Hello to Fatima Khuzem, thank you for contributing your story to People Who Make Places.
How do you describe what you do when someone in your family asks?
I am a product and spatial designer, and I use creativity to make/build things that can help address or solve problems.
What is the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
A project for Mumbai airport. The sheer scale of it was very exciting and it was the first of its kind that I worked on. It was designing all their passenger experiences in the arrival and departure zones – including all the physical things that went in it.
What aspect of your work gives you the best feeling?
Seeing the result of a project and talking to people that share the same sentiment.
What keeps you awake at night?
How I can balance having a lucrative career while doing the things I believe in and love. Also whether I will be a good mother.
What does your work now have to do with what you studied, if at all?
What I studied and continue to study act as stepping stones to refine myself as a person and in my work too. I still continue to be a designer like I studied to be. I use the same tools and knowledge but use them for all kinds of different things now.
What advice would you give to a young person interested in a career like yours?
My first advice would be that, there is no alternative to hard work. Doing anything different means having to fight for it. Secondly I would advise young people to start doing and making, as design and creativity is in everything. The easiest first step to take would be to start looking at people and things you find inspiring and try and replicate them. Keep a scrap book!
Do you want to help inspire and inform young people about creative freelancing? Work more with schools? Share your knowledge and experience?
If you work in a creative field, chances are you struggled to find careers information at school, outside of the ‘normal’ routes. Cultivate Routes is a new project based in Wandsworth, that aims to raise young people’s awareness of a wider range of creative careers by bringing freelancers into primary and secondary schools to work with teachers and to tell young people about their work and career path.
We are looking for early-ish career (up to 5 yrs) independent practitioners working in a creative, cultural or place-making related field (e.g. Product Design, Architecture, Landscape, Exhibition Design, Retail or Interior Design or Heritage) to take part in an ongoing programme of half-day careers inspiration workshops at schools in Wandsworth or Lambeth. A small fee is available to cover expenses and a planning meeting with the school would also be required in advance of the workshop.
We’d particularly like to hear from cross-disciplinary and collaborative freelancers with a successful ‘portfolio’ career.
This is part of the Cultivate Routes project, the careers strand of the Cultivate programme. Schools are now legally responsible for delivery of careers advice and guidance, and need support to cover opportunities beyond their expertise such as creative industries and place-making. We consulted teachers on their needs. They wanted professionals to visit schools to deliver interactive sessions, setting their pupils a challenge that would give a taste of their work. We are running some pilot sessions and will continue to offer it throughout 2017, and possibly longer.
Please share with anyone you know who might be interested!
If you’d like to apply, please fill out this short form in a lively and succinct manner.