Advanced Entry Graduate Story: Alex Laurenson, Interior Design >

Alex Laurenson


BA (Hons) Interior Design, First class, 2014
James Brough Memorial Prize Winner, 2014

Route into GSA
College Qualifications
(click for links to same/similar courses)

NC Portfolio Preparation, Glasgow Metropolitan College (now City of Glasgow College)
HND 3D Design: Interior Design, Glasgow Metropolitan College (now City of Glasgow College)

Alex Laurenson_Journey

Why college?
Alex had taken a break from education and didn't have the qualifications necessary for admission to art school.

Why GSA?
The Interior Design degree at GSA has a good reputation and Alex wanted to stay in Glasgow. Studying at GSA had always been his goal.

Alex's Journey to and through GSA
"I started my current educational process as a mature student. I had been DJing at the Art School union from 2000 to 2008, and working as a self employed arts worker during this same period, but a major change in my life allowed me to go to Berlin for a few months to figure out where I wanted to go next. Architecture and Design have always been something I have been interested in, but I just never had the courage to study them, as I lacked the self ability and confidence to do so, I decided upon speaking to a friend who was a part time tutor at Strathclyde University about the adult entry to the Architecture course there, so I enquired about the course over email upon which they told me I should have at least an HND in Interior Design if I wanted to apply as I have no school qualifications. I found the City of Glasgow College ran an HND Interior Design course and enquired about that, to which they asked whether I had a portfolio, which of course I didn't. I found that they ran a six month full time portfolio preparation course, and I started that, and then on to the HND. I always wanted to study at GSA as the reputation there is really good.

Alex Laurenson_Workillustration from Alex's Manifestation project

"I found GSA to be exactly what I needed. It had a self driven course with creative freedom, compared to the very formal courses run by City of Glasgow and Caledonian University, and this really helped me focus on the development of my ideas and design interests. All the tutors were extremely helpful and knowledgeable as they are generally all practising Interior Designers."

What was your college course like compared to GSA?
"College was definitely good for learning the basics and the more technical side of things as it was drummed into me from the outset, whereas GSA was more creative and those things came later."

If you could go back in time and give yourself advice when you first started your degree at GSA, what would it be?
"Just do as I did, I had a great learning experience and got the best result I could." [Alex got a first!]

Any advice for aspiring designers and applicants to Interior Design?
"When designing, make the most of the process of how you got to your final design, this is more important to GSA than the final design, they are interested in what you can be and how you think and develop. Don't be afraid to experiment!"

Now that you're a graduate, what are your plans for the future?
"I have been lucky enough to find work and in fact started my job as an interior designer, the day after submission for my degree. I would quite like a holiday at some point though as the last year has been very intense."

Alex is currently a designer at Glasgow-based STUCO. You can see more of Alex's student work here