Bravery and big commercial projects: in conversation with interior design lecturer Amanda Losasso
15 November 2022
When asked about her background and experience, Amanda Losasso smiles as she shares how she first became captivated by interior design. “I studied architecture, and my first job was in an architect’s practice. But I was seduced by the dark side and got drawn over to interior design!”
The initial allure of a faster pace and the promise of working with vibrant materials sparked an illustrious career for Amanda, who leads Falmouth’s new online BA in Interior Design. Cutting her teeth at one of London’s first large interior design agencies, Fitch & Co, she moved into a successful period of freelance work on big commercial projects, largely for retail clients including Thomas Pink, Office Shoes, Sony and Offspring.
Amanda’s commercial expertise, coupled with a PGCE and nearly 10 years of experience teaching in secondary and higher education environments, has strongly informed the design of the new course and marks a key difference from other interior design undergraduate degrees. “While the course will equip students with an understanding of interior design’s core principles, the commercial focus makes it unique and really prepares students for the world of work. You must wear lots of different hats as an interior designer; problem-solver, independent creator, team player, negotiator, listener, leader – we help students to develop all these industry-ready skills in real-world design scenarios”, she tells us.
We really care about helping students to see the value in their ideas and equipping them to take those ideas forward in groundbreaking ways.
With that real-world focus comes real-world challenges: society needing a new model of sustainable living and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the retail sector. Interior designers have a vital role to play in resolving some of these challenges, and it is a cause close to Amanda’s heart, as well as being central to Falmouth’s broader vision.
On supporting students to become sustainably minded graduates who will go out into the world with a mission to design for good, Amanda tells us: “We have a strong and overt focus on fostering sustainable approaches to design, and that’s not just through materiality, but also through construction methods, applications and awareness of greenwashing. We approach learning through the lens of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and its economic, environmental, and social pillars, encouraging students to build these into their design solutions at every stage.”
On devising effective design solutions, Amanda’s master’s research into creative risk-taking sheds light on how best to foster such an environment, as she explains: “As a designer, clients come to you to produce new ideas. They are looking for something which disrupts or challenges what is already out there. So, we help our students to be brave. And that’s quite a vulnerable place to be, especially as a student. My research centres around the conditions required to help students feel able to take creative risks, and it’s all about establishing an environment where people feel supported and listened to.”
Amanda is particularly excited to witness her students’ soaring in this creative online space, telling us: “I want students to feel part of a community, working together and experiencing challenges at the same time as one another. Whatever they have to say will be listened to, and they will subsequently be supported to develop those ideas. We really care about helping students to see the value in their ideas and equipping them to take those ideas forward in groundbreaking ways.”