Alumnus at Formica Group

26 March 2020

Portrait photo Nina Bailey
Type: Text
Category: Interviews, Our graduates

Nina Bailey studied textile design at Falmouth. After graduating she was scouted for her first job at the New Designers exhibition in London.

Nina recently featured on Inex Online to share her journey to her current role as UK Design Manager at Formica Group. We captured some snippets below or you can read the full article here:

What inspired you to work in design?
I have always been creative, and for me, design is extremely fulfilling. Growing up, I was close friends with Architect John Pardey’s daughter, and was introduced to his work and continue to admire it still. I used to feel incredibly excited visiting or seeing images of the buildings he had designed around the world. This gave me a spark to embark on a career where you work towards creating a physical piece of design. I knew that I wanted to follow a similar path in this industry and create physical objects.

What has been your greatest source of inspiration throughout your career?
I discovered the work of Bauhaus Designer, Anni Albers, whilst studying textiles. I found her work particularly inspirational, and I still look to her designs and approaches for inspiration now. She was one of the most important influences on me while at university. Always bold and experimental, she was really ahead of her time, really pushing the boundaries in the early 20th-century male-dominated environment.

How do you approach your projects?
I approach each project with an open mind. Key to my role is the ability to translate trends and themes into final, well-thought-out projects.

Who is your favourite interior designer and why?
I really appreciate the work of Philippe Starck. His design ethos is quite unconventional, placing a greater emphasis on the end product being highly functioning before being beautiful. In design, it’s quite easy to get lost in pure aesthetics. Despite this focus, Starck’s work is memorable and iconic. He has been tackling the need for sustainability seriously for years.

What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
Getting to where I am today. I take each day as it comes while striving to accomplish something great every day.

What advice would you offer to those that are considering a career in design?
A career in design is one of the best decisions I ever made, but it has its challenges. You should be prepared not always to be working with what you love the most, and you need to be open-minded to other people’s opinions. Remember that design is subjective, and we all have our own likes and dislikes. Therefore, you should never be afraid to speak your mind; however, equally, you shouldn’t be offended if someone questions your ideas. Take criticism and direction in your stride, and you can achieve great things.

What do you believe is the biggest challenge for newly qualified designers?
When you finish your degree and start your first design job, you’ll realise that you can’t just create what you feel like anymore. It can be difficult to transition into that headspace where you design for a specific market or customer. However, once you do, it’s great. It’s really rewarding work and can open your eyes to new ideas you might not have considered before.

Source: Inex magazine and its complementary website is the ultimate specification resource for design professionals working in both the domestic and commercial marketplaces.

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