Interior Design students’ outside celebrations

A crazy, vibrant, revolutionary, rebel was just one of the Central Institute of Technology graduates celebrating the completion of their Interior Design degree last week.

Peru born Christian Oshiro has also described himself as both ‘curious’ and ‘colour-fool’.  A broad spectrum of characteristics, that reflects the wide range of talent completing the Associate Degree of Interior Design (Commercial) that Central runs in partnership with the design school Billy Blue.

The unique course offers students the chance to acquire skills to create state-of-the-art commercial interiors in both the physical and digital world.

They develop their creativity to respond and adapt to the ever-changing drivers of commercial environments, such as retail stores and exhibitions, hotels, bars, restaurants, night clubs, workspaces and even the design of online, virtual commercial environments.

The nine happy graduates celebrated the completion of their training. A learning journey which taught them how commercial interiors can engage an audience, and gave them all an opportunity to apply theory to practice, by inventing a range of commercial interior design solutions for real clients.

billy blue 3

Graduate Kerrie Allen found the course a rewarding challenge.

“This degree and experience has been nothing short of intense. I have studied all throughout a relatively long career so far, in many demanding industries, and it didn’t prepare me for what was ahead.  We were the inaugural Billy Blue students of Perth and although it wasn’t a perfect journey, it was a real one, and that’s far more valuable”, she said.

“Design is underestimated – in business, in society and in the community. It is complex, intricate and above all, it is a way of life for those that pursue it”, she added.

“If there is one thing I have learned that will never appear on a course outline or a project brief, is that design is a method of thinking that can be applied to anything.  My eyes are now wide open to a world of opportunity that stems from what we have just completed.”

While in Peru, Christian gained his first degree in Architecture and gained experience in several architectural firms in Lima from 2001 to 2004. Heading off to Japan, he has travelled the world and worked in a variety of areas outside of architecture.

Now settled in Perth, Christian’s design flair was well illustrated with a recent award win.  He won the coveted National Samsung Staron Design Award in the concept category for his Kokoro shoe stand.  The mid-floor, heart shaped, shoe display was created for boutique store Melissa.

picture care of Samsung Staron Solid Surfaces
picture care of Samsung Staron Solid Surfaces

Kerrie and Christian both received individual awards at the graduation ceremony.  Kerrie won the HE Outstanding Award (Highest Grade Point Average) while Christian took out the HE Engagement Award (Most Engaged Student)

Off the back of live projects they worked on together, Christian and Kerrie realised that they shared many outlooks, including both wanting to affect change within the design industry. This included a desire to see designers of all disciplines collaborating and working together. A situation where designers move forward both independently and as a collective.

Their mutual ambition has given birth to Guerrilla Creative. This new collective aims to boost Perth’s ongoing journey as a cultural, innovative place in which to live.

Congratulations to all the graduates who look perfectly placed to help tackle this challenge.

Find out more about Central’s interior design courses


Central to transform the streets

Graduates from Central and Billy Blue Design College have been given the opportunity to use their skills to propose new ways for Northbridge business owners to refresh and improve their premises.

The Council has authorised the graduates to develop a property design program, which will be presented to the owners for voluntary implementation.

The focus area will be James Street (between Lake and William) and Lake Street (between Roe and Aberdeen).

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said property owners might be able to apply for Matched Funding Grants up to $5,000 to carry out approved works.

“The program is intended to provide industry pathways within the creative sector for graduating CIT design students while also resulting in a tangible improvement to the appearance of private properties in the focus area,” Ms Scaffidi said.

“The plan is for the graduates to form a ‘design collective’, Guerilla Creative, which, in partnership with CIT, will be contracted to work with businesses.  Lecturers will act as project leaders and mentors.

“Property owners may be exposed to new ideas which ultimately could benefit their businesses.

“City officers have undertaken a land use and dilapidation audit to identify issues which may inhibit businesses from improving their streetfronts.

“The audit highlighted such things as cleanliness, paint and material finishes, graffiti, visible air-conditioners and signage.

“The project brief will emphasise the need for an improved interface with the street and require elements including fire escapes, awnings, windows, entrances and alfresco areas to be incorporated, but will not require major structural changes.”

Ms Scaffidi said the City had a strong relationship with CIT through earlier ‘What If Northbridge’ projects, providing real-life experience to student designers

Eastern influences stay with six West Australian Designers

Japan is a land of great culture attention to detail and profound levels of organisation, which was experienced first hand by six lucky Central Interior Design students and their lecturer, Julie Fowell.

In late September, a select group of Interior Design students went on a study tour of Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan, to learn about Japanese interior design and culture.

For many it was the first time on an overseas trip, but for all, it soon proved to be an eye opening and inspiring experience.


The overwhelming response from the students was surprise at the attention to detail prevalent in Japanese design and how well they used space. Design student Amy Owen found that the trip gave her a whole new approach to interior design.

“Seeing the ways the other students learn and create their interior spaces was so interesting. They take a more architectural approach to their designing, where as we go for a more decorative approach. We were able to see the same space we had previously worked on, be transformed”, she said.

It was the attention to detail that struck fellow student Nicole Hollingshed.

“The study tour has motivated me to pay more attention to the little details in design as I noticed so much of their architecture and interior design was detail focused”, she said.


Wendy Hopper enjoyed mixing with the Japanese students to see how they went about designing.

“It was quite fascinating to see their approach was to build the physical space with model making skills while we put pen to paper and worked on our design in a different method and medium.”

The tour included visits to subway stations, castles, temples, gardens, shrines, teahouses, historical districts and the opportunity to participate in a local college workshop. The students have now returned to their studies with some long lasting travel memories, coupled with a greater awareness of the vast possibilities within the world of design.