Interior design students fury over alleged lack of lecturers

Interior design students “don’t have an identity” due to a supposed lecturer mix-up.

Alex Sunier

Interior design students and graduates are to make an official complaint to the dean of the faculty, fearing their well-renowned course is under threat.

The anger among the 114 interior design students was roused when they returned this September to discover that they were being taught by architecture lecturers, and in a completely different way to previous years.

A third-year interior design student, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It’s difficult because we’ve been taught to design and work in a certain way and now that’s completely gone out the window.

“We don’t have an identity, a voice or studios. They have just taken away something we were all passionate about, and everyone is doubting themselves and their degree now.”

Dispute between students and lecturers

Despite students insistence that they are being taught by architecture lecturers, senior staff have said the course is taught by interior design lecturers and keeps pace with industry.

Daniel Rosbottom, head of the School of Architecture and Landscape said: “Interior design at Kingston University is taught by interior designers and architects. The course has never been taught exclusively by interior designers because it is, by its nature, a multi-disciplinary practice.

“Over the past year there have been several meetings between staff and students, including myself, to discuss the developments in our teaching and our aspirations for the course. Feedback from these meetings has been generally positive. A series of such meetings took place at the start of the current academic year.”

Moved from studio

Having been moved from their Knights Park studio to the Avionics building, the students do not have a Mac room, and only have studio spaces twice a week. The students argue that studio space for model making is essential for their course.

“When we apply for jobs, I don’t think the work we are doing will help us get one. I feel like interior design has been shoved out,” said another third-year student.

Kingston University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor of Education Professor Lesley-Jane Eales-Reynolds said she is taking the students’ dissatisfaction and problem very seriously.

She said: “This is so important because anything that damages Kingston’s reputation, also damages our students.”

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