Andrew Wallace

Program Director
Bachelor of Interior Architecture

What now?... What Now indeed!

I’m not going to use the word Unpr*scedented… (promise). 2020 has been the most challenging year that I can ever remember and certainly the most challenging year to be completing a university degree and to be finding your way into professional practice.

In the first part of the year students were asked to reflect on what makes a good place and how interior design makes good places for people in communities… together. Of course, we were then in the position of needing to isolate from each and make our first moves into a fully online studio … apart. All of this cohort managed this with enthusiasm a positive attitude and produced excellent results exploring in miniature notions of small, slow and simple. In this they evocatively uncovered what individually they felt was important to them in interior imaginings and practice.

For their final studio we started back together, in person and socially distanced. To celebrate this we focussed initially on exploring the contemporary world of design through research and making together (and socially distanced) in studio. This led to the final studio where students interpreted this research into a physical site.

This curiously proportioned spaces of the former KWP! Site in Solomon street is the site for of people at their work and their organisation's relationship to the public through a publicly accessible canteen.

Canteens have somewhat vanished from the popular imagination but have the potential to be an important link between organisations , their staff and the general public and this needs to be either supported by or contrasted to other programs in the space.

For this studio we asked students to go further in the exploration of intimacy and connection by focusing on the material nature of interior space. Investigating the sensory qualities of touch, smell, comfort, temperature, acoustics and light along with the aesthetic and physical qualities of materials.

In imagining their  final interior spaces in the program we demanded that students beyond planning and sculptural development of space with materials being a second priority to making the material and atmospheric quality of space the primary consideration in  their imaginings underpinned by your creative research into contemporary design  and designers.

So What’s next?

At the end very sadly we again find ourselves apart.

Having said this all of this years studio 8 group have demonstrated courage, resilience and focus.. they have worked committedly through a global pandemic that has turned their lives upside down. In this they shown to all wiling to see that they see their practice as having value to our communities and if they can work this way in these conditions, they are well prepared to the future challenges that their professional lives will hold.

On behalf of the Interiors Team at UniSa Creative I thank you for your spirit, congratulate you on your achievements and sincerely wish you well for a great future in our profession.


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