Second-year students on London College of Communication’s BA (Hons) Surface Design programme recently entertained industry representatives and received invaluable professional feedback about their work at a Design for Industry exhibition. Salma Rizwan, a student on the course, reports on the event’s success.
The Industry Preview Day was held earlier this term in the Nursery Gallery. Students had selected a company or organisation of their choice for which they produced a collection of designs or products, ranging from tableware, fashion and homeware to stationery and camping products.
Representatives from industries including Denby, Liberty, Zoffany, Mini Moderns, JRC Imports, Made in Arts London, Meystyle, Graduate Collection, Paperchase, The Quilling Guild, Horniman Museum, and House of Holland visited the show and complimented the students on their talents, offering work experience or purchasing designs.
Research into their chosen companies’ commercial history and current output, and a broad knowledge of the market in which they sell, enabled the students to gain an understanding of their principles and aesthetic. Students were able to suggest future directions and provide inspiration through a fantastic display of work targeting today’s industries.
Senior designer Gary Hawley and surface designer Katy Lilley, both of Denby Pottery, congratulated the students on a wonderful show, and enjoyed a student-led tour of the screen printing studios on campus.
Senior designer at Liberty Art Fabrics Sally Kelly visited the exhibition to see a collection of scarves and art fabrics designed for Liberty London, and provided valuable feedback and work experience contacts.
“Fantastic work – what an inspiring show”, Sally commented, adding that it was “Really nice to see such good drawing skills and lovely colour work.”
Cathy Russell from The Quilling Guild was amazed to see quilling used in different ways to make prints and stationery products. Her fellow Quilling Guild member and editor of Quillers Today magazine Philippa Reid also remarked:
“What a fascinating and interesting show, both in terms of creativity and sheer versatility. [I was] really impressed with Beca Russell’s work, which is contributing to the evolution of the art of quilling.”
Representatives from Made in Arts London, an enterprise promoting and selling art and design by University of the Arts London students and recent graduates, selected a few students to participate in the spring/summer ‘14 show, proposing to support them to develop the skills, experience and connections necessary to sustain their creative practice. MiAL’s Francesca Peschien said, “A very refreshing show – lots of new thinking!”
Industry experts, senior design lecturers and fellow UAL students and friends enjoyed seeing the creativity of student work, hoping to see it arriving on shop floors in the near future. The Design for Industry experience gave students an opportunity to develop professional contacts, demonstrate effective communication, interpersonal and research skills, and recognise the value of a professional approach to all aspects of their work.
Words by second-year student Salma Rizwan.
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