Monday, 29 June 2015

Sky is the limit for dedicated designer

With no art background at school, or any family members in the design industry, alumnus Michele Rhoda is now enjoying phenomenal success as one of the partners in internationally-acclaimed design practice, Antoni Associates. The firm is renowned for creating award-winning interiors in South Africa and around the world.

Michele completed her National Diploma in Interior Design in 2005.

“I had a lot of catching up to do in first year,” she says.

“I persevered through the all-nighters and learnt everything I could from my lecturers and my talented classmates and graduated with a merit award. Those classmates are today some of my closest friends and I feel privileged to have been able to learn and grow alongside them for 3 years. “

Since graduating, Michele has had a meteoric rise to success.

After a 3 week internship at Antoni Associates in 2005, she was offered a job as a junior interior designer. Since then, she says, Antoni Associates has grown exponentially from a few people to over 35 staff members and she has been promoted to a partner at the company.

“My day at the office is jam-packed with team meetings, client meetings, jumping between various projects’ deadlines and brain-storming sessions; and plenty of prioritising and project programming! I work all the time – my heart and mind is constantly tuned in to being inspired by beautiful things, whether at the movies, listening to good music or ‘Pinterest-ing’ in a queue at the shops.”

Working in a high-pressured, dead-line driven environment keeps you on your toes and pushes you to be better in many different ways – professionally and personally. You need to be able to roll with the punches, while keeping your cool. A good sense of humour and always allowing time for reflection to see the bigger picture helps. I’m lucky to be surrounded by some of the funniest designers and technologists I know at work.”

Michele’s advice to up-and-coming designers is to be the eternal student and never stop learning.

“Open your mind: Travel (anywhere and everywhere, as often as you possibly can); visit art galleries. Question things. Develop your own opinion about the world, art and design. Choose a company to work at that has a design philosophy that resonates with your values. Lastly, and most importantly - work hard and be nice to people.”

Written by Janyce Weintrob

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