Cushla McFadden is one of the three directors of TomMarkHenry as well as one of the graduation design studio tutors for the BIA. We asked her some question's to provide some insight into her role as an Interior Architect in the industry & as a tutor.
1. Please write a short introduction about yourself, addressing the company you work for & your role, as well as your engagement with the BIA as a 4th year tutor.
I am one of three directors at TomMarkHenry, an interior design and architecture firm. For the past 4 years I have been involved with the BIA, as a tutor in Theory and most recently, Design Practice.
2. You are an alumni of the Bachelor of Interior Architecture at UNSW, when did you graduate from the course and how would you say the course has changed since that time?
I graduated from the same course I am now tutoring in 2010. Essentially, I feel the course is still very much the same. Yes, the structure has changed however I do think the outcomes are still the same as when I graduated. The course produces some of the most well-rounded designers in my opinion, with a fantastic work ethic.
3. After leaving uni how did you find the transition into the industry?
My first year out of university, I moved to New York and started working as an interior designer in an architecture firm. This was a very intense period, where I learnt a lot about the real world industry. As much as uni can prepare you, there is nothing like hands on experience. With this experience, coupled with the diverse skill set acquired from my BIA degree, upon moving back to Sydney from New York, I started my own firm with a partner who is also a graduate of Interior Architecture.
4. What do you enjoy most about tutoring the core BIA subject, design studio?
What I enjoy most about tutoring Design Practice, is helping students develop concepts. I love encouraging their ideas, and seeing them take them further than they felt they were potentially capable of. It is very rewarding experiencing the click between a student feeling out of their comfort zone with a design to seeing the moment a student feels they have got it.
5. What is the dream project for your firm to take on?
Our firm would love to take on a boutique hotel project. This would be the dream, as it is a combination of all typologies in one, hospitality, retail, and a form of residential without the usual constraints of a client permanently living in the space.
If you would like to find out more about TomMarkHenry please head to: http://tommarkhenry.com