What if one day you just packed up and moved to another country to follow your dream?
That’s exactly what Diploma of Interior Design student Tory Kay did when she left her native New Zealand and came to Sydney to study with us, just three weeks after making the snap decision!
It’s a big decision to go to another country to study! What made you come to Sydney Design School?
I had started my own small business procuring furniture and doing space planning for office fit-outs and I learnt a lot. I worked on a few projects alongside interior architects, but what I really wanted was to be able to design an entire room on my own.
A friend who was studying interior design had lived in Sydney and followed Sydney Design School on Instagram. When he tagged me in a photo and I saw how inspiring the School’s feed is I instantly hit the follow button.
Turning 30 a few weeks later had me thinking about what I’d done and what I wanted for the next phase of my life. I wanted to set an ultimate career goal and thought about what would I choose for my life if there were no limitations. Always having something to work towards is an integral part of being happy for me. I realised that ultimately what I would love to do is restore a Victorian era home in America.
I figured that the best way to achieve my goal would be to get qualified and work within a global company with studios in the US. Then I realised that if this dream was going to take me overseas what was stopping me from studying overseas?
So I picked up my phone and I called Sydney Design School. I spoke to Natasha and after telling her about myself asked “so tell me, is it worth moving my entire life to Sydney for this Diploma?” Natasha had so much faith in the course and in me that my decision was made right then. Three weeks later I was on a plane to welcome the new year in my new city!
How are you finding Sydney life?
Sydney is easy to get to from Auckland and in a lot of ways it’s very similar. The plus side is that it’s a lot bigger and there’s much more going on here – you’re never at a loss for a new sight to see or space to explore. Having those things readily available makes you a better designer. Looking at images on a screen can only take you so far – it’s so much better to experience places and spaces in person. I believe that to be a good designer you need to have those experiences.
What are you enjoying about your course at SDS?
I like how the course is structured in the sense that you start with the basics and fundamentals of design. The course builds from there and one by one each new component is introduced. It has a very distinct flow, you learn something new then put it into practice. Then towards the end you combine all the aspects of interior design and you turn out complete projects. By that point it feels like second nature. The process mirrors how you would produce projects with real clients: creating a concept, conveying ideas, designing, pitching and presenting. Communicating ideas effectively is a key aspect of being a good designer.
Because I wasn’t fresh from high school I didn’t want to spend three years doing a degree. Being able to do the Diploma of Interior Design full time means I can complete it within a year and that was very appealing to me. The course content also aligns with what I felt I needed, especially to make me proficient in the industry software programs and technical drawing. The School’s tuition fees are reasonable and I’m able to pay with a fortnightly payment option which is great.
What are your go-tos for inspiration?
I’m inspired by art in all different mediums, as well as graphic design which I studied when I left school. I’m always looking at beautiful branding collateral and I love scrolling Instagram, but it’s only as inspiring as the pages you follow. The term influencer is associated with the Instagram platform, so you have to ask by what and by whom am I being influenced and how is it shaping my reality? I’ve made a conscious decision to unfollow people who post nothing but their vacuous lives and selfies and instead I follow artists and designers.
Favourite interiors-related Instagram accounts to follow?
There are too many to list! I follow over 3,000 of them because I’m fanatical about interiors. I especially love the hashtags for old houses, #archi_ologie has lots of Victorian homes which were the inspiration for my life goal to restore an historic home.
Words to live by… Good design is like art, and art isn’t supposed to just look good, it’s supposed to make you feel something.
Design hero? Utkan Gunerkan because his work is so against the grain and never boring.
What are you reading? I’ve decided to start reading the classics and I’ve just finished Catcher in the Rye.
What are you listening to? I find it hard to concentrate while I’m working if I’m listening to music. Strangely piano music is an exception, so I’ve recently been listening to Joep Beving.
I can’t live without… My mini schnauzer, Truffles.