“The really important thing about supporting education is not to just to talk about it but make it happen”. This comment from BCFA and IDA Managing Director followed the student clinics at this year’s New Designers event at the BDC in Islington. “Building on the huge success of the Clinics in 2011 these one to one 30 minutes sessions with interior design and product design professionals provided advice to 120 students from all over the UK”
Senior staff from the likes of Gensler, BDG Architecture, Aedas, Moray Smith, Morgan, Bisley, Radar, Teknion, Camira and many others met with the students’ over 3 days to provide one to one advice on their portfolios, invaluable information on employment, and the facts about a day in the life of a designer.
The comments from students speak for themselves.
“Fantastic. Great to have honest feedback.” Robert Grimshaw, Brighton.
“Brilliant insight.” Matt Steels, Northumbria University
“Really puts things into perspective.” Annabel Sharratt, Liverpool John Moores University.
“It isn’t every day you get this opportunity.” Esther Djanman, De Montford University.
“Hugely helpful.” George Braham, Leeds Metropolitan University.
“An eye opener.” Jessica Hung, Brighton.
“Constructive criticism - exactly what I need at this point.” Andrew Field, South Devon College.
“Some really great advice.” Sarah Ellis, Middlesex University.
It became quite clear that Universities and Colleges can only go so far in the education process and in fact a considerable amount of responsibility lies with the students themselves to prepare for their careers in industry. Charles Leon IDA Chairman comments. “There was a common theme in the views of the designers present that good basic skills and an understanding of what employers are looking for are vital”. The experience from the clinics has led to the production of a “Students Guide to Employment”. This remarkably short document sets out the principles for effective job searching. “It is quite simple, use your academic time wisely and build your skills to the highest level, organise yourself and present yourself in a logical way”
The advice students received was priceless and we would like to thank all the designers from the BCFA and IDA for their support.
IDA. Charles Leon and Nicola Lewis, CLA: Cheryl Smith, Dexter Moran; Deepak Parmar, Moray Smith; Scott Malin and Ami Caddy, Gensler; Colin MacGadie, BDG Architecture; Rupert Plumpton, RTKL; Mark Plumtree, Aedas; Francis Blackham, Trevillion Interiors; Roland Hartmann, Hartmann Design; Elizabeth Lane, RPW;
BCFA. Emily Martin and Chris Clemens, Teknion; Natasha Marshall, Sekers Fabrics; Lynn Isham, The Modern Garden Company; Matthew Hayes, Muraspec; John Fogarty, Bisley; Janine Crook and Samantha Dean, Camira Fabrics; Alan Bennett, Ness Furniture; Erin Shadbolt and Alys Brian, Morgan Furniture; Roger Carr Radar Design
So on to next year and the continuing plans to bring education and industry even closer together. Education organiser at the BCFA and IDA Adele Stewart is quite clear about the future objectives. “We now have well over 200 student members receiving regular information, and we ensure that education establishments and students understand what employers in manufacturing and interior design are really looking for. The IDA and BCFA clinics plus our meetings with course leaders are now a major influence in this process. There is amazing talent in the UK, New Designers showed just that and so we will be stepping up our support programme”