How to become an interior designer in north London: The Teacher

Emma Rees

Emma Rees - Credit: Archant

Pascal Anson, interior design teacher at Central St Martins, explains the benefits of studying the subject and reveals the skills you need to be successful

The new Central St Martins Kings Cross campus

The new Central St Martins Kings Cross campus - Credit: Archant

Pascal Anson is an award-winning artist and designer, perhaps best known for his work on the 2012 London Olympics. He also teaches interior design at Central Saint Martins’ campus in Kings Cross, and explains that while the route into interior design isn’t always straightforward, doing a course in the subject is useful for a number of reasons.

“It’s good to understand how to design so that you can give your choices credibility. You learn how to draw and how to communicate. You might also learn about design history,” he says.

“It’s difficult to say the route most people take. You can train as an interior designer and do a course. You might be an architect that wants to work at a smaller scale and work with existing structures or you might be a furniture designer who wants to work at larger scale. Some people get involved with interior decoration because they are good at shopping and choosing things for other people.”

Anson describes his work at CSM as being both “practical and pragmatic”. He teaches a range of courses at the university, from Interior Design Portfolio to a Summer Study Abroad course, but all of them seem to retain the sense of being vocational.

“We teach a lot of skills like drawing, model making, idea generation and communication,” he says.

“It’s important to have a good, strong design argument so that you don’t get into a situation where you are able to only justify your design choices on the basis of ‘I like it’. If your design has strong rules and logic it will likely succeed and you will convince people that you are worth employing.”

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Anson, a man who appears to always be pushing himself, enjoys teaching “ideas” as it’s the most difficult skill to communicate. He’s clearly passionate about his teaching work but says that when it comes down to it, your success as a designer comes down to how “hard working, enthusiastic and careful you are”.

“A careful financial advisor will make a better designer than a careless architect,” he says. “It’s all about having the right attitude to your work.”