Creative Review; The next generation of Graduate Designers…

I recently visited the University of Huddersfield’s 2017 Graduate Show for the Textile Practice Design Course. The standard yet again was extremely high as the very talented new designers display fresh and innovative design ideas. It was interesting to see more Millennials expressing their political views and opinions through design; interpreting important topics that dominate headlines in todays society.

For example some of the projects included research into sustainability and recycled materials, with a greater consideration to how the outcome of a design project can be beneficial to society or to contribute to the preservation of our planet.

I particularly enjoyed reading the inspirational stories behind each project; understanding the designers attitudes and thoughts enabled a greater understanding of the end concept or product idea. Graduate designer Lo Green visually communicates perceptions of Female Power; questioning why images of women become political statements. Bridget Donoghue illustrates the mental scarring left being on the people and their families coping with cancer through the art of embroidery; a beautifully imperfect creation immortalised through stitch. Commercial designer Thomas Greenwood challenges ideas of the ‘social norm’ exploring gender identity and mental health issues through digital prints in Fashion. In todays society it is more important than ever to push boundaries, disrupt convention and exhibit creative freedom in all aspects.

So here are a few of my favorites in more detail…

Gemma Birrell

The very colorful bedding collection has been digitally printed using hand painted artwork which has been enhanced and arranged into repeated patterns. This designer is tapping into the consumer market of embracing Nature inside the home; the desire to be more connected to and be surrounded by organic and natural materials, surfaces and prints. In a dazzling range of bright pastels this designer creates quirky botanical designs that will freshen up any interior.

Lo Green

Designer-maker and embroidery specialist Lo Green displayed her project called Feminine Race which questions why images of women become a political statement. Each second-hand garment was chosen for the aesthetic; the detailed embroidery enhances the garment through color and composition. The designer plays with juxtaposition and exhibits the idea of ‘reclaiming’ female sexuality through ‘reclaiming’ garments.

Thomas Greenwood

Commercia Designer Thomas Greenwood creates a print collection for fashion called The Sensitised Pellucidity. This collection explores the desire to regain balance between privacy and transparency looking at elusive spaces and being translucent in new ways; suggesting a new sense of truth with the fusion of industrial and organic. The unisex prints are designed with ‘wellness’ in mind; finding calm in the mist of destruction; signifying the release of life anxieties. Within the collection research into gender identity was at the forefront of the project; looking closely at social, political and economical issues surrounding gender identity in the Fashion Industry.

Kathryn Lund

I really enjoyed seeing Kathryn’s work as she pushes the boundaries of classic knitwear. Her colorful and contemporary knitwear collection takes inspiration from personal experiences and a passion for travel. With dramatic color combination, bold patterns and an array of knitted textures, Kathryn challenged what can be considered as ‘wearable’ within Knitwear. The styling of her Colour Regeneration exhibition really portrayed the inspiration behind the collection; an exploration into the abandoned surfaces within urban areas focusing on the rejuvenating power of color. The carefully considered palette relates to the influence of color being pivotal to the reincarnation of lost and forgotten textures; brought to life once more through contemporary Knit practice.

Bridget Donoghue

Embroidery specialist Bridget Donoghue focuses on looking at cancer through the skin; the bruising, the marks, tones and colors. Her collection Irregular Everything picks out the tiniest of details in the irregular shape and shades, enhancing the beautiful imperfections and blemishes and the repairing of something fragmented and broken. Her work is a symbol of the marks behind the pain, the uncontrollable scar pigmentations and the temporary marks that can beautifully become immortalised by stitch.

We wish all this years graduates the best of luck for the future.

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Textile, Lighting, Interior Design Trends and Dubai – INDEXdesignseries

The creation of visitor features and experiences  at Index Design Series was our task and you may have seen our previous post about the Urban Gallery of sustainability already. Another such feature, was our Textile Experience displaying a range of textile artistry (some might simply say “Interior Products”) created by designers from around the world. A collaboration with Hull artist Debi Keable created a stunning Lighting installation. These spaces, like the Design Hub Urban Gallery, reflected the theme of the show ‘Design for the Senses’ with the materials and techniques used employing high levels of tactility, immersive sound and striking visual effects.

Lets walk through the products that we carefully selected and imagined by some very accomplished artists/creators/designers were:

Ronel Jordaan

Ronel Jordaan is an independent textile artist based in Cape Town, South Africa. She works with the textile technique of hand felting 100% merino wool fibres to create large wall installations, rugs and decorative designs which could be used as seating. Her work takes inspiration from the natural world and her designs are recognised for their originality and uniqueness. The wall installation ‘Garden of Succulents’, created especially for the show, made an impressive impact on designers and consumers alike.

Iota Project 

Iota Project is a social-business, both ecologically and socially conscious, with a commitment to sustainability and community support. They work with communities to provide mentoring and training programmes; re-appropriating traditional craft skills (crochet knitting) to create individual products which in turn provide not only income but skills and empowerment too.

