Cathryn Bishop, the founder and director of Cornish Interiors, has been appointed as Programme Leader for Plymouth College of Art’s new BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design and Styling degree.
Cathryn has designed boutique hotels, restaurants and private residences all over the world, as well as working with the National Trust and designing interiors for Plymouth landmarks such as The Glassblowing House and St Elizabeth’s House.
With over 15 years experience working in the industry, Cathryn, who grew up in St Kew, Cornwall, established Cornish Interiors in 2003, specialising in interior design and project management of any size and style of interior.
She is currently working on projects in New York, Barbados, the Channel Islands and across the UK, with budgets ranging from £75,000 to multimillion pound levels.
Speaking of her new appointment, Cathryn said: “I’ve mentored a lot of the staff that I’ve employed at Cornish Interiors and found that as I started visiting different educational establishments to speak to students, this became one of the most exciting aspects of my work. I get a real buzz from inspiring people about interior design and I’m thrilled to join the creative staff at Plymouth College of Art.
“I can’t wait to apply the things I’ve learned during my career, to shape the new programme of study and ensure that we’re teaching industry relevant skills. I have a degree in Spatial & Interior Related Design, and although I enjoyed it, when I left university I wasn’t equipped with the skills that employers were looking for.
“Using my professional experience I want to ensure that all of our graduates leave the college ready to work within the creative industries.
“The great thing about studying at Plymouth College of Art is that there are so many other disciplines to study alongside. Textile designers, illustrators and people studying traditional crafts can all come together in a studio environment. That creates a wonderful environment to create in, but also helps students to build networks that they’ll be able to draw upon after they graduate.
“Interior designers might work with different fabrics, wallpapers, lighting, furniture and accessories – on bigger jobs they’ll be involved from the day that an architect starts drawing up plans, right until the day that they arrange furniture and accessories in the finished building – so the opportunity to build a network of talented and creative peers is invaluable.
“By maintaining Cornish Interiors alongside teaching at the college, I plan to keep my practice relevant and respond to changes within the interior design industry.
“There’s so much experience that I can share about what you need to do to succeed as an interior designer. Sometimes a client will come to me with nothing but a plot of land, and I’ll work on that job right until the point when I’m arranging crockery in the finished kitchen. It always feels like Christmas day when you’re in a building, unpacking the furniture that you bought a year ago and dressing the room for a glamorous photoshoot.
“A lot of my clients rely on me for discretion and wouldn’t want to be named, but one of my favourite projects was for the National Trust. They have a villa called Portland House in Dorset, which is the last remaining example of Spanish Hollywood Art Deco in the country. The National Trust wanted to rent it out as a holiday home, so we restored it with the help of a historical buildings expert, using Art Deco furniture sourced in the UK and materials that were sympathetic to the period.
“The most nerve-wracking part was that at the end I had to give a tour to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Restoring those period features and then explaining my choices to the experts was a real privilege.”
Paul Singleton, Principal Lecturer and Programme Leader on the BA (Hons) Textile Design and Surface Pattern programme at Plymouth College of Art, said: “This new BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design and Styling programme is one of very few in the UK that will develop your skills in interior decoration, design and styling, emphasising the importance of colour, surface, decoration and ambience in the interior environment.
“We couldn’t ask for a better person to lead the programme than Cathryn Bishop and our students are sure to benefit from the wealth of experience that she brings to the role.”
(from a press release)
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