Inscape: Preparing The Next Generation of Interior Designers
“Previous Experience” – The two words that all newly graduated students fear. Entering the Interior Design marketplace and securing a job position is not the easiest task. There is a wide range of factors a potential employer is looking for. We asked Carsten P. Walton, Inscape Faculty Dean for the Built Environment, to share with us some of the things you should know!
The student’s qualification plays a very important role, as this ensures that the basic foundations and knowledge are in place to tackle the diverse range of task within Interior Design. It is key that the qualifying institution is an accredited higher education provider, offering SAQA registered qualifications. As in the case with Inscape, this not only enables students much greater opportunity when entering the job market, but also ensures that the qualification is recognized internationally if need be.
Evidence of a designer’s previous projects is a sure way to convince any potential employer or client of not only capability as an Interior Designer, but also work ethic. At Inscape, the emphasis is placed on students creating a diverse portfolio, incorporating a variety of interesting projects from small conceptual spaces, ranging to larger retail, commercial and hospitality design. Demonstrating a firm technical understanding of construction and business capability is a must.
Academia can equip students with all the foundational knowledge they need to enter the Interior Design profession. It can teach them about all the latest trends in green and environmental design technology. It can prepare them for contract law and how to professionally work with clients. However, implementing all this academic knowledge is the final test, which can only stem from practical real-world experience.
Inscape students have to complete ‘experiential training’ during their third year of study, where they immerse themselves into a 6-week unpaid internship with a company or practice of their choice in the built environment. Here they get to practice their new skills and knowledge directly in the workplace. Students return from this ‘in-service training’ with not only a much better understanding of how the built environment functions, but with 6 weeks experience already in hand.
Third year students at all Inscape campuses are currently preparing to start their ‘experiential training’ from the end of June. Should you be running a business or practice in the built environment and wish to assist a student with the opportunity to experience and work in your field, please feel free to contact your nearest Inscape campus (Pretoria, Cape Town, Johannesburg/Midrand and Durban) for more information:
Image Credits: Students Projects
Pholile Manonga – Inscape Student – Entrawood Collaboration – Office Design. 2017
Atlanta Lombard – Inscape Student – Retail Design & Light Study. 2017