This year’s crop of graduates from the UK’s design schools is an international bunach. Coming from as far as Japan, Sweden and Greece, it’s a testament to the UK’s continued international appeal to emerging designers. Their projects are thought-provoking, innovative and sometimes just beautiful. We picked our favourites for this roundup.
Ji Young Shon
RCA, MA Design Products
This piece falls somewhere between design and art, which is a territory that Shon is interested in exploring. The leaf functions as a speaker; they can be installed, as at the Show at the RCA, in their hundreds. “This particular one isa very good for higher pitched sounds, but I’m working on a version in a heavier material that would transfer lower sounds better,” says Shon.
Manchester Metropolitan University,
BA Three Dimensional Design
Bauhaus bird feeder
It’s super minimal, but a nice example of a graduate project that will succeed because Jacob kept it simple. This bird feeder in bent metal is already in production with a Manchester factory and orders are rolling in.
BA 3D Design: New Practice
Container latex vessels
There is something extraordinarily attractive about these natural rubber latex vessels that are completely wobbly to the touch. “I had to mix my own colours because the ones you buy are too bubblegummy and used for balloon production,” says Read. The copper tops are spun and add a rigidity and permanence to the piece that will eventually disintegrate. “There is nothing you can do to keep it for longer and I think that there is something beautiful in that.”
RCA, MA Design Interactions
Strangle Poise lamp
Chambers’ graduation project has already got a space in the Wellcome Collection’s windows on Euston Road in London, but then again it does have an entertainment value as well as a thought-provoking side. His hard drive that pops up on little legs if anything wet spills on or next to it is a genius idea. The programming he had to do for the Strangle Poise lamp has darker undertones. “It has been proven that watching violent films make you more prone to violence, but while violent imagery is more and more prevalent in society we are expected to show less of this side of ourselves,” says Chambers. So he created the Strangle Poise light, which you have to strangle with a garrotte in order to turn it off. It’s quite a lengthy process, 20-30 seconds in total. “The same amount of time that it would take to make someone unconscious, and the light flickers in the same way that a person would be gasping for air.”
Bucks New University,
BA Furniture Design and Craftsmanship
Veil on the Light
“I wanted to create a new shape for the lampshade,” says Norie. Her floor lamp, which resembles stylised tree branches, comes in two versions: one for corners and one for straight walls. Instead of a rigid shade you can hang any fabric over the light, which is a cool LED. “I particularly like it when a gust of wind comes into the room and moves the fabric in a soft way,” says Matsumoto, who is joining the Design Products course at the RCA this autumn.
Johanna Agerman Ross