Advanced Directions - A Deeper Exploration of the Principles of Design

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Advanced Directions stretches our design skills by putting a spotlight on combinations of principles that aren't frequently encountered.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews

A must if you are looking to improve your designing and challenge yourself to trying out new ideas.


Yet another amazing floral learning opportunity by our incredible Mark Pampling and Flower Thinking. The experience of learning is outstanding with endless learning opportunities. This is not simply an online course, it is an interactive extremely detailed, deep learning opportunity. Thank you Flower Thinking - My designs from the course are pictured below. So much learning and adaptation creates a new awareness and thought process in design which I truly enjoyed.

For most of our creative lives, especially commercially and classically, we tend to work, mostly, in a comfort zone of symmetrical, radial, and decorative styles.

We don't often encounter the opportunity to combine systems of designing that really challenge our way of thinking.

How often do we create an asymmetrical formal-linear design with an overlapping line system?

Exploring this combination of design possibilities can bring a new appreciation of achieving effective visual balance while working with limited materials.

Working in shallow depth offers the chance to experiment with the distribution of space and mass, which is usually more of a challenge when the contrast between the dimensions is strong.

How often do we create shallow, horizontal designs using a consistent parallel system to organise the materials?

This exercise can increase our visual acuity in placing and aligning flowers.

Experimenting with downward directed proportions provides opportunities to improve the creation and distribution of focal areas whilst moving the eye effectively through the length of a design.

By focusing on specific combinations of principles for each task, we create clear direction for working, allowing you to create within common parameters for the benefit of shared learning – gaining better understanding by reviewing a range of submitted work for each task.

  • The most enjoyable part was seeing all the participants' designs and getting together in the meetings when you would give your feedback.

  • The actual analysing of the students' work and in particular the way you describe why and how you achieved your challenge in the chosen design.

  • Mark's feedback - I think it was detailed, I loved the written report.

You don't need a big flower budget to complete the tasks. Resourcefulness is encouraged.

Advanced Directions is as much about the process by which we arrive at our designs as it is about the designs themselves.

I often just use what I have in my garden, or what I find growing by the roadside.

Although the three fern designs shown here are from Design Solutions rather than Advanced Directions, they illustrate the point that you do not need an abundance of material choice to create impact in floral design.

Fern, Dual Urn Design

Design created as a class example for Design Solutions.

Nephrolepis exaltata (Boston fern)

Design - Mark Pampling

Photography - Mark Pampling

Advanced Directions is delivered as a set of five online meetings, with four practical tasks. The online discussions can be joined live and/or viewed as recordings.

Each task is followed by a live online discussion, based on floral design theory.

Taking the work that you've submitted before each meeting, Mark prepares detailed, considered feedback framed within the terms of the principles of design.

Advanced Directions Timetable


Online Introduction

Meeting #1 - Monday 22 July 2024, 6:00pm

  • Introduction

Subsequent Online Discussions

Meeting #2 - Monday 5 August 2024, 6:00pm

  • Symmetrical Silhouette Design

Meeting #3 - Monday 26 August 2024, 6:00pm

  • Overlapping Formal-Linear Designs

Meeting #4 - Monday 16 September 2024, 6:00pm

  • Shallow Depth Designs

Meeting #5 - Monday 14 October 2024, 6:00pm

  • Suspended or Hanging Designs

Course dates for 2025 are yet to be announced.


All times listed are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT - Sydney). You can compare your local time zone to Sydney time  at

Stay Updated

If you'd like us to update you on new course dates and other developments in Advanced Directions, you can register your interest here.

Participation Guide

The Participation Guide is your guide to getting the most out of your participation in the Advanced Directions program.

If you have questions about Advanced Directions, some answers may be found in it, and you are also welcome to ask us any question directly.

Mark Pampling has been designing, competing, teaching and judging for thirty years now and is as well known for his clear, linear design style as for his patient and inclusive way of sharing his knowledge.

  • 2019 Beijing World Flower Art Contest – Champion
  • 2015 Interflora World Cup, Berlin – Judge
  • 2014 Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year – 1st Place
  • 9th China International Orchid Show (Sanya) – Best Creative Award
  • 2014 International Flower Contest Japan – Best in Show, Gold Award and Design Innovation Award
  • Asia Cup 2014 (Japan) – 1st Place – Surprise Table Display
  • 2013 Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year – 2 Silver Awards & 1 Bronze Award
  • 2012 Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year – 4th Place
  • 2012 Interflora Australia Cup – Winner
  • 2011 Interflora Australia Cup – Winner
  • Australian Competitor 10th Interflora World Cup 2004 – 3rd Place

You can learn more about Mark here.

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Advanced Directions Online Course

Advanced Directions Online Course

Advance Your Understanding of the Elements and Principles of Floral Design

Running over five months, it's a stimulating, interactive course for Florists, Floral Artists and Floral Designers who are eager to advance their design skills by applying creativity and floral design knowledge to a carefully chosen path.

The program timetable and detailed information on how to participate can be found in the Participation Guide.

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