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What is your current job?
What is your dream career?
Independent Interior Designer.
When did you join CSVPA and what programme did you study?
I joined CSVPA in 2012 for their Pre-Foundation and English course. I then did my Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and specialised in Interior Design.
Where did your passions stem from?
I grew up in a family where my dad was an Interior Designer. When I was a child, I used to join him in his studio and from there my passion in becoming a Designer grew. Later on I was motivated to research into Art Deco and look into its changes through history. My biggest motivation was also to join competitions, the latest one I joined was the Fabrication Festival in London where you had to build a pavilion for the summer 2016.
What drew you to study at CSVPA?
I have always wanted to become an Interior Designer and after finishing college in Syria, I wanted to join a place where I was able to learn, especially somewhere I could benefit from the city and its diversity. So I picked Cambridge. The United Kingdom was also at the top of my list of cities to study Design in.
How did your experiences at CSVPA help you into the career you are in now?
CSVPA was my starting platform for everything later on in life. Whilst I studied my higher degree, I would say CSVPA helped me by providing very helpful tutors. With their support I started from a level of zero knowledge about Art and Design and progressed quickly. After a few months I was able to proceed with my portfolio and filled it with many projects and artwork. Later I was able to get into one of the best universities for Interior courses, and started my own career.
Are there any memorable moments from when you studied with us?
Yes, there are a lot of memories. One is when all of my year got together to draw a big portrait for Renata’s birthday. Renata Grant is the course leader for art foundation. All together we hid from her and drew a picture, which was one of the best days I had at CSVPA.
What was your favourite project at CSVPA?
My favourite project at CSVPA was ‘Pre-fabricated Houses’. This was my final year project in Interior Design. The project was about designing homes for refugees and for those who lost their homes due to the war. I enjoyed conducting research and going out to museums where I also had to read a lot about that specific design. This project helped me learn about what this type of interior requires, how to work on a project by myself, and how to deliver a clear idea to the tutors through sketching, model making and creating collages.
What were your next steps after graduating?
After graduating from CSVPA I went straight into University for three years and, after completing my course, I am now working in two jobs. One of them is my own design work that I do for my family business in the Middle East, and my second is doing part-time work as a personal assistant through an agency.
As a Designer the daily work I have is meeting with clients, site visits and managing design samples around London. There is the normal process of drawings as well as discussing whether the client likes it. Next we move onto the fabrication and choosing of materials, these are used later for building on site, from there we then consult our clients on arranging their furniture. There are a few of us who work on that so we manage to organise ourselves. My other part time job is in administration.
At what points in your journey did you get the motivation to carry on pursuing your chosen career?
There is something about design studies that is hard but at the same time it is very worth it in life. A number of things you learn are priceless. There is a lot of awareness on self-motivation that I have now grasped. Self-motivation is something which all students should have if they want to become a designer.
My main motivation during CSVPA, and now also in my career, is that I go the extra mile for the work. By doing this I find that it all pays off in the end. Do more than you asked for, work harder than anyone else, enjoy every little detail and love what you do.
What have you done recently?
Recently, I took part in a project related to health care called ‘The Sound of Silence’. This was about music, community and health and took place in Guy’s hospital in London. The project worked with spaces for music therapy and performance, and aims to enable connections between people from both outside and inside the hospital environment. The desire to bring people together using music.
This project was a highly commended project by 'Architects for Health Design Awards' 2016.
Now, I am looking to join a design team, in addition to my own business, and am really looking forward to carrying on with my own design company in London one day.
What would you say to a student who is looking to follow a similar career pathway to you?
It is not easy for sure, but nothing comes easy in life. If you have a passion and love what you are doing then no one can stop you. Just don’t give up because there are lots of ups and downs so you have to stay positive all the time when working towards your dream. Your vision now might be a blur but after a while you will find your strength.
I would also say try to get involved in as many design events as possible because by doing that you are getting closer to real life and creating connections along the way.
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