Hi everyone, my name is Eva Lloyd and I graduated with the Bachelor of Interior Architecture degree in 2004. The Interior Architecture program provided me with a strong grounding in design thinking and problem solving but also really ignited my passion for design. Since graduating, this has carried me through various twists and turns within and around the field.
My leanings towards things creative were pushed in the early years of the degree. Fundamental design principles, abstract thinking, technical skills and exposure to a wide range of practitioners in the fields of visual arts, design and theory. Let’s frank here though, there was a (healthy?) competitiveness and many a night spent in the FBE studios or computer labs! This course pushes a rigorous approach to thinking and doing which has served me well since graduating.
Valuable insights into the profession were gained from many industry based tutors, as well as opportunities to be involved in the design and implementation of end of year exhibitions and out of school projects. Cross disciplinary electives were a great way of expanding horizons; printmaking, painting and physicality, life drawing, objects and sculpture were some I enjoyed.
I was employed by small architecture firm, Edifice Design, throughout my studies and found this really beneficial in providing basic skills and an exposure to industry practices, but also in time management, an important skill in the world of design. Following my graduation I went on to study architecture and am now a NSW registered architect.
My experiences following graduation have ranged from local and international design work, teaching, conferences and workshops; in commercial and community fields. I spent several years working for design firm SJB Interiors which offered fantastic experience in the world of bespoke materials, furniture and lighting, largely in high end hospitality projects. I gained invaluable experience in the design, documentation and management of small scale projects both in the office and on construction sites. I take much pleasure in learning from contractors on site and in watching and working through projects as they come to fruition.
At a later stage, an interest in non-commercial work led me to several years working in Cambodia. Volunteering for a land rights NGO provided interesting experience in much larger scale urban design works and an insight into to the role design can play in the developing world. Some months turned into several years living and working in Phnom Penh, as well as travelling throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
Alongside Giacomo Butte, an Italian interior architect, I established Collective Studio in 2011. Working through the stormy wet season and the incessant hot dry season our Phnom Penh studio was one very different to that of Surry Hills. Our range of work has been broad, but largely has aimed to focus on projects and research with social benefit; design advocacy, affordable housing, urban design for land rights, community and public space interventions, city festivals. This has meant working with non governmental and governmental clients, and community organisations. Alongside and often within this, commercial projects have been a great means of understanding local skills, materials and testing design ideas.
Interestingly, I find the core design skills learnt in BIA still serve me well in this field of work; the importance of considering spatial experience as well as aesthetics, and the ability to creatively problem solve. Although it is a different set of parameters to the world of high end interiors, essentially it is the same game, design. Practicing and living in Phnom Penh has been a life changing experience, frustrating, hilarious, inspiring all at once. And one which has set the basis for the type of work I would like to continue.
I have been lucky to be able to tutor within the INTA program as well as throughout Southeast Asia during my practice work. This has provided a refreshing change as well as an ability to research and pass on/develop knowledge and skills.
All in all, my experiences have taught me to grab opportunities when they arise and not to hesitate in moving beyond the specific field of interiors or the city of Sydney. There is much out there to experience, explore and learn from. And I have had a whole lot of fun doing it.