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In conversation with: Georgia Keeble

BA (Hons) Interior Design student, Georgia Keeble, received an Honourable Mention in the International Design Awards 2022. She tells us more about the development of her work. 

About Georgia

I am a third-year Interior Design student at Norwich University of the Arts. I have always had a passion for wanting to help others with my work. During my early years of education such as GCSE and year 12 A-Levels, I always saw art as more of a hobby than a career. However, in my final year of A-Levels, I realised the power of art and how it can connect people and places in a way that other things can’t. I would frequently watch DIY SOS when I was younger which gave me the desire to make a difference. People live in spaces, therefore interior design felt like the perfect mix to connect the two.

Studying at Norwich

I chose Norwich University because I wanted to stay close to home as I am close to my family and having their support nearby means a lot to me. To add to this, Norwich is a beautiful city and although I have lived in Norfolk my whole life, I have never managed to explore it fully.

My first year at Norwich was during the Covid-19 pandemic, which meant that I had an unorthodox introduction to the field of interior design. My learning was spent distanced from my fellow cohort, with no more than a screen to connect us. This isolated experience presented creative difficulties, so I had to find my source of inspiration from my surroundings. I dedicated a lot of time and effort to try and understand the importance of interior design. I thought that residential design would be a key passion of mine, however this changed when I had the opportunity to explore different fields.

My first year briefs

The first brief involved redesigning a concession project, which showed the collaboration between two brands: Miu Miu and Moleskine. I really enjoyed this project as it allowed me to develop new skills in Photoshop and scale drawings. I chose to create a minimal but luxurious design that could enhance the consumer’s creativity whilst they explored the collaboration. I enjoyed the psychology of connecting people to products using their surroundings. The project is something I redesigned during the summer of 2022, utilising my current skills to bring the project to life.

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The final project of the first year was to design an office space at Crystal House in Norwich for an interior design company. I based the designs around biophilia – a type of design that uses natural elements that can improve people’s mental health. During this project, I began to explore ArchiCAD, an architectural design software. The software was very challenging and personally I found it too blocky and lifeless. I felt disheartened at this point as my drawings are typically expressive. Because of this, I compromised by using a white card model from the software and used my drawing skills to overlay the rendered images to give more life and flow to my project. This is a technique I have continued with throughout my degree, and it is now a step that allows me to visualise the space of my designs through drawing.

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My second year projects

I pushed myself to learn ArchiCAD to a higher level, alongside other CAD software such as SketchUp. My first brief was to design a restaurant space at East Gallery in Norwich that was inspired by a cuisine. I chose a Mexican theme because I had been to Mexico prior to the brief and I was fascinated with its historical elements.

I have never been one to take an interest in history, but this project made me realise how history can create art in a beautiful way. The project was inspired by the Mayan culture located at Chichen Itza, their beliefs, and the god of fertility of the Earth, Quetzalcoatl. The navigation of the design was inspired by Quetzalcoatl, as they were also a symbol for Venus’ synodic period (the time Venus takes to be seen again from the Earth in the same position with respect to the sun), which happens every 8 years.

“Finding stories and making them into space is something quite beautiful to me, and I try to use this as a source of inspiration now”

This project was submitted to the International Design Awards (IDA) in early 2022, and I was rewarded an Honourable Mention from the judges. The link to the submission can be found via the link on my Instagram page @georgiakeebledesigns. This was a proud achievement because I dedicated a lot of time to this project, particularly in the research phase. This research led to my feature piece of the copper ceiling installation that takes you to the bar from the entrance.

I wanted to push myself within the design process and the ceiling installation allowed me to explore different tools to bring my ideas into reality. Enscape, a rendering software, amplified the rough texture of the copper and how the light reflects at certain angles. This stage of the design has allowed my work to be more photorealistic rather than something that looks half-finished. The ceiling installation is another example of drawing over an image.

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I could never pick a favourite brief as they all have their unique qualities. However, a project that stands out, was about repurposing St Margaret’s church in Norwich. I decided to create a community centre for families with foster children, to come and connect with one another. I centred the project and designed it around boardgames. During this brief, I pushed the boundaries of what a board game can be and what that can mean for people to create a space for young children to learn whilst having fun.

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My work within the Interior Design industry

I consider the context of my work to fall under visual merchandising or exhibition design. This way I can challenge myself and push creative ideas. There are infinite ideas that can be formed that allow consumers or visitors to be emotionally attached to a space to make them feel a certain way for some time. This gives them memories that they can share with others. For my signature project, I am creating an exhibition space for adolescents about the neolithic period. This is currently a work in progress, but my end goal is to create an immersive way of learning that allows the visitor to feel the mining atmosphere of the period.

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