In order to reach the optimal potential as an interior designer today, your education and professional growth need to be internationally relevant for a start. In this exclusive interview, Lucy Marlor – Senior Interior Design Lecturer at Northumbria University UK, speaks about their award-winning interior design degree conducted at AOD and how it plays a critical role in creating globally relevant interior designers from Sri Lanka.
"The opportunities for AOD graduates remain as open and flexible as their UK counterparts."
Q: The Northumbria curriculum in the UK and at AOD is pretty comprehensive and seems to prepare students for many careers within the interior sector. What do you think the course’s key strengths are?
A: A key strength of the programme at Northumbria University is its commercial focus, a degree preparing imaginative and practical students for a huge range of careers within industry. With the varied range of projects explored during a students time at Northumbria, our graduates may decide to pursue careers in areas within the sector ranging from exhibition, retail, leisure, hospitality, education, healthcare or event design.
Furthermore, live briefs set by design and architectural practices support student learning and ensure a sense of realism. Our students have recently collaborated with businesses including Dalziel + Pow, Topshop, Gensler, FaulknerBrowns Architects and Live Theatre. With an emphasis on creativity, students are encouraged to take risks to foster independent thinking and break new boundaries, further developing their employability.
The staff team comes from a range of backgrounds and specialists within industry and education, enabling a wide spectrum of knowledge to be fed into the curriculum. We are also fortunate to have members of the staff team still actively designing in industry, continually feeding current practice and trends into our teaching. Similarly we are also extremely lucky to have a visiting professor and external examiner from very high profile design practices as part of our team, providing students with the highest quality teaching and provision.
Q: The world is getting smaller and interior designers can easily use their education/experience to work outside their native country or work with foreign clients while staying in their country. With this in mind, what opportunities do you think qualified, young interior designers from a South Asian country like Sri Lanka can pursue?
A: The opportunities for AOD graduates remain as open and flexible as their UK counterparts. Graduates have the option of moving into many areas within the sector such as exhibition, retail, leisure, hospitality, education, healthcare or event design, to name a few. Our graduates may pursue careers in both design and architecture practices, both national and international and at large and small scale. As the industry moves and changes, graduates may choose to live and work in new cities or countries depending on their chosen area of interest. The world really is their oyster.