UWE wins best stand at New Designers

Issue date: 22 July 2009

The UWE team in front of their winning stand at New Designers. Photo by Ed Reeve Students from the University of the West of England are celebrating winning the prize for the best stand at New Designers in London. For 24 years, New Designers has been bringing together the very best in UK graduate design, showcasing the work, energy and talent of the next generation of designers. It's the freshest and most vibrant show of its kind.

It is the first time that a group of students from UWE has won 'best stand' at this prestigious exhibition. The stand resulted from a collaboration between students and staff in the Faculty of Creative Arts and the School of Architecture.

Andrew Savage from the Faculty of Creative Arts co-ordinated the stand with students, he said, “We are delighted. It took great team work and hard graft from staff and students alike to realise this result. It has set a benchmark for future students and is extremely gratifying as the course champions materials, process and context and we are keen to push experiential design.

“We'd also like to thank students and staff from UWE's School of Architecture who we worked with during the initial design phase and who ensured that we really pushed our design ideas throughout the project.”

Eight students had work featured on the stand that was designed around their work. They include Michelle Townsend, Katherine Morgan, Kirsty Gawthorne
Krystina Brignal, Pamela Graham, Verna Ventham, Rachel Marsh and Katie Vaughan.

Special features included a wall created by over a mile of pink fluorescent Velcro, a corridor that looks like a giant brush and a window made out of 26 layers of laser cut Perspex.

The judges were impressed by 'a highly creative, well thought-out display, presented as an outstanding visitor experience. It had an optimistic feeling of space and light and confident, friendly graduates welcomed their visitors through the unique installation.'

Laser cut window by Michelle Townsend

Inspired by material and innovation processes, Michelle Townsend has rethought and challenged the design of the window. Michelle describes her design. “I have laser cut contour patterns to extend the depth of the window to accentuate its form and three dimensional qualities. This process has the added benefit of providing super insulation making the design energy efficient. The natural light refraction and reflectivity has been exploited to make seductive design for architecture.”

On winning the best stand award Michelle said, “It's just been such a fantastic boost to the confidence of the entire team taking part. It's been amazing for me because Clarks Innovations have taken an interest in my work and I'm going to be meeting with their marketing department soon to discuss my work. Things are looking good for the coming year as I've also got a confirmed studentship at UWE where I'll be working as a technician alongside developing my own work.”

Corridor by Katherine Morgan

Katherine Morgan's design is a response to fast paced society, questioning the necessity of constant productivity in today's consumerist culture.

Katherine said, “I have developed the idea of craft as initial 'slow work' in my desire to take influence from this past way of living. My corridor is like a giant yard brush. The purpose of a corridor is to move from one room to another so I thought this would be an ideal space to create subtle interventions. I have created a tactile experience with the protruding forms that both delay movement physically but also through sensory interactions helps to reconnect people with their journey and remind them that going slow can be beneficial.”

For further stories from the School of Creative Arts see:

World class jewellery artist takes summer residency at UWE

'Boy with Invisible Skin' book wins Best New Blood prize

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