Highlights of Studying Interior Design at Cardiff Met

Studying Interior Design has taught me more than I ever thought it would. I didn’t have any expectations of what I would take from the course; I went into my first year knowing that I wanted to be doing something creative and that Interior Design felt like the right way to do that on a big scale.

Throughout my studies I have faced some challenges. Within the first week of the course, I fell over and dislocated my knee cap, resulting in reconstructive surgery on my leg (not ideal!). The university were great and supported me working from home and catching up on the work I had missed. But, looking back this has never taken away from what I have achieved during my time at Cardiff Met.

In my second year I really felt that I found who I was as a designer, when I completed my first installation ‘Lilly’. This was my first really successful project and pushed me to want to achieve bigger and better things.

Straight after my Lilly project came the opportunity to gain some work experience through the ‘field’ part of the course. After an interview and presentation, I was lucky enough to gain a place on the Arts Council of Wales project, ‘Part of the Furniture’ where me and two of my fellow students (Eleonora Piga and Jarret Williams) completed a 10 week project where we taught interior design in a primary school in Pembrokeshire which resulted in constructing new furniture and redesigning their classroom, to show the impact that design could have on how we behave in our environments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt2rcW2Zal0&t=235s – Pembrokeshire Video

I am most proud of my final project that I completed ‘Explore’, which was set to allow us to design whatever defined us as a designer. I created ‘Floatable Lifestyle’ which was a range of sustainable, tiny, floating homes that set out to help the population in numerous ways. Not only did this project help me massively in achieving a First-Class degree, but also win the Cardiff Metropolitan University Interior Design Award. I have now received an unconditional to return to Cardiff Met, on the MRes Art and Design Research course, to continue developing ‘Floatable Lifestyles’ (which I am very excited about!)

After finishing my degree during the corona virus pandemic, I was disappointed – as was everyone – that I didn’t get any exposure for my work due to the end of year show being cancelled. So, through lots of research (and hundreds of emails) later I was lucky enough to have my work featured in a few online galleries including, The Social Distancing Art Project and Points of View and Shim Emerge. I was also featured on the Student Gallery, who not only shared my work across social media but interviewed me and published an article on my work as their ‘featured artist of the week’.

My work ‘Floatable Lifestyles’ also appeared in Design Week Magazines, “Design Weeks favourite projects from graduate season” Having my work featured in such an esteemed magazine is a huge achievement for me and something that I am incredibly proud of – a great way to end the course.

Online Design Portfolio: https://www.jaisysdesigns.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaisy_davies/

Exposure- Concept Crit

Host Building Anaylsis.

The host building currently sits in Cardiff Bay Marina as a floating office, known as Quay Pad. (Alan Gillard Associates, 2015.) I am going to change and adapt the existing structure depending on the client group I am designing for. The structural changes I will make will apply to the designs that involve a bedroom on the first floor. I will be creating a 1500mm extension up, to create a ‘sitting’ height bedroom. The shell of the building will then extend with this, to keep the original look designed by Gillard Architects (Alan Gillard Associates, 2015.) but taller. I will also be adding a floating structure (Perebo Schwimm Systeme. 2018.) around the home, to allow people to be able to walk around their house for cleaning, but also to create a small outdoor space, which could be utilized into a garden, sitting area or room for a small shed. This platform will also help to support the home with its new extension and keep it buoyant. Internally I will not be making any structural changes, due to it being a small area and no columns or other obstacles to work around. The only small change I will be making will be to add a ramp into some of the homes, depending on the client; as half the building drops by 300mm, creating a small step.

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As portable homes, they could be put anywhere in the world, with a body of water. I will be keeping my intended ‘village’ in the Cardiff Bay Marina, where the existing building currently stands. The sun path changes on where I place each home. I will be aware not to put the sun path directly into the large glass side of the homes, but over the top, as the water beneath the homes will reflect light into the interiors.

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‘City Fits’

For this project I have chosen to follow the ‘Arts Venue’ brief. When choosing my host building I found my own. I wanted an old building, with huge character and beautiful ascetics. When looking around Cardiff I choose the ‘Prince of Wales’ which is currently a Weather-spoons. This building has huge historic value, it was formerly known as the ‘Prince of Wales Theatre’ built in 1874. The building is grade II listed and therefore still contains most of the original features.

To source the plans for this building to get started on my design I had to search online and I managed to find the original plans that were submitted when applying for permission to make the original building into a Weather-spoons.

Looking at the plans, I next moved onto looking at the original interiors that still remain in the building and are to remain untouched.

These beautiful interiors must be worked into the design of the new building.

Next I started to focus on what I was going to be putting into the building, the arts venue calls for an adaptable space that can be used by artist, musicians, dancers, and actors. Therefore it needs to be adaptable and flexible to fix every clients needs. The space will also need to be grand, to fit with the talent that will be in the space, a piece of art in its self.

My sketch book of my working through the beginning of the project:

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