Coffee with Lucy Sutherland & Dani Butchart from ISCD post VFNO

By Emma Clapham.

ISCD is the home of design and education. If you’re passionate about colour and interior design, and want to change your life or career, iscd is the ideal place to start and lucky for us Melbournains ISCD have just opened their very first Melbourne Campus. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Lucy Sutherland – General Manager of ISCD and Dani Butchart ISCD graduate and who also recently designed this amazing container (As seen below) that was shown at VFNO.

Find out what inspires these talented ladies, how they arrived in their respective careers and what is next for them below.

Lucy Sutherland – General Manager of ISCD 

Tell us a little about your background and what path led you to what you’re doing now? I have always worked within the colour and design industry and it is something I am very passionate about. I started out in a marketing job for a paint company that soon cemented an absolutely love and passion for colour. I was lucky enough to develop a role that allowed me to create all of the colour ranges, to research and present trend forecasts, work on innovative new products even down to the not so fun job of naming paint colours! Over the years I established myself in the field of trend forecasting and colour communication working across a number of brands within the Australian industry. I headed up Colourways- the Australian Trend Forecasting Association with a colleague and travelled extensively observing and reporting on colour and trends all over the world. I used to give guest lectures at iscd and run workshops for them. I loved the content and style in which they taught and was luckily enough to come full circle and now work as the GM here. I feel like this is the perfect blend of colour, design, industry involvement, talented educators and students that culminates in a wonderful and rewarding working environment.

Since joining ISCD as the General Manger you have undertaken a complete transformation of the ISCD brand, course structure and marketing campaigns. What has been your biggest achievement so far? I feel like the most rewarding and fulfilling achievement is witnessing the incredible success of so many of our graduates. Choosing to change careers or venture into something new is not an easy decision. When we first meet most of our students they are nervous, lacking in confidence and questioning if they have made the right decision. Seeing them develop their confidence as well as design skills as they work their way through our courses is so amazing. We try to keep in touch with as many of them as we can and it is the best feeling to open up a design magazine and see their work regularly profiled. I also feel hugely proud of our gorgeous Sydney campus. It is a true reflection of who we are as a school and was designed by 2 of our graduates and educators and features products designed by some of our talented alumni.

You are about to open the first ISCD campus in Melbourne (so exciting) can you tell us what we can expect? Expect a creative space that is inspiring, nurturing and designed to foster true design talent. Our new campus offers light filled studios, student breakout spaces, fun and informative workshop programs, educators that all work within the design industry and of course courses that are specifically created to give students creative confidence and ensure they are fully equipped to step out into the design industry. 

Had you always had a passion for interiors and decorating?  Yes! Since I was a little girl I used to take great pleasure in decorating my bedroom with “themes” that changed regularly. I was over the moon when my Mum took a job in a bedroom and soft furnishings store and I had access to staff discounts and a huge range of bedding and accessories.  I used to plan my designs meticulously!! My love for interiors has only grown since then and I love the fact that my work allows me to be totally immersed in this amazing industry.

What is your number one styling tip you can offer to our readers?  Put some time into planning and visualising what your space will look like. Always consider the proportion and scale of the pieces that you want to use, and try and put together a mood or concept board that reflects this. It is a great way to see how all your ideas will work together. And of course a the very simple concept for putting together displays and vignettes, whether it is treasured objects, flowers or event food styling- always use odd numbers. 


Dani Butchart ISCD Graduate 

Tell us a little about your background and what path led you to what you’re doing now? I started my career working as a creative manager for Australian label Fleur Wood – my time spent at FW was a blend of the world of interiors, craft, food, fashion and styling. Most notably I was the producer on her two beautiful coffee table books. It was a natural progression to cement this career direction with a course at ISCD followed by setting up a business based on creative projects across residential, retail and events. 

You recently designed the amazing container that was shown at VFNO. It was so amazing to experience colour and interior design come to life. What was your inspiration behind it?  This was such a beautiful activation to celebrate iscd in Melbourne. The inspiration evolved from an idea to evoke people’s mood through two distinct tones, which are in the market currently. The tone of the styling was minimal in shape and detail however highly layered in colour and texture. 

Can you list for us 5 resources across any media that you turn to regularly for creative inspiration? Everyday I wake up and look forward to my design files fix! I’m forever roaming on Instagram and Pinterest, filing images and photos for projects. Inside out magazine and Elle decoration are my go to mags. 

What would be your dream project? A dream project would be one with an endless budget!! I would love to work on some iconic interiors that are referenced over time. 

Can you tell us about the creative process you went through when designing the incredible container? The process started with collecting images of the aesthetic. The process evolved as I started collaborating with some of our favourite Australian suppliers such as urban couture, Armidillo and Co, Pop and Scott and Jardan. There were some key pieces from these suppliers such really shaped the direction of the style in the container. On the day all the goodies we’re delivered direct to the container and over a 6hr period the container was flipped into the blush/indigo interior. 

What’s next on the cards for you? Well first.. There is a baby! He is due next month. I’m hoping he will be the ultimate sidekick and craft partner for the summer ahead. I am working on some really exciting interior projects and also looking forward to collaborating with inside out on claiming my Search For a Stylist prize!! I’m really looking forward to the year ahead. 

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For more information head to…. ISCD