Case Study: Julie Phillips Designs
My experience of NaturalsCool design courses...
As a ‘backdoor’ architect, stepping sideways into architecture from interior design, through an opening created by a throw away remark, I have looked for new ways to make up for my lack of formal training.
After a good few years as a drawing board slave with some other deviations along the way (including crewing on yachts, working as a varnish girl, cook, curio shop assistant, plate painter, and restaurant manager..to name but a few.) I found myself about to become a single mother and needed to get serious about work. And when the designer I worked for ran out of work, the only way to stay afloat was to find my own clients, and so I started out on my own, in the deep end.
With no formal training I felt daunted, but soon learnt to steal with my eyes and to ask somebody who knew the answers, if I didn’t.
In this process I stumbled upon Keith Struthers who’s fresh and curvy take on architecture was something I had not encountered before. When I mentioned to Keith that I was about to build my own house he said to me ‘ I hope you will be using some curves' “ oh no, I replied “ I don’t know how’ To which he responded ‘it’s easy peasy, I’ll show you how’. And so my curvy house was conceived and Keith showed me easy ways to create a dynamic form.
At first the builders cursed me, but as the beautiful shapes emerged they became, excited and enlivened by the experience and thrilled to be going over the usual edges.
When Keith was initially conceptualising the courses he invited a group of wannabe’s to participate in the course for the price of materials. We couldn’t believe our luck. Years later when finally Naturalscool was officially launched, I was delighted to once again do the, now refined, modules.
Although the fees were now not insubstantial, I knew the course would be worth every cent. I knew I would have fun, I would get to play, interact and engage with new and interesting people and get to do things I simply wouldn’t expect to be doing. I knew it would be an intensely thought provoking, multi-dimensional, stretching experience, presented in a fresh innovative and holistic way. It would be so much more than just architecture and how to represent and apply curvilinear forms.