On the move

 

The tale of a zealous student’s first interview for an extremely exciting and promising industry job.

At last things have been happening. A month of unfruitful emails and tentative flat searches passed before anything happened. I got one response offering an interview but unfortunately they ‘found our new Studio Assistant’ before I had the chance to get my foot in the door. Until, while I was sat at my desk trawling through Dezeen Jobs one afternoon, I got the email from Philip Watts Design.

‘Thank you for your application for the placement position we have in London. I would love to meet you to discuss your work and get to know you a little more.

Are you available this Friday at all to meet at OXO Tower and we can get a coffee and discuss your work?’

At last.

The next week was spent lovingly touching up my, now shoddy, first year AutoCAD plans for my makeshift portfolio. I say makeshift because I have a designed portfolio, one I painstakingly laid out and made perfect for a hand in. Unfortunately, despite explaining to my lecturer that I had an interview and the submission having already been graded, I was unable to collect my actual portfolio from the studio. So, I made a makeshift portfolio of all of my original A3 layouts, which meant I could rearrange the work to suit what I knew Arun (my interviewer) wanted to see. And include hand drawn work from first year which is much more charming on its original, slightly crinkled layout paper. I’ve only just learned how to hand draw but it already feels like hand drawing is a dying art.

The interview went well. I survived the social shun of admitting that I don’t drink tea or coffee, then plumped with a much more palatable orange and mango juice. In fact, Arun made me feel right at home in what seems like the Philip Watts family. We briefly talked about me, then him and then the job itself. Over our drinks, the hot London sun warming our necks, he told me there’s often dogs in the office, that I get two weeks off at Christmas, and one of their biggest clients is Greggs while I sat and listened in rhapsody, hoping that the black A3 presentation folder wilting between my Nikes and the chair leg was enough.

It turns out it was. In a stroke of luck, I got the email from Philip Watts himself a week later, 10 minutes before my brother and I were due to meet my parents in Victoria for a family pub crawl back to my brothers Brixton flat.

‘You met recently with Arun at our London office and he was very impressed! So it gives me great please to offer you a placement opportunity with our company.’

Since then I’ve been looking at affordable and practical rooms in house shares around London and I think I’ve found a steal, but more on that later…

 

 

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DD

Not that I need much of an excuse to travel into London, the home of all things interesting, but the opening of a new Drop Dead store seemed as good a reason as any.

London is the perfect place to see the old and the new rub shoulders. Whether you like classical Palladian inspired architecture or modern structures, London’s splendours will have you looking up.

Unlike my mother, who remains to believe that graffiti makes a place look ‘scruffy’, I think that graffiti brings a place to life in a way nothing else does. It’s honest; it reflect the personality of its occupants, a view into the mind of the city, a collaged diary of gigs, knitting afternoons and the coolest brands, a public post-it note for all those creative types.

SDS17

So one good thing about having practicing and passionate lecturers is that they really have their finger on the pulse of the design world, they know all the trade shows and events coming up. It’s becoming ever more apparent that to be successful in this industry you need inspiration coming from all angles, for this reason when my lecturer mentioned in passing this amazing show that displayed current and new trends in surface design I immediately pencilled it in my bullet journal. I had to go.

I am lucky enough to have a handful of amazing friends who always take a keen interest in my degree, as I in turn do with theirs, and my blog. This, much to my pleasure, took over an entire evening with one particular friend. We whiled away the hours talking about the beautiful opposition between brick and glass, and for some time, the photos featured in this post. As soon as she saw the red carpet runners above she was immediately reminded of the warm and eccentric markets of Turkey she had visited some years earlier.

One prominent trend was tactile surfaces. This idea was perfectly encapsulated in the work of University of Huddersfield student Emma Linney. These 3D installations are not only beautiful additions to either an inside or outside space, but also have acoustic properties.

Embedded detailing was also a popular trend at the show, featuring many marbled and metallic surfaces.

Living walls were also high on the agenda. One eye catching display from Innerspace Cheshire boasted the new innovative approach to make the living wall much more practical and affordable. The premise is moss, carefully dried with a focus on keeping the plants soft texture. From there they can dye it a variety of colours and the possibilities are endless.

Naturally the show also presented a vast array of tiles, which was met with no objection from myself, with a heavy focus on geometric patterns, tonal colours and bright block colours.

Trade shows like this one are not only a fantastic opportunity to spark inspiration but also to make contacts (something that I didn’t realise until I got there and was sadly unable to oblige people asking for my business cards due to my lack of having one) and to learn new things. In the afternoon I settled myself on the perfect seat in front of the main stage and listened to a talk on the design of educational facilities, and I only scoffed once.

Greece | Athens

In February 2016 I visited Athens with my university. Here I found a true fondness for travel.

I also went to a gay bar and climbed a mountain.

The aim of the trip was to collaborate with fellow Greek design students on an explorative project using images, sketches and collage to show the battle between public and private spaces in Athens.

 

One of the first things I noticed was how derelict the majority of the buildings were. The treatment of buildings is so vastly different to that in England, back home classical architecture is more than likely listed let alone allowed to dishevel and be marked with public art. Architecture is left to the public in Athens.

IMG_0561IMG_0560IMG_0632IMG_0555IMG_0508IMG_0525The ruins are visible from the street, while something to be marveled at they become daily life for the locals IMG_0532The streets were lined with these textures tiles which are apparently there to guide the blind around the city with greater ease. IMG_0533Perhaps because of the economic status of Greece, the old and new merge in a seamless way. Buildings are very rarely knocked down or rebuilt, merely added to or renovated creating a patchwork of historical and modernIMG_0536IMG_0544IMG_0546Snake skin pathIMG_0559IMG_0861IMG_0858IMG_0852IMG_0848IMG_0860IMG_0845Monastiraki SquareIMG_0843IMG_0833IMG_0830IMG_0832IMG_0829IMG_0817IMG_0815IMG_0814IMG_0796

IMG_0794IMG_0792IMG_0789IMG_0644IMG_0643IMG_0640IMG_0639IMG_0638IMG_0628IMG_0627IMG_0624Peds line the streets. On our third day, during our visit to the university, I asked Tassios why there were barriers that made it hard for even people to pass through (although short enough to step over) and he explained that if they weren’t there the public spaces would be awash with shoddily parked peds

The Acropolis Museum

Architect: Bernard Tschumi of New York and Micheal Photiadis of Athens

IMG_0563IMG_0574IMG_0576IMG_0610The top floor, the Parthenon Gallery, was designed to allow spectacular and unique views of Athens and of the historical Parthenon

The Project

Teaming up with the Greek students gave us the opportunity to explore the town a little more authentically, and fortunately, Tassios was more than happy to show us the true Athens which I captured above.

It was these images we used to complete the mapping challenge at the Faculty of Applied Arts and Design with Tassios and Marileni. Each group chose to focus on a different aspect of public and private spaces. One group presented a series of maps which showed a correlation between the sun path through the streets and the position of market stalls.

IMG_0661Tassios and Marileni; Our local12771889_10209244466534788_1537472921283159367_oMy sketchbookIMG_0695IMG_0696The University of Athens’ resident art supply shopIMG_0698IMG_0699

The Mountain

The last day was ours to spend as we pleased and I’m thankful I spent mine filling up on a breakfast of fresh quiche before climbing a mountain to see The Parthenon.

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