Student Look - Samantha Lay

Student Look - Samantha Lay

Samantha Lay talks design inspiration, her favourite course studied within the BIA & how her graduation proposal will provide something new and exciting to the civic environment of Sydney. 

Describe your proposal in 3 key words:
Artistic, educational and social.

Who is your favourite designer/who are you currently taking inspiration from?
As a BIA student, I believe it is vital to our learning and evolution as designers, to take inspiration from not only a single designer, but from a range of ideas and concepts explored by numerous artists and architects. I develop my designs by drawing inspiration from the people and places around me, learning from my peers and embracing the local art and architecture our city has to offer. For this particular project, I have been looking through various adaptive reuse case studies for the creative reclamation of redundant buildings in attempt to fuel ideas for my design. A recent trip to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) Hobart has been my biggest inspiration of all, dictating my material palette and the spatial narrative of my design. I have found it useful to gather my design thoughts through a collection of influential photographs, concept diagrams, sketches and texts from various sources (in essence anything that sparks my interest!). I like to gather these thoughts onto a personal mood board and use them to guide me through my design process. I firmly believe, as students still learning how to design, we should not limit ourselves to a single designer, but to learn from numerous mediums. We should encourage ourselves to go out to explore and to experience! Inspiration is essentially everywhere!

What is your favourite course you’ve studied in the BIA, why?
A highly enjoyable course during my time in the BIA was most certainly Drawing (SART1502) at the Paddington campus. This subject was a pleasant break away from architecture and design, enabling me to strengthen and develop my creativity outside of the built environment. It was a thrill to draw and render away from the computer (playing with lead, charcoal, pastels and ink!), something I find myself rarely exploring! I established this course as a safe haven, free from the occasional stress and the pressures of the BIA, I was able to utilise my creativity and imagination in a calmer and more relaxing environment. I strongly encourage anyone interested in drawing to undertake this course, as I entered it as an amateur drawer, and came out as a more skillful and confident artist/designer.

How will your grad proposal provide something exciting and new to the civic environment of Sydney?
The proposal to revitalise the abandoned White Bay Power Station into the House of the Creative Arts (HOCA), provides Sydney with the ability to elevate its global reputation, enhancing the educational, cultural and communal elements within the city. HOCA attempts to stimulate Sydney’s innovative and cultural reputation through the Creative Arts, housing a variety of programs from private educational and art-making facilities, to engaging social civic spaces. It will become the new platform for artists, creators, and all manners of creative people, providing them with an opportunity and place to cultivate their creativity. HOCA will act as a hub for the public to be completely engulfed in the Creative Arts and transform the Bay’s Precinct into a dynamic art district. Collaborative studio spaces, private and public workshops, art exhibition spaces, an outdoor theatre, art markets, and innovative dining experiences are just some of the exciting programs HOCA has to offer to the people and tourists of Sydney.

To read more about Samantha and her work, please head to: