We recently caught up with second year student Gena Corbett who is majoring in Interior Design and studying a sub-major in Visual Arts. Here she shares her experience about studying at the Academy.
ADA: Can you tell us about your experience at the Academy so far? What has been a ‘stand out’ experience?
GC: The Academy has been a great experience so far, with a challenging but manageable workload. It is amazing to see what work my peers have produced, and the progression of everyone in my classes. The stand out experiences include some excursions we have been on and seeing what we have been studying in practice as well as learning from current professionals. Some examples of this have been visiting the PDG office and the workshop space for Christopher Boots and his lighting design. His designs are amazing and he’s local, just up the road in Fitzroy.
ADA: Do you enjoy displaying your work on campus for others to appreciate?
GC: Yes! At times it can be a bit daunting, as you are surrounded by such a talented group of people. Once you get used to it, it can be a great way to learn and expand on your ideas with feedback from others.
ADA: What has been the best part about studying Interior Design at the academy?
GC: The best part is without a doubt the teachers. They have such a wealth of knowledge and their own incredible portfolios of work. Studying at the Academy differs from other universities I've been at as you have a real opportunity to get one on one time with the teachers which helps the learning process and allows you to progress with guidance. Another great aspect is being able to take part in a sub-major study as it broadens the creative process and allows me to continue with a passion of mine - visual art.
ADA: So you came from another University? Tell us about that? Why the change?
GC: I have been to three universities now. I started studying Musical Theatre at VCA which was an amazing opportunity but I soon realised that it wasn’t the industry I can see myself in long term. I moved to RMIT to study Journalism and Media and found it great, but not creative enough. After doing an online Diploma in Interior Design I realised what a great field it is and came across the Academy to complete a full Bachelor Degree. Whilst the other universities were accommodating and had fantastic resources, the Academy offers one on one education, with plenty of opportunity to get involved in the school. In addition, I wanted to do my sub major in Visual Arts which not a lot of other places offer.
ADA: And the challenge?
GC: The most challenging part has been learning to balance the workload, but over the semesters I've found my own ways of time managing and remaining focused.
ADA: Have you been able to apply what you have learned to a project outside or inside of the academy?
GC: The skills I've gained from my interior design course has helped me in my current job in a furniture store, helping with visual merchandising, store layout and buying in product for the store. It's also been great to learn about spatial layout which has helped me with my flat too! As for inside the Academy, I've seen huge progress within my own work and am constantly looking for improvements.
ADA: So what’s next for you? What do you hope to achieve when you finish your degree?
GC: That’s a difficult question to answer as Interior Design can lead into so many different fields. I hope to do more study, either a masters and/or PHD but I won’t know exactly what in until I’ve gained more experience in the industry. The main areas I would love to go into would be specialist furniture and lighting design, sustainable design or set and stage design. I’m only half way through my degree now, but it is still all up in the air; I plan to work in the field following my degree for at least a year to solidify exactly where I want to be.
When Felicia Brennan graduated in 2016 and received a Distinction Award, she was pleasantly surprised. After chatting to her recently about her invaluable experience working while studying, we can see why she won!