Five questions with design student Nicholas Fry
NIDA News recently spoke with third-year Design student Nicholas Fry about how he came to study at NIDA and what his plans are for life after graduation.
How did you come to study at NIDA?
I have always been passionate about the performing arts, and although I had originally considered acting, I soon discovered that my strengths and particular passions were better suited to set and costume design. I was studying theatre in Melbourne and tried my hand at the NIDA interview as a test run to see what they were looking for and much to my surprise, I was accepted!
Have you enjoyed the course so far?
The course is really unlike any other in the country. The focus and depth in which you explore the design practice is challenging and inspiring, and having access to the best practitioners in their field is really an incredible asset to becoming the next leaders in the field. What I have learnt in channelling my passion for visual storytelling has been invaluable.
What has been your favourite project to date?
I think it would have to have been the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts, ACPA, project in Brisbane. We, the design students, headed to Brisbane with the NIDA directing and writing for performance students, to work with ACPA. It was an eye-opening and rewarding experience to share not only each other's culture and stories but also our passion for the arts, with such an amazing bunch of people.
Do you have a particular area of design that you want to pursue?
Theatre will always be my main drive. I am very interested in film and television but what really excites me is live performance and all the luxuries and limitations that come with the form.
Tell us about your international field trip last year as well as working on the 2015 Graduate School opening event?
The Prague Quadrennial is a performance design and space conference that occurs every four years in Prague. Our class was lucky enough to attend in 2015. It was very interesting being able to contextualise not only our own practice but the broader theatre culture in Australia with what the rest of the world was showcasing at the conference. The things we saw and learnt have had innumerable benefits in developing my practice and the memories made will be cherished for a very long time.
I have also been lucky enough to take on lead design roles during my first two years studying at NIDA. I project-led both the NIDA Gala in 2014 and the launch of the Graduate School in 2015. The experience was very rewarding and allowed me to explore the challenging and fulfilling aspects of a different side of design, event design, including design realisation on a large scale and managing and working within a broader team so early on in my studies.
What are your plans after graduation?
I am really interested in learning from international practitioners and further exploring the theatrical dialogue between Australia and Europe. Berlin is of particular interest to me. There is something immediate and unashamed about the work they are making and something I would love to get involved with and learn from. Also some sleep is definitely on the cards.
Photography by Robert Catto.