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Central Saint Martins

Lucie 
        Davis

Lucie Davis

Profession
Foundation Art and Design and BA Jewellery Design Alum
College
Central Saint Martins
Person Type
Alumni
Lucie  Davis

Biography

Lucie Davis is a multi-award winning designer, artist and creative who studied Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and BA Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins, graduating in 2016.

During her time at the College, she won the prestigious MullenLowe YourNOVA Award and the Swarovski Design Project x CSM Student Award. In 2016, she worked as Designer in Residence for Tiffany & Co. in New York and is now a Creative at Ogilvy UK in London.

Interview

Tell us a little bit about your practice and what inspires your work.

I get a lot of my inspiration from the everyday, just by looking at patterns and things which surround me – those we have always known but don’t always notice. I love to show people a world of possibility even in the most unlikely of things, to break the ceiling of the expected and reach the heart and imagination of viewers or wearers in a new and exciting way. With my work, I hope to challenge conventions of jewellery and to bring a bit of magic into our everyday lives. I have created pieces which rely on entertaining collisions between nail art and Tube travel; washing up and instant rings and point-of-sale stickers and fine-enamelled brooches. Although seemingly light-hearted, my graphic and punchy pieces reconsider value in their materiality and use, offering the wearer an active role in interaction and interpretation.

When did you first realise that you wanted to work in the creative industries?

As long as I can remember – I probably learnt how to pick up a crayon before a piece of cutlery. I always knew I wanted to be a creative or an artist of some kind, but if I were to pinpoint a time, I would say when I was about the age of 5 and I realised I spent more time on decorating the front covers of my school books than doing the actual homework!

Your work is featured in the Design Museum's permanent collection. Can you tell us more about the piece?

The piece, Touch in and out: Oyster Card acrylic nails with RFID chip, formed part of my graduate jewellery collection in 2016 at Central Saint Martins and happened to go viral. The Oyster card nails are a speculative yet functional redesign of Transport for London’s Oyster card. The integrated RFID chip allows commuters to literally “touch in” and “touch out” with their fingertips, paying for their journeys in the same way they would with a conventional Oyster card. With the chip at your fingertips, it is a fast and easy way to pay without worrying about misplacing your card. The design combines technology with fashionable nail art, which itself is all about the process of personalisation. This form of wearable technology taps into today’s increasing consumer demands for portability and on-the-go functionality.

How did your time at Central Saint Martins help to encourage the way you work?

You are constantly challenged and mentored to be the best you can be by professional lecturers and amazing tutors. And with all the exciting projects – both in-house and external – my time at the College expanded my thinking in unimaginable ways. I learnt new techniques and processes, how to take more risks and the art of imperfection. I finally felt I could express myself freely. Difference was always encouraged; I felt accepted for who I was and what I wanted to explore in my practice.

What are you currently working on?

I am working as a Creative at Ogilvy UK in creative advertising, coming up with some ideas for some really big brands. It’s quite a change from my last job as a Designer in Residence at Tiffany & Co. in New York, but I’ve always been interested in blurring the boundaries between disciplines. Everything comes down to storytelling – whether it’s jewellery or advertising. I also have a few exhibitions and side projects of personal work coming up too.

How would you describe your experience on the Foundation course?

Unforgettable. Can I do it again? There’s not much quite like a foundation course – a place where I could just freely explore and grow creatively for a year. I’m also still really close with people from my course – it’s truly incredible to be surrounded by such a variety of talent from all over the world.

What words of advice would you give to a student studying on the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design?

Be curious and have an open mind. I did the diagnostic mode of study on my foundation which is where you can try all disciplines before specialising. I initially thought I was going to study womenswear but then ended up being really drawn to three-dimensional objects on a smaller scale. So, I took up fashion accessories and jewellery instead. With that in mind, I guess my advice would be to not pigeonhole yourself as a “Fine Artist” or a “Graphic Designer” just yet. In that foundation year, you might surprise yourself and discover something you didn’t know you were good at. So be open, try everything, this is your time to enjoy not knowing where you’re going…get messy, explore new materials and work with new people – get out your comfort zone.

What are your favourite memories of studying at Central Saint Martins?

I honestly have so many – all the exciting projects, opportunities and design trips abroad with my class and tutors. I also loved getting lost in the library and spending my time in the workshop – which basically became my second home. But I think one of my favourite memories was when I was chosen as the Freedom at Topshop x Central Saint Martins 2015 winner and I saw my jewellery designs being sold online and in store, that was something I’ll treasure forever.