PDINZ Interview - Karen Ngan Kee

An existing Member (DINZ) who has gained up to five years experience as a practising designer and attained a high level of professional competency in their design sector. A Professional Peer Review must be carried out by a selected panel to acknowledge this Professional Membership (PDINZ).

PDINZ Interviews are a follow up with recent successful Professional Peer Review candidates. 

PDINZ Interview with Karen Ngan Kee, Interior Designer, Bossley Architects
Interview by Federico Monsalve

FM: Why PDINZ now?
Karen: I had contemplated it a while ago, and thought this year I must set myself the goal of applying to become a Professional Member. DINZ has become such a strong interdisciplinary organisation under the helm of the amazing Cathy Veninga. Over the years, I’ve attended presentations by many exceptional designers in different fields.   

FM: What do you think was the most useful/poignant aspect of your PDINZ interview?
Karen: Well, it was a great feeling when I found out my application had been accepted!

FM: What do you hope to contribute as PDINZ?
Karen: Perhaps, in some way to help foster recognition of skills and professionalism.

FM: What is your role at Bossley Architects and what does a ‘standard’ day look like for you?
Karen: Since graduating from the RMIT in Melbourne I’ve worked on both large and small scale residential, commercial, community and retail projects.
It’s especially enjoyable to be able to engage with some wonderful clients who come back to us time and time again with their new projects.
There’s a collegial atmosphere in the office and on a daily basis we’re all working together to resolve creative and technical issues both large and small as they come up. Pete Bossley is a great role model as he adeptly juggles 101 things in one day!

FM: Where do you see your strengths as an interior designer?
Karen: I try to give clients imaginative designs with a strong underpinning and an emphasis on quality and longevity rather than whims and vagaries.

FM: Hand drawing seems to be a strong component of your concept phase, what do you think that practice brings to a design?
Karen: I drew as a student, but to be honest have not kept this up, other than quick loose sketches when planning. I’ve seen simple pencil drawings in the Bossley office over the years by Pete, Don McKenzie and James Downey which are more captivating and lyrical than any render.

FM: You have spoken about "the joy and satisfaction of seeing how design can have a positive effect on the environments where people live, work and come together". Can you tell us of a specific instance where you felt your work had a particularly positive effect on its users?
Karen: From my first renovation project I was hooked on the thrill of seeing a conceptual idea materialise, and witness the positive effect that transformation of built form can have not only on physical surroundings, but also on the morale of the inhabitants.

DINZ Interviews

When the opportunity arises, DINZ interviews leading designers from here and overseas. These interviews seek to dig beneath the surface to address the common and uncommon challenges, problems and opportunities the design community faces.