This year we took a trip around some of the top northern design schools to see what graduates of the north were up to. Many of the courses were driven by commercial applications to functional aesthetic design, but in the midst of this were some exciting projects that made us question the future of design. Here are our some of the highlights:
The BA (hons) Textiles with Surface Design course at the University of Huddersfield often produces graduates whose projects are driven by conceptual design. Projects ranging from Rhiannon Gregory's 'Nanoscale Embroidery' that examines novel applications of stitch for medical purposes, Tamsyn Ainsworth's 'Silent Designers' questioning the role of a designer in an automated future to playful material innovation by Gemma Blackwell that challenges the traditional parameters of the digital amaya to craft an exquisite collection that defies luxury.
Whereas the likes of Leeds College of Art BA (hons) Printed Textiles & Surface Pattern Design course never disappoints in producing high quality aesthetically pleasing prints combined with modern material exploration. Of particular noteworthy collections are by Theo Riviere whose work is reminiscent of the traditional inlaid marquetry technique but with a modern twist to Amy Norbury's Paper in all its Form, taking inspiration from the likes of Giles Miller to transform the understated material paper into a priceless collection of luxury surface applications.
Manchester School of Art BA (hons) Textile Practice has a strong sculptural theme running through this years graduates, examining the role of textile interaction with both body and space. Chloe Beecham transforms a 2-dimensional line drawn into 3-dimensional space to Knitwear designer Holly Ross explores the interplay of fragility on the body.
Top Left - Tamsyn Ainsworth, Top Right - Gemma Blackwell
Middle Left - Theo Riviere, Middle Right - Amy Norbury
Bottom Left - Chloe Beecham, Bottom Right - Holly Ross