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Shortlist for MullenLowe NOVA Awards 2021 announced

CAD image of three orange tins with liquid being poured in
CAD image of three orange tins with liquid being poured in
Cheuk Laam Wong, BA Product and Industrial Design
Written by
Teleri Lloyd-Jones and Zara Roberts
Published date
26 July 2021

From a kit for washing reusable menstruation pads to ceramics fired by bacteria, the shortlist for this year's MullenLowe NOVA Awards is fittingly bold and brilliant.

Across 14 projects on the shortlist you can explore the breadth and depth of work from this year's graduating students. The selection was made by a jury including Head of Design and Presentation at the London Transport Museum Sau-Fun Mo, architect Shahira Fahmy, Founding Editor of Creative Boom Katy Cowan, artist and previous NOVA winner Sandra Poulson and Jose Miguel Sokoloff, Global President, MullenLowe Group Creative Council.

Alongside the first prize, runners up and the Creative Boom Conscious Award, which are decided by the jury, the YourNOVA People's Choice Award is voted for by the public. Please explore the incredible projects below and cast your vote! Voting is open until Friday 6 August and the winner will be announced on 18 August.

Congratulations to this year's shortlisted students:

Jann Choy, BA Graphic Communication Design: Inspired by Chinese face-changing opera art and online avatars, Liǎn is a mask that responds to your real-time emotions, inflating different areas of the mask, depending on your mood.

Nikoleta Chrysikou, MA Material Futures: BacTerra proposes biotechnology to create ceramics that are self-fired and biologically glazed as an alternative to the carbon heavy kiln-firing process.

Francesca Daloiso, MA Industrial Design: Ulïètu provides an analysis of the traumatic effect of the plant pathogen xylella fastidioasa which causes dehydration spurring the process of plant death. The collection is a resourceful solution to the remains of Apulian olive trees, ravaged by xylella fastidioasa.

Paula Camina Eiras, MA Biodesign: Co-Obradoiro Galego is a collaborative project which develops a biodegradable bio-material from Galician seafood exoskeletons restoring Galician craft heritage.

Claudia Gusella, BA Fashion: Everything is great* is an intimate collection which explores overcoming trauma. Sustainability is a central theme that is used as a boundless tool to realise Claudia's fantasies without causing further harm to the planet.

Lydia Hardcastle, BA Performance: Design and Practice: Inspired by the growth of seeds in cotton, Can I go outside yet? blends nature and costume into a refreshing sensory experience that explores the link between nature and one's mental health.

Yunhan Huang, MA Fine Art: Planet Series focuses on the influence of online derivatives on social lives and communication and questions whether text and image can break through algorithms.

Molly MacLeod, MA Art and Science: We are all carbon is an accumulation of a year's worth of Molly's own cremated biological matter, which has been repurposed to make sound.

Kaius Mowbray, BA Fine Art: A cross-disciplinary project that uses fiction as a medium to create an alternate London, while incorporating the real histories of real locations.

Gwen Sion, BA Fine Art: HS2 Ghostlands is a response to the climate emergency and HS2, focusing on issues like deforestation, habitat destruction and biodiversity loss.

Alice Turner, BA Product and Industrial Design: An app-controlled 'grow your own meat' device, allowing its users to order cell capsules and grow various types of meat.

Cheuk Laam Wong, BA Product and Industrial Design: An NGO project seeking to provide an eco-friendly method of washing re-usable menstruation pads in order to tackle period poverty in refugee camps.

Yijia Wu, BA Fine Art: Led by personal experience, Territory explores nomadism and dislocation through the use of moving image, performance and installation.

Jessie Zhang, BA Graphic Communication Design: Song Light is an ambient lighting system controlled by birdsong. The project reintroduces nature into our technological lives by representing the songs of up to 88 species of bird, each having their own unique colour, converging the auditory and the visual.

  • IMG_5056b.jpg
    , Lydia Hardcastle, BA Performance: Design and Practice
  • img_6.jpg
    , Jann Choy, BA Graphic Communication Design
  • look-3-bust-2.jpg
    , Claudia Gusella, BA Fashion Design
  • Daloisi2.jpg
    , Francesca Daloiso, MA Industrial Design

The winners will be announced online 3pm BST 18 August 2021.