Friday, 25 January 2013

Trend -setting collaboration between BCU students & West Midland companies

Third year textile students from Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, Birmingham City University, have once again impressed visitors to the Interiors UK show. Their work, an exploration of two trends, 'Clash' and 'Flint'  was a partnership with Interiors & Lifestyle Future companies: Brintons, Glassdomain, mrf design, Phoenix Tile Studio and Plant & Moss. The stand in the Design Village Hall 2 was also a collaboration with trends prediction company GlobalColor Research™ Mix Publications and Tektura Wall Coverings.

Charmaine Stint and Jo Birch from Birmingham City University's Research Innovation and Enterprise department spearheaded the project working with the companies, BIAD students and staff (Jean Ensell, John Hall and Marlene Little among others).

Showcasing the Flint trend on the BCU stand
Thanks to Jo and Charmaine and the BCU PR & Communications team for the following report and congratulations to award-winning students  Santa LiepinaZoe Watson and Faith Wray.  You can also check out Zoe's blog for her experience of the show.

Textile students design trends wow guests at national expo 
The work of three textile students from Birmingham City University has been praised at a national exhibition this week.The budding designers were amongst 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.

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.”

Part of the Clash trend room set 
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 Textile Print 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.”

Wall-cover winner Zoe Watson (centre) & Tektura's Jo Cain (right) & Julie Mason 
“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.

Faith Wray, final year student on the BA Textile 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 Wray (right) Flint category winner with Hannah Malein from GlobalColor Research™
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 Textile Print 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. 

Santa Liepina  & her award winning Clash trend lampshade  with Hannah Malein 
“‘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.”

Stand photos courtesy of Chris Webb Photography

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Thorneywork Studio to launch major new range at Spring Fair

Thorneywork Studio, a business started up through our ILF Venture programme, is launching an extensive new range of products at  Spring Fair (3- 7 February,NEC Birmingham).

The new work by designer and owner of Thorneywork Studio  Francesca Duffield, comprises: six satin cushions, (two designs of Shakespeare images - Ophelia and Juliet - with the relevant quote on the back), Birchply trays with the two Shakespeare designs, a metal tray in 'Forest' design, placemats in 'Dancers' design, and a range of coasters in six designs. There will also be two lampshade designs in 'Ophelia' and 'Forest', and a silk scarf in 'Ophelia'.

Juliet plate by Thorneywork Studio

This major new line augments Thorneywork Studio's existing range of 10 designs on china plates and will be available on Stand 6S06, Hall 6 as part of designGap. You'll also be able to find active ILFutures member Sara Page Design there too as previously reported here.

And, if you cannot visit Francesca at the Spring Fair, after the show you will be able to see and buy her work at the Birmingham Made Me
 Shop 2 in the Mailbox,  Wharfside St Level 3.

Cushion with 'Ophelia' design

Visit on line at:  Thorneywork Studio
Email: Thorneywork Studio


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Invitation: Student Industry Awards, Interiors UK January 2013

Birmingham City University invites members of Interiors & Lifestyle Futures to its Student Industry Awards at INTERIORS UK 2013 on Monday 21 January. The awards will be presented by Trends Project partners Mix Publications and Tektura Wallcovering.

The event at the NEC is always an excellent networking opportunity for companies, catching up with old friends and making new contacts. It will start at 3pm and there will also be welcome addresses from United Business Media (UBM) and Birmingham City University representatives.

Student awards at Interiors UK 2012

When: 3pm Monday 21 January

Where: Stand 2B50, Design Village, Hall 2, NEC Birmingham

To attend the Industry Awards please email Please note, Birmingham City University will be closed from 4pm 21 December and reopens on 2 January. 

And, don’t forget, if you are attending, register now for free entry to Interiors UK. Otherwise it will cost you £30. Please use the link here

Networking at Birmingham City University's Awards 2012