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Graduate Kate Bond wins Mix Interiors ‘30 under 30’

Interior Design alumna selected for annual showcase of trailblazers from the worlds of commercial interior design and architecture
<p dir="ltr">26-year-old Kate Bond, a First Class <a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/ba-hons-interior-design">BA (Hons) Interior Design &amp; Styling</a> graduate from Arts University Plymouth, has been selected for a coveted space as one of the <a href="https://www.mixinteriors.com/event/meet-the-mix-interiors-30-under-30-class-of-2023/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Mix Interiors ‘30 under 30’</a> for 2023. The annual showcase of exceptional designers from the world of commercial interior and design is selected by the UK's leading magazine for commercial interior design.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kate works as an Interior Designer at AEW Architects in Manchester, a B Corp Certified employer that was listed in the Sunday Times ‘Best Places To Work’ 2023. In November she will return to Arts University Plymouth to share her expertise with current students and talk about her journey since graduation.<br /></p>
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Kate Bond (left). Photo credit: AEW

<p dir="ltr">Kate said: “Discovering that I had been selected as one of the '30 Under 30' was an incredibly humbling and exhilarating moment. It's a recognition that goes beyond personal achievement; it acknowledges the collective effort and dedication of the entire team I work with. I feel deeply appreciative to AEW Architects for nominating me, and to Mix Interiors for selecting me to be part of the Class of 2023. This recognition serves as a motivation to continue pushing boundaries in every project that I undertake. This would never be possible without the support and guidance of all designers, past and present, who have helped shape me to be the designer I am today.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Judges from Mix Interiors said: “Kate’s prior experience in high-end residential equipped her with skills in client engagement, enabling her to connect and form a strong brief with clients. Kate is now successfully balancing high-quality design skills with a robust understanding of project viability and sustainability. This success is no more apparent than at her recent project for charity client Ronald McDonald House Manchester. Both staff and visitors are overjoyed with the space Kate has created for them, ‘surpassing all expectations’.”<br /></p>

Kate Bond. Photo credit: AEW

<p dir="ltr">Liz Durcan, Associate Interior Designer at AEW Architects, said: “It’s great to see Kate’s hard work rewarded with this accolade. In a short space of time, she has become a key member of the team, motivating others and demonstrating a collaborative approach in everything she does – with the benefits for our clients evident. Beyond project work, Kate has immersed herself in the Manchester design community and has joined an array of events and organisations, including becoming a member of Women in Property. She’s built strong relationships across a wide range of industry suppliers and shares knowledge gained across the practice – always with a focus on sustainable manufacturers and suppliers.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Originally from Chichester, Kate moved to Plymouth to study at Arts University Plymouth, initially completing the UAL Foundation Diploma in Art &amp; Design at the arts university’s dedicated Pre-Degree &amp; Sixth Form campus. After completing the Foundation Diploma in Art &amp; Design, Kate chose to stay at Arts University Plymouth for a degree in Interior Design &amp; Styling, which she graduated from in 2019.<br /></p>
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Photo credit: AEW

<p dir="ltr">Kate said: “If you are looking for somewhere to study Interior Design &amp; Styling, I couldn't recommend Arts University Plymouth enough. After completing my initial Foundation in Art &amp; Design, I decided to stay at Arts University Plymouth for my degree because I was so impressed by the wide range of facilities and how easy it was for students to develop their work in new mediums, with help from highly skilled technicians.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The BA (Hons) Interior Design &amp; Styling curriculum not only taught us the necessary practical day-to-day tasks and software skills, but it also helped us develop a conceptual outlook and refine presentation and communication skills that I still utilise in my professional life. The lecturers and studio team are still active professionals in the industry who are happy to share their expertise and experience, making it easier for students to comprehend what it takes to succeed as an interior designer. This setup offers a seamless transition for students from the academic world to the professional world.” </p> <p dir="ltr">During her degree, Kate spent six months on a <a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/posts/working-at-vitra-interior-design-student-reports-back-from-top-industry-pla">marketing and design internship</a> at the London showrooms of Vitra, an internationally renowned furniture company.<br /></p>

Photo credit: AEW

<p dir="ltr">Kate had the following advice for any aspiring interior designers: “Pursuing a career in interior design requires a strong desire, passion, and curiosity. Start by getting a solid education and immerse yourself in the principles and techniques of interior design. Look for opportunities to gain practical experience, such as internships, freelance work, or employment. It will take many applications and many rejections, but keep going! Develop a portfolio that showcases your skills and reflects your distinctive approach.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It's important to stay connected with the design community by attending events and networking with other aspiring designers. Utilise technology to communicate your designs effectively. Above all, remain resilient, be persistent, and always believe in yourself. There may be challenges, but the rewards of transforming spaces into functional and beautiful environments are immeasurable, especially when the client is happy.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Kate will return to Plymouth in November to lead a guest lecture for Arts University Plymouth students about her transition from graduating to securing her current role as an Interior Designer. Giving tips about how to transition from university into industry, projects that she is working on and guidance on how she applies the design process, Kate will join Arts University Plymouth’s rich rolling programme of visiting lectures from industry professionals, employers and experts in their fields.<br /></p>
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Photo credit: AEW

<p dir="ltr">Cathryn Bishop, Course Leader for BA (Hons) Interior Design &amp; Styling at Arts University Plymouth, said: “We’re so happy to hear about Kate’s recent successes and can’t wait to catch up with her when she returns to Plymouth to speak to our current students. Kate was an exceptional student and took advantage of all the opportunities that were presented to her when she was here, so it was no surprise to see that she was snapped up and put to work within the industry so quickly.”</p> <p dir="ltr">To find out more about BA (Hons) Interior Design &amp; Styling at Arts University Plymouth, visit the next Arts University Plymouth <a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/events/open-day-undergraduate-and-postgraduate-nov23">Open Day</a> on Saturday 25 November.</p>