Jessica Micallef

Jessica learned about interior architecture from watching her father and grandfather undertake home renovations and construction projects while growing up.

A view of an elevated walkway through a building with people walking along and under it.
The Breezeway is an iconic destination for relaxing and collaboration. The box provides a new programmable space for outside events, open to the school and the community, day and night.

“Watching them gave me an appreciation for the process of conceptualising, through to real-life creation. Going to school to study that and become a designer always felt inevitable from a young age.”

After graduating with an undergraduate degree in interior design from overseas university and gaining professional experience, Jessica enrolled in the Master of Interior Architecture at the Wellington School of Architecture to explore new creative concepts.

INTA 412  Interior Architecture Design Research / Te Mahi Rangahau o te Ao Whakanikoniko has been Jessica’s favourite course. “It allowed me to intuitively design, mixing in both my professional experience, and the free-flowing creativity that student projects allow for. This project allowed me to explore the integration of interior and urban design, addressing the needs of user groups I have never designed for.”

The Breezeway is an iconic destination for relaxing and collaboration. The box provides a new programmable space for outside events, open to the school and the community, day and night.

Senior Lecturer Dr Antony Pelosi, Coordinator of INTA 412, says: “The transformative power of our Master of Interior Architecture program is exemplified by Jessica's experience. She was able to unlock her creative potential and gain a deeper understanding of her role as a designer. Jessica also worked as a Summer Scholar with Warren and Mahoney on a live research project that has inspired her own entrepreneurial research set to change workplace design processes.”

Jessica’s thesis topic is researching how new digital tools can assist interior designers to become more efficient and effective.

“The constant stimulation of conversations about design and open creative thinking is something that feels harder to find in the professional world. This programme has inspired me to maintain the drive to constantly talk about ideas, no matter how small or large, conversations are inspiring, and I have found it is the best way to learn how to synthesis your thoughts as well as understand who you are, as a designer.”

A hand drawn section view of the elevated breezeway running through the building.
A new ground level venue space, first level cafe, connected to the school library, second level presentation/gallery space, and third level rooftop garden. The public can access the new cafe by walking up an expressive ramp, inspired by a giant scarf getting caught between the buildings from the Wellington wind.

World Interiors Day 2023 on Saturday 27 May raises public awareness and recognises the value of interiors and those designers who craft these environments. Organised by the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers, this theme this year is Sustainability, Design, and Beauty.

“Interior architecture is about user experience. It’s about the atmospheres that inspire, uplift, and influence your day to day. Interior environments have the power to change one's mood and one's lifestyle, and as a designer, it is such a unique opportunity to impact people in ways they may never even realise,” Jessica says.

Jessica understands her duty as a designer of environments. “The future poses the question, how do we design something sustainable, while maintaining the beauty of our creative ideations? As interior designers, we have a role in protecting our earth and making changes that relate to both human mentality and environmental factors as well.”

The Wellington School of Architecture’s Master of Interior Architecture programme is internationally recognised through affiliation to the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) and the Interior Design/Interior Architecture Educators Association (IDEA).

A plan-view of the breezeway moving through the school building.
A re-design of the third level of Te Aro Campus, connecting to and bring new activation to the adjacent side street. A new building extension, event box, and inner city park drawing the community in with an immersive scarf like sculpture