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…

 

 

‘Life, People & Friendly Cats’

Now, I would blog about the house I live in, but then people would see where I live. It seems the stereotype of dingy student housing, every surface piled high with washing up and beer cans, doesn’t seem quite so character and memory building when you’re living in it.

But a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of staying with my brother in his charming split level flat in heart of lively Brixton.

The interior is a quirky combination of fresh out of uni trinkets and a tasteful collection of mismatched furniture. The flat, although lived in by 3 bonified adults still contains the playful hints of millennial living such as the dart board and a range of objects salvaged from skips or garage sales. It seems that Brixton has a huge ‘give away’ community, a surprising amount of houses had stacks of old records or books on their front wall free for the taking.

I think the most appealing aspect of the flat was that each room came with its very own picturesque view of London, almost hung like a personalised poster on the wall, framed by classic sash window frames.

Brixton, despite being a young and fresh part of London, emanates an old, friendly vibe. It’s older residents walk around hand in hand with their children or partners while taking in the crude displays of free things on offer and old architecture towering over them. The younger generation dart around the streets like atoms, drinking in the novelty of all things cool in Brixton. (One of these cool places will be featured in a later blog post so keep your eyes peeled)

I was lucky enough to be exploring the very streets that had worn the holes in my brothers Nikes, with my brother. And everyone knows exploring with a local means you get to see all the secret places only those who know, know. Brixton market was first on our hit list of places to visit. The small covered part of the market was packed with shops, standing shoulder to shoulder, spilling sweetly packaged soap and other handmade trinkets onto the bustling main thoroughfare. The surrounding area was bursting with fresh vegetables, fruit, artwork and more trinkets.

On of my favourite things to photograph is contrasting textures and, it appears, brickwork; both of which are rich in Brixton. The architectures patchwork facades, partnered with classic features add to Brixton’s immense charm.

On my way back to the tube station I dragged my feet, thinking of everything I’d seen and how much I craved to be surrounded by such intrigue all the time. Out of the silence came my final comment on Brixton ‘This place is everything I love! It’s full of life, people and friendly cats’. My brother laughed…

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.

Mission Move House

Like all good things my summer at home had to come to an end. Unfortunately the move, something I wanted to be exited about, was marred by unforeseeable and seemingly continuous complication. Our landlord had rung us a few weeks before our August move date to inform us the house we are renting had flooded in July and unfortunately, as no one had been living in the house, had created an almighty damp problem which could only be rectified by an extensive drying process and redecoration of the ground floor.

The five of us are now living in our local Travelodge until our house is habitable.

I’ll keep you posted on the ongoing saga that is Mission Move House

Wonky Wivenhoe

Moving home for the summer can be exciting but unfortunately you’d be naive to think that your summer there will in any way mirror the previous. You soon learn the hard way that people move on with their lives; people you once called friends are now preoccupied in new relationship, busy working, off travelling or plain disconnected from you now. It can get lonely when you’re sitting on your sofa slowly scrolling through your contacts for what feels like the millionth time, vetoing almost everyone for one reason or another. Thankfully, theres always family to fall back on when social prospects are looking glum.

Thus followed Libby and Mumma’s Adventure to Wivenhoe, a little town not too far away from my home town, for a spot of lunch and a nose around.