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Laura McKay

3D Design

Ba 3D Furniture And Product Design Student Lauramckay 255Where are you from?

Warkworth, Northumberland

Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle?

I love Newcastle as a city, and it felt natural to progress there from Newcastle College, Northumbria has the best building, the best workshop and the course that I knew would fit me perfectly!

What do you think of Newcastle and our region and what are your favourite things to do?

Newcastle's such a creative exciting place to live, it's beautiful and the perfect size, not too big and scary like London and not too small. Night life is as crazy as you want it to be. My favourite thing to do is go for a walk with my camera, the architecture is an endless source of inspiration.

What has surprised you most about living in Newcastle and this region? What has impressed you most?

I'm most impressed with how I safe I feel, at any time of day or night. I'm surprised how friendly everyone is, even if they look scary on first glance. Newcastle defiantly has a sense of pride, and even though it's normally a bit defeatist on match day it's still full of atmosphere.

Did you find Northumbria University welcoming? Was it easy to fit in?

It quickly became my second home. The tutors and technicians genuinely care about you and as my class wasn't too big I became friends with everyone fast.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

Everything I've learnt and how much my confidence has grown. I loved it that much I've stayed on to do my Masters. The general feel of the Design Building is exciting and familiar. You end up not minding you spend most of your life there!

What is your favourite place on campus?

I could be bias and say the workshop, because I felt most at home there but sitting on the little grass seats in the sunshine between the two halves of the brains (law and design building, campus east) after a busy morning is just bliss. It was fun to watch all the fashion students in their crazy clothes and the graphic designers emerge blinking from the light after staring at computer screens.

What is the best thing about your course?

The best thing about my undergrad course was the hands on experience I gained. I learned to work with most materials and the workshop is so well stocked with every machine you could need! The technicians and tutors generally care about you and are always a great source of information and support.

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date?

To take a chance and be brave. In my case, it's that I've learnt to have the confidence to be simple with my designs. If you believe in yourself and your ability, others will too!

What do you want to do in the future? What skills have you learned/improved that you think will be of most use in your future career?

Currently I'm doing multidisciplinary design innovation, at Northumbria which is based in the new design centre in Gateshead. This has opened opportunities and options I never knew existed for me! I still want to be a furniture designer, a table that I designed in my final year of 3D furniture and product won an award in a local exhibition and I will be taking it to DesignJunction down in London this September which is exciting!

Have you taken up any opportunities to travel with your current course/undertake field trips? If so, please tell us about them.

I went down to London for New Designers for our final graduate show which was eye opening and exciting in equal measures. It was great to see what everyone else had been up to, again i might be bias but the standard of work that Northumbria University produced was unparalleled. On my stand alone, we won Designer of the Year 2013 and a lighting award!

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say?

Do it! I promise you that Newcastle is the friendliest city, the most exciting, the night life is amazing and the university is the best in the country. Choose your course wisely and you will have the best years of your life!

How do you feel you have changed as a person since being at Northumbria University, Newcastle (e.g. confidence)?

Collage was the first time outside my little village and the first time making a new group of friends, after that year University was an easy transition to make. The freedom and opportunities you get at Northumbria will change you, and it can only be positive. The three years spent at university will flash by but each experience is vital to your growth into the 'real world'.

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?

Inspiring, insightful, invaluable

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend?



*BA (Hons) 3D Design was formerly known as BA (Hons) 3D Furniture and Product Design.

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