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Graduate Spotlight: MA Footwear student Chengxu Tian

Written by Josh De Souza Crook
Published date 03 February 2016

MA Footwear student Chengxu Tian created one of the most vibrant, colourful and innovative footwear collections of this postgraduate year. The Chinese-born designer used 3D layering techniques with rich colours to create dynamic and flamboyant materials. LCF News will be speaking to MA Footwear students for our Graduate Spotlight series ahead of LCFMA16 Exhibition, read Chengxu’s inspiration and postgraduate experience in the interview below

Where and what did you study prior to your MA at LCF?

I studied BA Fashion Accessory in China before I came to LCF to study MA Footwear.

What made you want to study MA Footwear?

My BA course explored bags, footwear and jewellery – this is where I found I was crazy about studying footwear. When you put in a lot of effort into something, you become passionate, it then becomes a very important part of your life, this was footwear for me. Once I decide to do something, I always make it perfect and never give up. I decided to study MA Footwear at LCF to improve my design ability.

Tell us about your Masters project?

My project was called ‘The Layering Movement’. The was inspired by 3D layering texture effects to improve injection mould techniques. I hoped to create excellent dynamic 3D layering texture materials throughout. I also wanted to use this opportunity to research ways to push the boundaries of what is technically possible within a mass footwear production environment in China.

Can you describe your style in five words?

Dynamic, Powerful, Colourful, Technical, Geometry

Why did you choose LCF?

To be honest its very simple – I wanted to improve my design ability after graduating from my BA. LCF’s MA Footwear design course is famous worldwide and known for its professionalism. Besides, the environment of the school was also a very crucial factor that I took into account. London is such creative city! Everyday there’s a lot of new things waiting for me to explore, half my study inspiration comes from museums, galleries and the cities shopping culture.

Does studying an MA help you develop a personal style and express creativity further than a BA?

Yes, I think I really improved during the MA course from the BA standard I started with.  This was the first time I spent so much time researching and exploring a single project. This has significantly improved my research skills and problem solving.

What are your plans after graduation, has studying MA Footwear helped you realise what you want to be doing?

Firstly, I want to work in a company or factory to learn all kinds of new experiences. After that I would like to set up my own brand. My final MA project was produced from several Chinese factories, this allowed me to fully utilise the speed, quality and price advantages in China. Hence, all these advantages will build up my brand quickly.

MA Footwear student Chengxu Tian. Photography by Chen Chen.

MA Footwear student Chengxu Tian. Photography by Chen Chen.

What advice would you give to anyone considering studying an MA at LCF?

If you want to study an MA at LCF, you need to make sure you really love the course you are studying. This means you need to put all of your energy in during the course. If you don’t, you may face the risk of failing! It’s not easy being successful in the design industry, it takes more than the methodologies you use and your ability. In certain degrees, you will have to dedicate all of your effort and have strong determination. This is the key to create an excellent work.