares you for working studio life, but also helps to push your designs further. Siobhan Hughes