Sugarcane Trading Co.

Pieces by this Australian company were displayed on the Design Hub (the post is here if you haven’t read it already). Similar to the Iota Project they work with communities preserving skills and providing a livelihood for communities in India. The Leela Rug, one of many displayed at the show as part of the Naya Rug Collection, has been made from recycled denim cloth from old jeans that would otherwise end up as textile waste in landfill. They aim to “bring beautiful products into your home”, “leave only the lightest touch on the world’s resources”, “preserve traditional artisan skills” and “give back to less well-off communities”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moss Trend

Moss Trend created the stunning jungle moss wall installation on the Design Hub at the show, and on the Textile Experience an alternative product was displayed showcasing the versatility of the moss, which is available in a range of colours through the addition of natural pigments. 100% natural the wall requires, a surprise to many, no maintenance or watering!

 

Our final space at the show was entitled the Lighting Experience which we collaborated with Hull artist Debi Keable. Hull is the UK ‘City of Culture 2017’ and over the year the city has been transformed by a constant series of events and exhibitions. The artwork exhibited at Index, was first exhibited at Hull’s Freedom Festival. ‘A Walk in the Trees’ takes inspiration from Nelson Mandela after he visited the city in honour of the abolition of slavery by Hull-born politician William Wilberforce. Created using phosphorus paint and UV light, Debi invited local school children to help with the work that celebrates Mandela’s greatest achievements re-imagined in light, colour and sound. As a result this installation fitted in perfectly with the show theme ‘Design for the Senses’. A true spectacle and immersive experience for all the senses!

Film by Alan Keable – Index Design Series – Dubai 2017

Posted by Debi Keable Art on Wednesday, 31 May 2017

 

Check out our Instagram for more photos from the show.

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Design Hub – The Urban Gallery at Index Design Series; Dubai

If you follow us on social media you will have seen the countless updates from our recent trip to Dubai… The Index Design Series is a huge exhibition dedicated to creating the ultimate design experience for visitors. It encapsulates every facet of interiors including lighting, textiles and workplace design. It brings together the globe’s most knowledgeable influencers to discuss the latest trends and techniques and it inspires through unique design spaces and experiences to keep you at the forefront of design innovation.

The theme for this year was ‘Design for the Senses‘ which demonstrates how you can stimulate the senses through design and interiors. With this in mind we worked with the show organisers to create a number of interactive spaces to encourage the imagination of the visitor, to make people think about pushing the boundaries in terms of design and inspiring through sound, sight, smells and touch.

The first of our spaces was the Design Hub: The Urban Gallery

The Urban Gallery was an area on the show floor enabling visitors to be inspired by future design trend information and enthralled by unusual, innovative product design from all around the world. Our vision for the future city scape of Dubai seamlessly blends the urban city vibe with our natural environment and cutting edge technology; with that; our aspirations and aims for the future is to create a super-sustainable lifestyle.

Each product showcased on the Design Hub has been designed to achieve 100% sustainability. Whether it is through their choice of materials or their manufacturing process; they all contribute to our environment in some way. From up-cycled textile waste rugs to bio-composite furniture; our gallery exhibited products designed with purpose.

Here is a list of all the products displayed on the Hub;

Moss Trend

Huge thank you to Moss Trend who created the zero maintenance foliage wall on the hub. The vertical gardens are made from moss and foliage that has been collected, dried and then preserved. The lush Reindeermoss grows in protected areas of Lapland’s forests and through Italian design and research they have been able to stabilize it so that no sunlight or water is required to maintain it.

Interface

Interface supplied the flooring for our Design Hub. As pioneers in sustainability, Interface advocate biophilic design and know it is critical to human health to include natural systems and processes in our buildings and constructed landscapes. Interface explore the power of biophilic inspired designs throughout a number of their collections; which directly mimic natural surfaces and textures.

STYRO

Styro supplied our ‘urban’ building plinths to act as a platform to showcase the products. They are able to create quality, attractive decoration and art pieces to give a remarkable impression at events. STYRO is a leading company in Art & Decor that specializes in theme functions, foam sculpturing and carving.

Treewise Pencils

Did you know… to make wooden pencils, forests the size of 90 tennis courts are cut down every minute to supply wood. Many pencil manufactures use wood taken from the rain forest and deforestation is a major cause of many negative environmental changes. Treewise pencils however are made from 100% recycled newspapers, they are made without using any toxic chemicals/polymers/plastic and come with a promise of no breakage while sharpening; making the pencil last longer. We were giving them away on the Design Hub! Let us know what you think if you managed to grab one!

