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Textile students' design trends wow guests at national expo

Last Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2013

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The work of three textile students from Birmingham City University has been praised at a national exhibition this week.

The budding designers, from Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) – part of Birmingham City University, were among 60 BIAD students showcasing their own innovative design trends at the annual INTERIORS UK 2013 exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham.

The collections featured a range of concepts and included a sneak preview of how our homes may look next winter. The designs were based around inspiration for walls, floors and furniture and were created around two key trends – ‘flint’ and ‘clash’ identified by international trend experts Global Color Research Mix Publications (1).

Working in partnership with a number of key interiors manufacturers - including Tektura and Brintons Carpets – the stand highlighted 20 new designs. Joanna Birch, Head of External Development at Birmingham City University, said: “The industry collaborations highlight the practical applications of the student’s work, highlighting the benefits of student collaboration with industry partners interested in exploring innovative concepts.

“Integrating student design teams in the real world of business is an imbedded element of the way Birmingham City University works – Our Trends showcase often makes interior designers and manufacturers realise the power of students to stimulate their product innovation.”

Award-winning designers

The annual showcase of new student talent has launched a number of award-winning designers in previous years and this year’s show didn’t disappoint.

Zoe Watson, BA (Hons) Textile Design (Printed Textiles and Surface Design) student, was awarded most innovative wall cover by Tektura – voted for by visitors to the exhibition. Zoe’s design was based on her personal prediction of the ‘clash’ trend, taking inspiration from encaustic tiles, mosaics and interior Victoriana elements.

Throughout her time at University, Zoe has worked closely alongside Global Color Research which has enabled her to experience the future trends for herself. Zoe was thrilled to receive the award and believes the project has been extremely beneficial for her future career plans. She said: “The interiors UK exhibition has helped me to thoroughly focus my aim for my future career into textiles for interiors, as well as help me gain experience and much needed exposure in my chosen field of interest.”

“I aim to be a self-employed designer, specialising in textiles for interior products and spaces. I am hoping to finish my textile design degree with a strong focused portfolio which will help me to achieve this once I have graduated.”

Zoe’s winning wallpaper design will be showcased on Tektura’s website and will be available to purchase for interested clients.

Embroidery success

Faith Wray, final year student on the BA Textile Design (Embroidery) course, was announced as the winner of the Flint trend category by Global Color for her ceramic bead and embroidery element. The inspiration for her design came from pre-cambrian rock and stone carvings found in her hometown in Malvern. Wanting to accurately capture the trend and create texture within her design, all elements were made entirely by hand.

She said: “I was over the moon to receive the award and feel extremely privileged to be recognised by Global Color. This Trends project has been my favourite of all of those I have worked on during my time at University - I feel like the project was made for me.”

Faith hopes to continue to develop her handcrafted techniques in ceramics and embroidery and hopes to work on more interiors projects in the future.

The final award of the event went to BA (Hons) Textile Design (Printed Textiles and Surface Design) student Santa Liepina, who was awarded winner of the Clash trend category for her lampshade featuring a lively geometric design. Santa was inspired by the interaction between colour, shape and light, combining abstract and geometric with realistic motifs. She said: “‘Clash’ is one of my favourite projects so far because of its brilliant colour palette and the challenge to create the right mood for the design. I would like to say a big thank you to my tutor and professionals from Global Color who were able to see and appreciate my passion.”

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