This Interior Design School’s Sydney Campus Is as Stylish as You’d Expect
When you imagine an interior design school, it’s likely you envisage one of the most stylish spaces in town—and the Sydney campus of renowned interior design school, iscd, is exactly that—and then some.
Located in North Sydney, the light-filled space was aptly designed by the school’s educators-come-interior experts who met the brief “raw and refined” to a tee. From the moment we set foot inside the space we instantly fell in love—from the design quotes that are stencilled onto the concrete floor, to the custom-designed reception wall made from hundreds of mismatched pieces of recycled timber, and all of its chic-meets-cool style.
With over 34 years of experience, the DIA Recognised school offers on-campus, online, and short courses in everything from interior design to surface design, and is one of the country’s leading interior design educators—budding interior experts, take note. And while the courses are amongst some of the best in the business, it’s almost worth signing up just to be able to relish in the campus's Instagram-worthy interior. We chatted with iscd’s general manager, Wendy Greenhalf, about the inspiration behind the design of the space, what she loves most about it, and how it inspires students on the daily. Aspiring stylists, interior decorators, interior designers, or colour specialists, scroll on and take the tour.
MYDOMAINE: Where is the office located?
WENDY GREENHALF: iscd now has two beautiful offices. The new Melbourne campus is located in the CBD, just across from Southern Cross Station and our main office is nestled in the bustling hub of North Sydney. We also have an online community and run a PopUP Campus program that we take to the road and set up classroom environments in different cities around the country.
MD: Who designed the space?
WG: iscd collaborated with some of our expert educators, who are also active designers and professionals in the industry for our Sydney campus.
MD: What was your inspiration for the design of the space?
WG: We needed to create a space that would allow us to evolve and grow as a campus and school. With office space still being at a premium, flexibility was one of the key requirements for the campus—the pivot wall that opens the studio up to the kitchen and break-out area creates a function space, while the studio pegboard joinery panels allow us to hang work for exhibitions and workshops.
MD: How would you describe the style of the space?
WG: “Raw and refined” was the theme, so it boasts raw timbers with concrete finishes and lots of natural textures. There is also a hint of Scandinavian design woven into some of the spaces, too.
MD: What do you love most about the space?
WG: I love the flexibility. It allows us to have separate break-out areas and meeting spaces that bring staff and students together. Then through clever design, the walls open up to the studios allowing us to transform the space, taking on more of a gallery feel where we can hold events and student exhibitions.
MD: What is the purpose of the space?
WG: Our core focus is the students and creating an inspiring learning environment where they can grow and achieve their dreams and goals.
MD: What is your favourite item in the space?
WG: It is hard to go past the custom-designed timber reception wall. It has real wow-factor and I challenge anyone to be able to resist the urge to walk past it without wanting to touch it! I also love the design quotes that are stencilled onto the concrete floor, they inspire me every time I walk past them.
MD: How many people occupy the site?
WG: At any one time we can have up to 20 staff and educators on site. We offer a range of courses from Certificate IV in Design through to Diplomas in Interior Styling, Surface Design, Colour Design, and Interior Design, so when the students are on campus there is a real buzz in the office.
MD: How long have you occupied this space?
WG: We moved into our current Sydney premises at the beginning of 2013 and we opened our Melbourne office at the end of 2015.
MD: How would you describe the environment and culture of the office?
WG: We have a wonderful nurturing culture at iscd so the office design reflects what we believe and stand for as a school. The reception area is engaging and reflects a mix of cutting-edge design and manufacturing with natural handmade detail, which distils all the ideas and inspiration we want to show when people first arrive at iscd.
MD: How does the space influence and inspire both yours, your team's, and the students' work?
WG: It is the most rewarding place to work—every day we come across talented students who are producing incredible work with the help of our quality educators, who together with our graduates are making outstanding contributions to the Australian design industry.
Dreaming of a career in interior design? Attend an iscd open day in either Sydney or Melbourne on January 21 from 10.30 a.m. until 1.00 p.m. It’s here where you’ll meet the educators, mingle with graduates, tour the campus, and have the opportunity to win a free workshop.