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Best Property of the Year

11 Jan

I have just come across this stunning property (featured in Livingetc magazine), which won the ‘Best Property of the Year’ award at the Northern Design Awards in Manchester. The property is situated in Cumbria (the beautiful county in which I grew up) and was transformed from its once derelict state by Donald Insall Associates. The images below are sourced from the Northern Design Awards Website where you can have a look at lots of fantastic designs from 2007-11. The first two images show the completed building, the third image shows the building prior to transformation.


Jelte Van Abbema

10 Aug

Whilst carrying out some research based on environmentally conscious textile manufacturing techniques I came across the slightly bizarre but very interesting work of Dutch designer, Jelte Van Abbema. The project which I am interested in is entitled ‘Symbiosis’. The project involved printing simple typography using bacteria as opposed to traditional printing inks. The idea is that the bacteria multiply, changing colour and form as they do so, before dying creating a temporary yet ever-changing work of art. Below are some images of the experimental work created by Jelte Van Abbema.

Self-Motivated Project Development

12 Apr

Having grown up on the edge of the Lake District National Park my work has often been heavily influenced by nature. In the past I have been inspired not only by the beautiful mountains and lakes close to home but also by flower shows, trips to botanic gardens and natural forms I have come across whilst traveling. The starting point for the research that I will continue over the following weeks is vertical gardening, which I first  came across in 2008 when it was featured at the Chelsea Flower show. I have been looking at the work of Patrick Blanc creator of the vertical garden. His inspirations range from vegetal architecture to waterfalls, root systems, flowers, fruits and seeds. Some of the stunning work by Patrick Blanc is visible below.

I intend to obtain visual information for my self-motivated project through source drawing and photography. I will investigate the structure of flowers and leaves using macro photography, I will also look at trailing and climbing plants, which are frequently used to cover vertical surfaces. I am also interested in how plant life covers the surface of ponds.

In recent weeks I have been to the botanic gardens in Dundee where I collected a vast array of photographs I have also began experimenting with scale, creating drawings roughly 2m x 0.5m in size. In the coming weeks I will further develop pieces using collage and stitch, as this is something I have enjoyed exploring in some of my more recent projects at university. During the Easter break I intend to continue gathering visual information by visiting The Alnwick Garden and perhaps some other gardens close to home.

I intend the outcome of this research to be for fashion. At the moment I will concentrate on collecting a body of visual research, primarily within a sketchbook. If I decide to develop the project further I would look at sculptural garments, layering various fabrics and combining a range of different elements or techniques. I would also hope to incorporate my love of vibrant, bold colour, intricate pattern and plentiful surface detail and texture.

Nighkee by Phoks

12 Mar

I mentioned fashion illustrations created by Phoks in an earlier post but I also like these imaginative digital media pieces from the Nighkee Series featured below. For more information and to see the rest of the Nighkee Series please have a look at:

5 Fabulous Finds

7 Jan

Below is some information about 5 artists/designers that I think are interesting and definitely worth a look at. I have also included some images of their work and links to their websites.

Lisa Kellner

I first came across the work of Lisa Kellner when I was carrying out some self-motivated research in to heat set fabrics and unusual sculptures. Lisa Kellner lists decay, erosion and disease as inspiration for her work, which in my opinion is rather unusual, but also very interesting.















Sandra Backlund

I think the knitted creations of Sandra Backlund are original, contemporary and unique despite her use of traditional techniques. Much of her sculptural knit distorts the natural silhouette of the human body.











Claire Coles

Claire Coles designs a whole range of beautiful products from bespoke embroidered wallpapers to gift cards, mugs and pictures. Flora and fauna seem to greatly inspire her creations.





















Nora Fok

Nora Fok creates fascinating jewellery using nylon-fishing line. The structures she creates are delicate and very intricate. I particularly like her head and neckpieces that can be viewed on her website:












Jonas Samson

The creation by Jonas Samson that captured my attention is light emitting wallpaper, which I only discovered recently when researching responsive and smart materials for my dissertation proposal. Not only could the wallpaper be a fun alternative to a lamp but it could also be seen as an eye catching contemporary piece of art. It could also save a lot of energy if solar powered technology could be incorporated!

RSA Project-Make Something Disappear

23 Dec

‘Make Something Disappear’ is the title of the third project I am working  on this semester but it is in fact one of the RSA competition briefs, which I chose to tackle. This brief is very challenging and requires a lot of thinking and careful consideration of how textile design can be applied to a brief which looks at current global issues such as the lack of natural resources and the need for sustainable design. This is an area that I am passionate about and have chosen to investigate further for my dissertation. I am particularly interested in researching the role technology could play in reducing the environmental impact of the textile design industry.

However for this project I intend to create/design a desirable and unique garment or soft furnishing from recycled yarn. I would like to work with recycled yarn and other recycled materials such as buttons and zips where necessary as this eliminates waste, decreases the consumption of natural resources and the amount of energy required to dispose of unwanted textile items.

If I dye the recycled yarn I will use environmentally friendly, natural dyes, as this is something I experimented with over the summer and is in keeping with the suggested sustainable guidelines of the brief. (If it is not possible to use natural dyes in the time provided I will specify that natural dyes would be used in the information provided alongside my final design).

I am also interested in looking at textile items, which are multifunctional or can be adapted, as items that can create multiple looks can eliminate the need for 4 or 5 other items for example. As well as this I intend to research textile items that are designed so that the can be transformed in to something else after their intended primary use.

I will include some photographs of my drawings at a later date and some information about my inspiration but I probably shouldn’t give everything away as this work is for a competition after all!

My ever so slightly bizarre housemate! – Scratch and Sniff TV

18 Nov

The other day whilst watching MasterChef with my housemate Sarah, we were both discussing how amazing the food looked and how much we wanted to try it. Then Sarah suddenly exclaimed “oh my god scratch and sniff tv!” she then went on to explain how fantastic scratch and sniff tv would be and how we should be able to smell the food being created in the MasterChef kitchen! Although this idea sounds crazy now it could be the future who knows!?


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