Hemp Eyewear

This premium collection of handcrafted, sustainable eyewear proved very popular at the show. The frames are made from organic plant fibre; making them one of the most unique, eco-friendly and innovative on the market. Hemp Eyewear was born thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014 which raised 150% of their funding goal.

Simple Human Mirror

The wide-view sensor mirror from Simple Human allows you to see yourself in the best light with perfect clarity. The tru-lux light system simulates natural sunlight, to show more color variation and more detail with more accuracy. This mirror can connect to your phone; the app enables you to capture light settings from the world around you and accurately recreates them in the mirror so you can perfectly apply your makeup.

Artichair by Kizis Studio

The Artichair is a furniture piece made from a bio-composite material and attracted a lot of attention on our hub. The cardoon, also called the artichoke thistle, is a thistle-like plant native to the western and central Mediterranean region, where it was domesticated in ancient times. This project has involved the development of a new eco-material, and explored possible applications for it within product design.

Twin Tables by Aperçu Design

Aperçu means an insight, an immediate impression or a brief sketch, they focus on redefining the concept of modern living in which their furniture collection embraces the beauty of imperfection. Based in Amman, this design duo create beautifully crafted furniture pieces from solid olive wood with crystalized Resin on wood support.

The Moon Chair by MBM Cork Solutions & Granorte

The Moon Chair is made from 100% Cork produced from the outer bark of the cork oak tree; grown mainly in the Mediterranean region of the world. This tree has a life span of 250 – 350 years and remains the only tree whose bark can regenerate itself after harvest; leaving the tree unharmed. It is truly a renewable and environmentally friendly resource; its exceptional characteristics makes cork a naturally sustainable product contributing to the preservation of a unique habitat in the world. Visitors who tested the chair commented how surprisingly comfy it was!

Rubber Crumb Stool by Architecture + Other Things & Macron Seat by Kalo

Both products were created for Dubai Design Days 2017. The project (commissioned by Bee’ah) aimed to explore the full potential of using locally recycled rubber crumbs from old car tires in the design and manufacture of innovative furniture. Bee’ah sets a benchmark in sustainability, for cities and communities everywhere. As part of its mission to adopt a holistic approach to environmental protection, Bee’ah encourages recycling for the purpose of recovering waste into valuable resources.

Kalo mixes wood shavings in with the rubber crumb which are created during the process of making the wooden legs, giving the rubber seats a contrasting speckled look.

Sugarcane Trading Co

“The world is small and precious” – Sugarcane Trading Co nurtures this truth with rugs meticulously handmade from upcycled clothing offcuts; textile waste that would otherwise end up as landfill. Their commitment is to support artisan communities who product products with the lightest environmental impact.

Welsh Slateware

Hidden beneath the mountains and valleys of North Wales in the UK lies the world’s finest natural slate. The 500-million-year-old stone is carefully quarried and shaped to craft exceptionally luxurious, natural products. This unique bowl has a multi-hued natural veining making each piece individual – bring natural materials into your home.

Salt Rock Candles by Sirocco Living (Dubai distributor – Hansson Living)

Compressed through thousands of years in the underground around the oasis of Siwa in the Sahara Desert is a dense layer of salt. From great blocks of this salt the artisans are able to carve shapes and form beautiful pieces of saltrocks e.g. to be used for candlelights. Visible in the salt are stripes of grey-brown sand, these stripes are remnants of the great sandstorms roaming the area throughout the years. The light filtered through the salt crystals is amazingly soft and pleasant.

Fish Skin Leather Cushions by Sirocco Living (Dubai distributor – Hansson Living)

At the tannery located in Iceland they have produced fish leather for around 20 years. The tannery is recognized for sustainability and for being eco-friendly. The production of fish leather from non-endangered fish species (e.g. salmon and cod) is a by-product of all of the fish caught and consumed, making Sirocco Living products sustainable and a good example of environmentally friendly producers.

Rose Petal Coffee Table by The Study

This table was made as part of a group The Study Beirut; a collaboration aimed at experimental design and material research. “Exp 01: Synergy” delves into the sensory world of traditional Lebanese remedial herbs and culinary spices, recapturing the seemingly ephemeral experience of spice shops. The outcome being a coffee table that showcases an age-old trade and tradition. These organic and recycled materials function as the building blocks of not just sustainable living but living as a product of sustainability.

Check out our Instagram for more photos from the show.

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What’s new in the World of Stationery?

This month we visited and gave trend talks at the London Stationery Show. This show is full of exciting new products, workshops and seminars, a perfect show for the stationery enthusiast!

(Thank you to Artsynib for the calligraphy workshop)

Here are my favourite top ten seen at the show, check them out;

Elmo Paperstories

A newly established brand specialising in luxury wedding stationery. The use of pastel colours with metallic gold detail is subtle yet stylish. Materials such as soft velvet and natural linen gives this collection a beautifully fresh, pretty and elegant aesthetic.

