6 December 2023Written by Emma Woodward

ISCD Partners with Programa to Prepare Students for Their Future Careers

It has long been part of the ISCD ethos that our students should leave our courses with the knowledge they will need to join (or found) a thriving interior design business. While teaching the fundamentals of design, colour and style is essential, there are many practicalities surrounding the day to day running of a design business that our students will also need to know.

It is thanks to this focus on preparing students for their future careers that ISCD has partnered with Programa to introduce students to an industry leading platform. 

Programa offers specification and project management software for interior designers and architects. With Programa, interior designers can curate and share project details, timelines, specifications and mood boards

The platform integrates a range of everyday business needs, and designers can use it for everything from preparing presentations for initial client meetings, all the way through to invoicing for the finished project. 

Programa in action

Like all our educators, ISCD’s education manager, Gabrielle Rosenfeld is also active in the industry as an interior designer, and believes there are many advantages for interior designers who choose to use Programa in their own businesses.  

“Programa is a fantastic software tool that assists interior designers with administrative tasks such as quoting, scheduling, mood boards, purchase orders and invoicing,” Gabrielle says. “Everything that would otherwise take hours and hours of time to set up in spreadsheets is easily done in Programa and you can share any of your documentation to your clients or key stakeholders.   

“It is such a valuable, time saving and efficient way to keep track of all of your client documentation. I do a lot of procurement and furniture sourcing for clients so this is saving me so much time now as I don’t have to spend hours manually typing in details and specifications any more.”   

With Programa, ISCD students will begin to practice everyday business skills, such as keeping track of different clients and projects, keeping their to-do lists up to date, creating a searchable product library to draw from, and managing their address book and invoicing.

While Programa offers many useful features for busy designers, some of the fun elements that ISCD students can begin to explore straight away include the product library and Pinboards. 

The Programa Pinboard integrates with Pinterest and the Programa Web Clipper. This allows users to easily create online mood boards, client presentations, and to add to their own product library using information from supplier websites, or inspiration from anywhere on the web. 

It’s like having an even more powerful version of every designer’s favourite social media platform at your fingertips.   

The Programa Web Clipper

Here at ISCD, we actively encourage students in their career goals, and many begin their businesses while they are still studying with us. 

One of the subjects we offer that actively supports students as they prepare for their new careers is the Interior Decoration and Styling subject. This is the subject that will introduce students to Programa, whether they’re studying a Certificate IV in Interior Decoration (MSF40122) or the Diploma of Interior Design (MSF50222)

At this stage in their studies, students have already completed their Design Practice subject, where they have been introduced to the fundamentals of setting up their own design business from scratch, and taught the basics of business, including branding, documentation, compliance and ethics. 

Programa allows users to organise projects

When students are introduced to Programa, they will have the opportunity to roadtest its potential, as they experiment with soft furnishings, lighting, furniture and styling; applying this knowledge to complete a project that covers all phases of the design process. 

“A lot of our graduates go on to run their own interior design business so it is important that they have a really good understanding of how to set up a small business,” Gabrielle says. “We teach students about business structures, setting up an ABN and how to register a business name. Client documentation such as quotes, scope of works, contracts, purchase orders, FF&E [furniture, fixtures, and equipment] schedules and invoices are all taught in the course. 

“We want students to be able to confidently run their own business and teach them how to do this very early on in the course so that this becomes best practice and they have strong skills in this area by the time they are ready to work for themselves.”

Introducing a platform like Programa has allowed ISCD to round out the tools and skills taught to our students, who will also immerse themselves in the use of SketchUp, Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and AutoCAD. This familiarity with the tools of the design trade is what allows ISCD graduates to complete projects that will wow any client. 

Concept design by ISCD graduate Kami Wilson @kami.jayne.interiors

Another advantage of introducing students to Programa is that it allows students to explore an aspect of interior design work that is becoming increasingly common. By managing and presenting their projects within an online platform, students position themselves to take advantage of remote work opportunities and even global collaborations.  

Whether our graduates go on to work for themselves or for their favourite design studio or supplier, learning essential design tools in a collaborative and supportive environment will prepare them for exciting and flexible future careers. 

ISCD has a 40-year proven track record of producing leading Australian interior designers. We know design intimately, from colour theory, to furniture selection to the latest industry trends.

Are you interested in studying interior design or decoration? Do you want to know more about our online courses and where a career in interior design could take you? Connect with us today to learn more about our Diploma of Interior Design, the Certificate IV in Interior Decoration or any of our industry-focused microcredentials.

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