Graduate Interior Designer, Wingate Architects
Bachelor of Design in Spatial Design
She enjoys solving problems and exploring new design solutions, says Angel Chen who studied a Bachelor of Design in Spatial Design, with a minor in Entrepreneurship.
“After graduation, I worked for two years as a kitchen and joinery designer, and I now work at Wingate Architects as a graduate interior designer. My job involves visualisations through 3D modelling, spatial planning, creating material boards and design detailing.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to take part in a number of projects with a focus on sustainability, ranging from workplace and commercial projects, to residential designs. It’s gratifying knowing that the work I create is contributing to design for positive change. No two days are ever the same and I have the best team to work with.”
Finding her path
Angel says she always had a natural love for art and design when she was growing up.
“I was curious about everything, and in Year 12, I grew very eager to kickstart uni and enter the design industry. I took many art-related subjects at the time, and I went to AUT LIVE and the studio open days. AUT came across as a university that celebrated diversity and led innovation, so I knew it would point me in a good direction in the future. I was interested in multiple design sectors, but I chose spatial design in the end because of the different pathways it offered.”
She still has fond memories of her time at university.
“Looking back, I remember all the late nights my classmates and I stayed at uni to create and learn together. Uni had its challenges, but it felt like a second home.
“One of the highlights for me was a final-year course in collaboration with other design majors where we got to propose new solutions for the North Shore Hospital. We did many site visits before designing to experience a patient’s journey and learned a lot about healthcare design. It was inspiring to see how something like lighting and materiality can instantly impact someone’s life in a positive way. This made me deeply interested in human-centered design and environmental design, which led to where I am now.”
For Angel, being able to share her skills by volunteering was another highlight of her university journey.
“Sunday Blessings, the Auckland City Mission, UN Youth and the AUT student ambassador team are some of the organisations I was involved with. These experiences helped me really connect with the vulnerable communities, develop leadership and employability skills, and meet some great, like-minded people along the way.”
She has some great advice for other students.
“My advice to future AUT students is to keep being curious, never stop learning, give back to the community and enjoy every second of uni life.”
*The Bachelor of Design is now known as Te Tohu Paetahi mō te Hoahoa - Bachelor of Design.