Interior Design Professional Shares the Blueprint for SuccessAugust 14, 2023 | Campus News
During The One Academy’s ID Week 2023, its School of Interior Design invited IDr Ronnie Choong Swee Beng, a founding member of the Malaysian Institute of Interior Designers (MIID) and a licensed interior designer with an extensive 40 years of professional experience, to conduct a sharing to its students. Choong, who is the founder and managing director of Innovative Space Dimension Sdn. Bhd., has received numerous design awards and accolades throughout his career, and also served leadership roles in prestigious organisations.
The informative and insightful session titled “Achieving Success in Interior Design Careers” touched on the various projects accomplished by the MIID members, such as the Burnin’ Pit Hartamas, Marta’s Kitchen, Sabayon at EQ, The Ritz-Carlton in Koh Samui, Sarawak Tourism Board, Mitsui Shopping Park LaLaport and Higashiyama Niseko Village, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Japan.
To briefly introduce, MIID is the only professional organisation recognised by the Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM) that represents the interior design profession in Malaysia. It is a merger between the Malaysian Society of Interior Designers (MSID) & Institut Perekabentuk Dalaman Malaysia (IPDM) to form a single body representing its almost 2,000 members of practicing interior designers, architects, academicians and interior design students.
In his sharing, he also conveyed the route to a successful career in interior design, the career options, how to land a job at a good design firm, as well as how to succeed and develop the early part of one’s career. He mentioned that it is better to have a great portfolio and good grades, and to work for a good interior design company that promotes growth during their apprenticeship period.
He also iterated that salaries are the least important matter at the start of one’s career, as it is more crucial to learn as much as they can throughout their career to improve their skills. He discourages the action of job-hopping frequently, as one should take time to learn about the company and the entire process of projects. They should also learn all aspects of an interior designer’s work so that then, they can choose to specialize in the area that they are exceptionally good in.
“Before you can achieve success, you have to define what success means to you. Success means different things to different people. However, success in a career is often a journey rather than a destination,” explained Choong. Some people measure success by making lots of money, achieving fame and recognition, being able to undertake and accomplish challenging projects, the ability to make positive contributions to society, to have a high position in the company, or to run their own design firm.
He gave students some pointers, such as to always observe their surroundings. Even while waiting for food to arrive at a restaurant, they can look around and initiate a monologue in their minds by trying to interpret what its interior designer was trying to achieve. Next, Choong walked the students through the route to getting a license as an interior designer. To carry the title of an interior designer, a person must be licensed and registered with LAM and MIID, among other requirements.
He also shared the ways to landing a job at a good design firm. One should have a great portfolio to show, and have confidence when attending the interview to show that they are eager to contribute and learn. They should also be prepared and learn about the company before the interview as employers are impressed if the candidate has an understanding about them and what they do, as well as the position that they are applying for. Additionally, they should exhibit qualities that employers look for: hardworking, intelligent, creative, committed to the job, resourceful, helpful, willing to contribute, learn and grow.
Lastly, he imparted to the audience the formula for success, which is to “Eat, sleep and breathe interior design. Make it part of your life.”
Next on the itinerary, The One Academy’s interior design students embarked on exciting field trips to learn about the industry outside of the classroom. They experienced an exclusive behind-the-scenes visit to Dynamic Furniture Industries (M) Sdn. Bhd., one of the leading manufacturer and distributor of sofas, to discover the art and craftsmanship that go into creating their high-quality furniture. The students got to witness firsthand the manufacturing process and gained hands-on experience.
Next, they paid a visit to Mode Interior Style, an award-winning Singapore-based interior design company in Malaysia. The company’s founder, Charles Loke Chee Kin, who is also an alumnus of The One Academy, guided the students to a world of limitless design possibilities. They were taken on an inspiring tour of the studio and learned about the company’s impressive portfolio, as well as how they tackle real-world design challenges. All in all, the ID Week 2023 was an unforgettable experience for these students as they gained valuable insights and inspiration to spur their interior design passion.
The One Academy is committed to providing the best art education programmes and continues to nurture its students passionately through its “Masters Train Masters” coaching philosophy, which has been practised for over 30 years, by providing diploma and degree courses in Advertising & Graphic Design, Digital Animation, Digital Media Design, Film Visual Effects, Interior Architecture & Design, Illustration, Fine Arts, Paris Fashion Design & Pattern Making, Computer Science & Game Design. For more information, visit www.toa.edu.my or call 03-7875 5510 or e-mail your enquiries to [email protected].