Dusko Gvero is an interior design graduate of the Higher National Diploma course. We caught up with Dusko to find out what drew him to interior design, what it's like to be a home study student and his plans for the future.
From Austria and living in Vienna, Dusko, a graduate of Construction Engineering, had been working as a project manager for Vienna International Airport when he realised that interior design was where his real passion lay. “I was responsible for various construction sites within the terminal area. It was my duty to focus improvement on the convenience of the passengers,” he says.
But increasingly, he was being asked to produce visuals and mood boards of how he would change the design of different areas. This was the starting point for his involvement in interior design, he says. “I started to draw concepts and it was so much fun. I thought ‘I really want to get trained in this industry, to be a professional’.”
Dusko Gvero: Succeeding in Interior Design
Choosing the Academy
In Austria, he says, there are not many opportunities to study interior design, “there is only one university [to study it] and it’s quite expensive.” He was also particularly drawn to studying with industry professionals and for him it was always clear: “If I want to study interior design, I want to study it where interior design has a strong influence; in a vivid and inspiring place. London was the best place for this.”
As a home study student carrying on a full time job, Dusko had to manage his time well. “There was no possibility for me to leave work and just focus on the study, so I had to work and study at the same time,” says Dusko. He focused on his studies at the weekend and admits he had an advantage when it came to parts of the course. “I was already familiar with technical drawing and drawing elevations and a lot of the architecture details were already familiar to me.”
One of the main challenges of being a home study student is staying motivated. “I had one period this year where I didn’t do so many assignments but this was fine because I think everybody has this. But then I really pushed myself and I did a lot of assignments in a shorter time. I think everybody has a little bit of ups and downs and this is ok.”
“I really wanted personal contact with my tutors,” he says, “this was a really big part for me. I really liked the forum to talk with the tutors and see what questions the other students had, it helped me a lot. But as well, my personal tutor, whenever I had a question and I was unsure how to complete an assignment, I sent an email and she always gave me a lot of good advice and it really helped me.”
Dusko describes how impressed he was with the feedback he received; a level of detail he hadn’t experienced in his previous studies elsewhere. “I really enjoyed the written feedback because it was so practical. I got so much advice and information about how I would actually do things in a real-life business and this was great.”
Concept board - image courtesy Dusko Gvero
Developing the right skills
When he started the course, Dusko often wondered to himself how other students were able to create such beautiful drawings. “Now,” he enthuses, “after two years, when I compare myself with these drawings, I’m at the same level or I’m even at a higher level. So it’s really met all my expectations.”
There was a particular moment on the course when Dusko realised he would have a future as a professional interior designer. “When we were asked to design a one-bedroom show apartment, I realised all the skills that I’d gained, like drawing a floor plan, making visuals, making mood board concepts and project timelines. Everything kind of came together.” This gave him so much confidence to know that he could put what he learned into practice and do it by himself. “I can now go out and run my own business. I’ve prepared everything during these two years and it really makes me proud and happy and self-confident in this profession.”
“I think it’s a beautiful profession,” says Dusko. “For me it has a good balance between creativity and managing things. A lot of skills are required for this profession; drawing, being creative, being able to communicate ideas visually, making presentations to clients and of course having knowledge of fabrics, textures, furniture design. But this is what makes it so interesting for me. There are lots of possibilities when working in the field of interior design.”
Working on real-life projects
Dusko is currently working on residential as well as commercial interior design projects. He recently finished a big commercial project. “We created a recreational centre and I was really proud when the project opened. It was more beautiful than I imagined it would actually be.
“In one year I would really love to imagine myself running my own design studio and offer interior design to a wide range of clients,” he says. “I would also like to continue my studies because I had a great two years.”
“I’ve learned so much, I really didn’t expect it to be so amazing.”
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