What our students say

Alice Simmons

Subject of study: Interior Architecture BA Honours, graduated 2014
Current employer: MAKE Architects
Current job title: Interior Architectural Designer

Why did you choose the University of Westminster for your studies?

I chose the University of Westminster mainly due to its central location in London. This was key for my passion in design as it enabled me to experience so many other aspects of design that I would not have been able to see if I was at a university outside of the capital.

What did you like about the course?

This course at Westminster is very diverse, you can excel in many different skills (whether you are more technical, or more conceptual) and my tutors quickly picked up on the skills we had and encouraged us to push the boundaries of what we could achieve through our designs. The parts of the course I enjoyed the most were the small modules that ran alongside the main design module. Making a film, developing wallpaper and re-imagining how an interior can look through different techniques really helped me develop different skills when it came to my main design projects.

How has your career developed since graduating?

A few weeks after handing in my final project, I started a 2 month internship at MAKE Architects. Three months down the line, just after my graduation, they have offered me a permanent contract, and I became a partner of the company. My position at the company is a very exciting one because they are rapidly developing their interiors team and projects, and I am learning so much every day that I am here.

What does your current role involve?

I work closely with the project architects to design and develop the interiors of the building they have designed, making sure that the design language of the exterior is continued and reflected into the interior spaces. I also work closely with the clients, contractors and suppliers, co-ordinating the design process from conception to completion.

How has your experience at the University of Westminster helped you in your career?

This course taught me things that really were applicable in the professional design industry. My final year was structured on the design process that architects and designers have to go through in reality, so it made for a smooth transition from education into working life. My lead project architects at work were shocked and excited about the knowledge I had gained through my time at university.

What has been the highlight of your career or personal achievements to date?

My career has only just got going, however one of my personal highlights that started off my jump into professional, working life was my competition win for 'The Collective Design Award'. This wouldn't have been possible if I wasn't at the University of Westminster, and it was even more exciting that my friends and I went up against industry professionals and walked away with first prize!

Lilas Bizrah

Subject of study: Interior Architecture BA Honours, graduated 2013
Currently: Studying on the Project and Enterprise Management MSc at UCL

Why did you choose the University of Westminster for your studies?

I chose the University of Westminster due to its reputation and, most importantly, the contents of the Interior Architecture course. I had been searching for an architectural course that involved more creativity and offered diversity – the Interior Architecture course provided that.

What did you like about the course?

This degree was stimulating, thought-provoking and very rewarding. It developed my interest and skill in the manipulation of space, along with advancing my understanding of the design process. The tutors were very supportive and offered advice generously.

Westminster has all the facilities required, along with a friendly atmosphere. Furthermore, the architecture and design studios are always showcasing student work which is a great benefit - walking through other studios offers both insight and inspiration. The library is also extremely thorough and comfortable, providing facilities for both group and independent study.

What are you doing now?

After graduating, I decided to complete an MSc in Project and Enterprise Management at UCL. My interest in the Design Management module provided by the Interior Architecture course inspired and encouraged this decision.

How do you think the course at Westminster will help you in your career?

I learnt innovative ways of transforming a primitive idea into the core of an entire design project. Through spatial manipulation and research methods including material studies, site visits, interviews and evaluations, I gained an in-depth understanding concerning the development of a creative design. I also learnt the importance of fulfilling programme objectives whilst ensuring user satisfaction.

What has been the highlight of your achievements to date?

Being an Interior Architecture BA Honours graduate is definitely a personal achievement. I am also proud of participating in the ArtFix project which commenced this year – I was selected to take part in the launch of the first ArtFix store. I am proud of my volunteer work, in which I mentored 2 refugees.

Clay Thompson

Subject of study: Interior Architecture BA Honours
Current employer: Storefront for Art and Architecture in NYC
Current job title: Production Intern

Why did you choose the University of Westminster for your studies?

I wanted to be in a city that is interesting and varied, London is that. Westminster is a university that mirrors the city, there are so many people with different ideas that you will come across something that interests you.

What did you like about the course?

I met people that I could not have met anywhere else. Throughout my secondary school education I had one teacher that I liked and that drove me to work hard, whereas at Westminster every tutor that I came into contact with pushed me in a new direction that I would not have taken on my own.

How has your career developed since graduating?

I assisted the designers Kite and Laslett on a number of construction projects for the London and Milan Fashion Weeks, I have had the opportunity to build weird things and travel abroad. These are essentially my life goals so I think so far it's going to plan.

Currently I am in New York, I am doing exciting things at Storefront for Art and Architecture. I have time to walk about, getting my head around the city.

What does your current role involve?

I start the day with gallery tasks, sweeping the floor and cleaning our current sculpture which seems to have been accidentally designed to collect dust. After this I assist with the planning of the TV Studio which we are going to build in the basement of the gallery. It is a tiny pizza shaped building so fitting in the necessary kit to create a TV studio is quite a challenge.

How has your experience at the University of Westminster helped you in your career?

Westminster gave me a good technical base, I don't have to worry when I am asked to draw something quickly. More importantly I was taught to think. It is becoming more apparent to me that often people are so anxious to complete things that they don't take time to think.

What has been the highlight of your career or personal achievements to date?

I have a few. Building a sculpture in a Milanese palazzo was fun, mainly because we were treated like artists and because eating out for lunch every day and drinking copious amount of coffee is the norm; drinking cheap prosecco and eating chips with Charles Renfro; and trying really hard to get a 1st and actually getting a 1st.

Gurtej Kaur 

Subject of study: Interior Architecture BA Honours

Why did you choose this course at the University of Westminster?

I chose this course because it involves creativity and experimentation with existing architecture. Being an international student from India, I was looking for a university that has a good reputation and lies in the heart of the city, that would help me hone my creative instincts and keep up with the city at the same time. This university has very successfully sharpened my skill set.

What advice would you give to students planning to study this course?

The first thing about this course is that this is Interior Architecture not Interior Design. The two are notably different. Interior Architecture involves the study of the potential of existing buildings and gives them a new function and different perspective.
What do you enjoy most about the course?

The course allows me to develop skills in different mediums, while challenging my own creativity. Another interesting part of this course is that we conduct group activities with students from different academic years and the course team constantly update us about all the design competitions around the city. Lately, my group got selected as top three finalists from the UK in the shop window design competition for Designwork tiles.

Describe a typical day on your course.

The day starts with a presentation/meeting followed by either group tutorials or one-to-one tutorials, depending on the project, and preparing the work for the next project.

What is the most interesting project you have worked on so far?

The most interesting project so far was film-making. The module required us to select a particular interior and study how the non-visual senses 'shape' and form the space, and present that in a short film. Our group chose Tate Modern power station converted into a gallery as our site. We picked the theme of the Tate as a haunted place. Through this module we learned to see the interiors from a different perspective and it also altered the way we perceive things in our daily lives.

How do you think Westminster will help you in your career?

Westminster will be very beneficial to my career as this institution gave me identity as a professional and provided a platform to flourish as an individual. The feedback from the external examiners in the crits gave me the ability to have a professional and critical approach to my own work and prepared me for the real life challenges of design.