Origin One

As a millennial who travels often, Origin One really caught my eye. From travel journals to road trip planners and even expedition pencils; this brand creates collections specifically designed with the global nomad in mind.

The Trigg Life Mapper

This kickstarter project is designed to transform your goals into success, bringing planning, mindfulness and creativity into one journal. It enables you to plan, prioritise and reflect while inspiring you along the way. In our fast pace, digital world it is refreshing to find a brand reminding us of the importance of health, wellbeing, mindfulness and above all recapturing happiness in our lives.

Alice Scott at Portico Designs

Over the past 2 years we have been presenting a trend that reflects the emergence of new attitudes amongst womenkind, promoting a rise in independent, powerful and strong women around the world. We shared this information at last years stationery show and now we see it come into fruition (report still available to buy at discounted price). I am sure you have all picked up on the female power fashion currently on the high streets and stationery is no exception. I have picked this particular brand because of their female focused quotes and inspirational tag lines.

Feminist journal packed with inspirational quotes available at Abrams & Chronicle

Notable Designs

A distributor of designer stationery and lifestyle products. I loved the styling of this exhibition stand, there is a utilitarian sophistication that demonstrates crafted design being functional, robust and stylish. I particularly liked the concrete collection, a perfect addition to create a minimalistic and contemporary desk space.

Off Lines

Their tag line ‘Online was yesterday’ sends a powerful message of going back to basics and appreciating analogue products once again. Beautifully hand crafted leather notepads and solid walnut and oakwood paper stations are modest, functional and aesthetically pleasing. This is perfect confirmation of our trend talk last year which also relates to our recent Pinterest board release; Analogue Workshop.

Treewise Pencils

Chosen for their fantastic recycled and sustainable product. The Treewise pencil is created from 100% recycled newspaper; harming no trees in the manufacturing process. It is made without the use of toxic chemicals and comes with a promise of no breakage when sharpening.

The gva

Another great sustainable brand with a green-value attitude towards design, it is their passion to create stationery and giftware with eco friendly materials. Products include notebooks, phone cases, postcards and eyewear all made from bamboo. Even their business cards are made from bamboo!

Castelli Italy

Luxury brand Castelli caught my eye with their beautiful new Midnight Floral collection; made in Italy. The texture compliments the print beautifully to present a very sophisticated and lavish notebook… whilst also looking gorgeous on any desk.

Two Little Boys

These bright, humorous notebooks make perfect gifts for all occasions, I love the film references, quotes and generally amusing narrative. They are bold, colourful and great statement stationery!

Don’t forget you can still visit the Manchester Stationery Show held on the 31st October – 1st November. Click here for more details.

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TREND UPDATE: Analogue Workshop

This month we have released our SS17 trend; Analogue Workshop. A trend filled with a handcrafted aesthetic and utilitarian approach to design in all sectors including Stationery, Fashion, Kitchenware, Lighting and Furniture Design.

Portrait of wood workers in art studio by Trinette Reed and Marble Ways Table by Alcarol

This trend counteracts the constantly updating and ever connected pace of modern life, we begin to reach out for what is grounded; going back to basics. We find beauty in the ordinary, we value simple pleasures and admire slowly acquired skills.

Materials & Product Direction

Products have an experienced craft aesthetic as though they were made lovingly in a small workshop. They are made to last, sometimes retro in style and the use of natural materials boasts their handmade status.

You Make It Mobile by Lindsey Edelman Light, Fog & Morup Jo Hammerborg Lento desk table lamp, Modern Tiles by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Mutina, Leather Hang-up Light by Ted Wood, Leather lamps by Norm Architects, Cushion by Stitch Bird Store on Etsy,  Fashion Images – Adeam & Michael Kors

Smooth tan leather provides the keystone of this trend; neatly contrasted stitch, laser-cut and woven leather appears in trims, straps and handles, with joints, rivets and fastenings all proudly on display. In contrast; leather is spliced together with denim, felt, brass and wood.

Color & Pattern Direction

A low key palette of familiar colors are newly appreciated. Indigo, denim blues, grays, cardboard browns and flat neutrals are humble and modest. Intelligent patterns place a studious focus on products; pinstripes, color blocking, graph grids and typographic mathematical equations. We bring back the use of old tools to create this analogue style.

Of Instruments and Archetypes by Unfold Design Studio, Les Choses cabinet by Dossofiorito

Textures

A truly important aspect in this trend; woods are chiseled, scraped and brushed. Lightly aged and tarnished brass appears in unexpected places where beauty is found in the cross over between precision and handmade imperfections. Confident craftsmanship leads to daring structures and simple shapes for a unique and modest design style.

Muto Kitchen, Hand chiseled flooring at Kyoto cafe, Wood Bowls by Hiroyuki Watanab

Visit it Now for more inspiration!

All links can be found on our Pinterest Board.

 

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