Anita Noeng talks design mentality, BIA advice & challenges faced with her graduation project.
Describe your proposal in 3 key words:
Dynamic, technological & educational
How has your design mentality evolved over the 4 years?
Studying this course for 4 years has really opened my eyes to the importance of design on daily life. I’ve become much more aware and appreciative of the fact that basically every thing around us is designed. I’m also finding it easier and easier to find new sources of inspiration from so many things in our surrounding environment. In terms of design work, I used to be really strict in my design and thinking process but I’ve come to learn that so much of it involves experimentation and risk. These 4 years have taught me that design is unpredictable and should be free, not constricting, and that it’s alright to make mistakes along the way as long as you learn from them. I’ve also come to realise that although the design world can be harsh and brutal, it’s never personal and any criticism can be, and should be, used constructively.
Advice that you would give to any first years / things you wish you knew that could have benefited you:
Don’t be afraid to take risks and always question everything. When you’re working on a project, don’t be afraid to spend time on an idea that might not work. All research, whether it’s successful or not, is still research that you can learn from and use to move forward, and can keep you from going straight to the normal or obvious design solution. Another piece of advice I would give is that you should take the time to find out what your unique characteristics are as a designer. This might seem obvious but sometimes you can get caught in the assessment requirements for a project that you forget or simply don’t have time to explore your personal style and strengths. Figuring out what these might be may take some time and a lot of testing but can really help you to understand yourself and what works best for you, and to help you stand out from the crowd.
Biggest challenge you have faced throughout the development of your scheme? How did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I have faced was probably the process of translating all the research into actual designed spaces. For me, the most difficult space to step in to was my proposed Contemporary and Media Art Gallery. Although a gallery might not sound too difficult, I found it quite challenging to not get stuck in the white walls-floor-ceiling dilemma. Precedents can be useful in helping you to understand how and why a design works for a specific function, but in my research I found so many similar gallery designs that I became somewhat stuck in that specific aesthetic. To overcome this I had to step out of that mindset and away from those precedents, and begin to think of how the design of the gallery could create an experience in itself – to create a space that didn’t rely on the artworks to be interesting or engaging. Reminding myself to not fall into the obvious solution has really helped me to redefine what a gallery space, and my other proposed spaces, could be – aesthetically and functionally.
'Altagamma Italian Contemporary Excellence' Exhibition at the Milan Triennale, by Migliore + Servetto Architects
To check out more of Anita's work, please head to: https://imprint.be.unsw.edu.au/projects/anita-noeng