Dezeen Magazine

Erin Wardingham textiles

New Designers spotlights five design graduates who dare to be different

Statement textiles and geometric shapes are the cornerstones of the five bold graduate projects featured in this VDF school show, curated by the organisers of New Designers.

Presented under the theme entitled Bold/Geometric, the listed projects range from ergonomic cutlery to vivid women's sportswear and were developed by five recent graduates of universities from across the UK.

The work was selected from over 3,000 student projects that were due to be exhibited at this year's edition of the New Designers exhibition, which takes place annually in London and dubbed as "the UK's largest design graduate show" by its organisers.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the show has now been taken online, with 20 standout students being celebrated as part of the Virtual Design Festival. Alongside this Bold/Geometric-themed show, New Designers is presenting three more digital exhibitions that explore the themes of nature, circular economy and gender.

New Designers graduate show

Showcase: New Designers
Theme: Bold/Geometric
Instagram: @newdesigners
Organiser: Upper Street Events

Event statement: 

"New Designers, the UK's largest design graduate show, celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2020 with the launch of a series of digital initiatives throughout the summer. In lieu of a physical showcase, the event will aim to promote and celebrate the work of the graduate class of 2020. With these virtual initiatives, New Designers hopes to offer graduates alternative opportunities to gain better insights into the design industry and advance in their professional careers in such extraordinary circumstances.

"Since the start of June, New Designers has been running ND Selects, a social media campaign that hopes to offer visibility and recognition to students' final projects. Each day, New Designers publishes a post about different students, highlighting their final piece, alongside their processes and influences.

"This year has seen a surge in final projects that respond directly to environmental and social issues. From game design to textile prints, the class of 2020 has offered creative design solutions for contemporary storage, diagnosing dyslexia and reconnecting children with nature. Making informed and considered material choices that are either recyclable or locally sourced has also been a key focus for many students."

Rachel Elinor Toye

Rachel Elinor Toye

"Articulating her love for adding colour, Rachel draws inspiration from vibrant cities, combining textures and marks from materials like concrete, metal and wood that have been manipulated by different people and aesthetics over time. ⁠

"She ensures her practice carries the same playful and bright impact. Rachel designs her prints for interior and lifestyle accessories to put happiness and colour onto something tangible and useful every day.⁠"

Name: Rachel Elinor Toye
University: The Glasgow School of Art
Course: BA (Hons) Fashion and Textiles⁠

Geonature by Vahekeny Rodrigues

Geonature by Vahekeny Rodrigues

"Geonature offers two collections – a bespoke collection for the hospitality and hotel industry, and a commercial collection for transport design. Vahekeny has explored plant and natural forms, insects and fauna and examined structural qualities found within cityscapes, alongside the 2020/2021 trend and colour report Multi-Local from Heimtextil 2020 international trade fair.

"The transport collection has been inspired by renowned textile designers such as Enid Marx, and the hospitality collection made reference to design companies including Timorous Beasties, and others housed at the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre.

"Vahekeny has explored these diverse areas through methods of photographic research, and drawn studies incorporating a wide variety of painting processes, before taking these to the computer to digitally manipulate.

"Designs have been printed by repeat registration using a range of techniques such as devore, flock and foil printing onto different fabric substrates, both as fabric samples to obtain different textural qualities, and to take to the computer using Adobe Creative Suite and AVA CAD CAM as part of the inherent design process."

Name: Vahekeny Rodrigues
University: University of Bolton
Course: BA(Hons)Textiles and Surface Design 

Geo cutlery by Sissel Gram Warringa

Geo cutlery by Sissel Gram Warringa

"Geo cutlery is everyday table jewellery, aimed at users honouring the little pleasures in everyday life. An exploration of how geometric shapes can become ergonomic."

Name: Sissel Gram Warringa
University: Kingston University
Course: BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design

City Glow by Asmita Gurung

City Glow by Asmita Gurung

"Gurung's design City Glow is a collection inspired by the vibrant colours and shapes found within the city. ⁠

"This collection brings the city to your garments through energetic prints, inspiring individuals to be authentic."

Name: Asmita Gurung
University of Huddersfield
Course: BA/BSc (Hons) Textile Practice

Erin Wardingham textiles

Erin Wardingham

"This vibrant collection of printed textile designs was created for the women's sportswear market with a potential for more diverse application to other products. Inspired by the mismatched compositions and distinctive geometric graphics of the Memphis movement, as well as utilising effects inspired by Op-Art, this collection aims to evoke a sensation of movement.

"Linear qualities balance block colours and a play with composition and pattern layouts create the illusion of movement for this dynamic market. All designs are digitally processed and are adaptable to a variety of sportswear material and surfaces."

Name: Erin Wardingham
University: Leeds Arts University
Course: BA (Hons) Textile Design

Virtual Design Festival's student and schools initiative offers a simple and affordable platform for student and graduate groups to present their work during the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for more details.