As newly appointed programme leader for the OCA Interior Design course, I thought it appropriate that I introduced the new course and myself, and what better way to do that than via the brilliant WeAreOCA blog site!
I’m Patti Crozier and I’ve been a commercial interior designer for over a decade. I have taught in a number of institutions and have developed a passion for ambitious and progressive interior design practice and education.
I began my journey into the design world with an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design Innovation at Sheffield Hallam University. After graduating with my BA, I embarked upon a course in PR & Marketing, which propelled me directly into the commercial industry of design. I worked in-house for an independent Yorkshire based leisure group managing a team of staff designing and launching multiple venues across Yorkshire.
After many years, I left to start my own business, The Studio Patti and to fulfil my academic aspiration of completing a Masters degree in Interior Design, which I did at Manchester Metropolitan University.
My experience in the commercial and marketing sector developed a personal interest in the psychological understanding of how and why people use space and how companies and organizations can manipulate space to improve revenue. Since completing the course, and in light of environmental and political issues, I have become very aware of the negative impact that ‘fast-changing’ and ‘style-led’ commercial interior design industry can have upon the environment and also public behaviour. Leading me to question the consumption and disposability of interior design. This enquiry has made me curious of Kantian theories in taste and the argument for and against subjectivity and universality, and how these can influence our relationship with interior design. Finding methods to reduce transient trends of interior design and instead provide alternative ideas towards sustainable spatial longevity is now more important than ever. As such, discovering what makes us find a space appealing and/or comfortable by exploring our relationship with materials, spatial volume, atmosphere, history and construction is paramount.
Process and practice as a form of learning and development of interior design is inherent in my approach to design and one which I will promote on the course through practical exploration of media and model making. I have been very privileged to be part of a recent pilot project supported by Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and KFI (Knowing from the Inside: Anthropology, Art, Architecture & Design, University of Aberdeen). The project, which occurred in Bauhaus, Dessau in Germany, brought together a select group of multi-disciplinary graduates and undergraduates and aimed to explore the pedagogical benefits of learning through making and material experimentation. These tactile and experimental practices aim to challenge our preconceptions of design and encourage innovative and creative discourse. I aim to bring these pedagogical methods into the learning practices at the OCA.
I have worked on a variety of commercial, residential, charity and art projects across the North and have a deep knowledge of professional practice across multiple sectors. As an interior designer, I never work solely on the interior space; my practice stretches to lighting, textiles, art installation and more. I see great value in cross-disciplinary design and aim to bring the notion of a multi-practice approach to the OCA. In my own practice, as well as creating and leading my own projects, I also work collaboratively with artists, furniture designers, textile designers, graphic designers, ceramicists and many other practitioners. I am part of a small international group of cross-discipline designers that use a variety of techniques and influences to inform our work. We have collaborated on various pieces together from knitted spaces to graphic design exhibitions.
I will be heading up the Interior Design course, which is going to offer a truly exciting combination of technical challenges and innovative thinking. The course will place emphasis on the positive reshaping of attitudes and preconceptions of interior design. It will foster a deep and critical application of sustainable motivations, material experimentation, and ambitious and creative thinking so that students can become spatial dreamers, architectural investigators and playful innovators of interiors. The course has been recently validated and we are recruiting a team of skilled practitioners and educators.
I can’t wait to start the course and hope you will enjoy reading our posts in the future!
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