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Daniel Willimott

BA (Hons) Interior Design

Daniel studied BA (Hons) Interior Design after taking a break from education and is now looking to study MA Interior Design.

I have never heard of an educational establishment where you have access to a workshop and materials without having to pay per academic year, it is amazing!

Daniel Willimott

Why Teesside?

The Covid-19 pandemic forced me to re-evaluate my life and encouraged me to go back into education to study interior design. I chose Teesside as I knew the course would suit my needs, the modules were great, and I didn’t want to move away as I have a home and a husband.

Why interior design?

I’ve always had a huge passion for surface design and had studied this previously. My passion had extended to the design of space as a whole rather than just surface design.

Best thing about the course?

I am an extremely conceptual thinker and having the freedom to create without boundaries is something that I enjoy about the course. Blue sky thinking is something I struggle with due to not wanting to design something which isn’t practical or feasible and, so as conceptual as my ideas are, I still ensure that whatever I’m designing could be brought to fruition.

What do you think of the facilities?

They are amazing. The Waterhouse print room became my second home, and the Cook workshop was one of my favourite places to complete my final project.

The Library is great, I found myself in there a lot, be it taking out books on subcultures or paper folding right through to working late into the night on the silent study floor.

What is Middlesbrough like?

It’s close to the coast, and who doesn’t love the coast? Saltburn is stunning! Middlesbrough is what you make of it and if everyone spent more time looking up than looking down at their phones then I think they would appreciate the place a lot more.

You were a course rep, right?

Yes, for the first two years of my course. I supported students if they had any issues and put forward ideas and feedback at meetings. It was a great experience and one that I feel proud of having under my belt.

Did you work on any live briefs?

I took part in a project with ITV where we took a rundown caravan and transformed it with a £500 budget for a Robson Green fishing programme for TV. We gave the caravan interior a complete makeover using our own designs. Nothing was bought or sourced, but all done by hand. We reupholstered the seating, applied fresh paintwork, hung bespoke screen-printed wall coverings and soft furnishings. We even included carved fish for door handles, in keeping with the fishing theme. The caravan was unrecognisable once we had finished, and it was amazing seeing the complete transformation on TV.
More about the project

Any others?
Yes, a project alongside Healthy Happy Places, which was the redesign of a talking therapies hub in North Shields. This was an interesting project as it gave me a new understanding of design within the healthcare sector. Stereotypically interior design is seen as choosing a pretty wallpaper and a coordinating cushion or two, however it is so much more than this.

Would you recommend interior design at Teesside?

Yes. I would recommend both Teesside University and the interior design course. The course touches on every aspect of design and the skills you learn are invaluable. The course leaders and lecturers are super supportive, and the facilities are incredible. I’ve personally never heard of an educational establishment where you have access to a workshop and its materials without having to pay per academic year, it is amazing, and more people need to see the value in this!

What advice would you give to students?
You are never too old. You are always good enough. Stop thinking about it and start doing it, you will never look back.

What have you gained from Teesside?

More confidence in myself and my work. I do still have some self-doubt at times however this has improved massively. I also gained skills in computer programs like Autocad, SketchUp and 3D visualisation software, which will be hugely beneficial when seeking future employment.

Future plans?

To progress to the MA Interior Design. Ideally, I would like to work alongside this to gain valuable industry experience simultaneously, and potentially perhaps a PhD. I love education.

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