SDC International Design Competition: a global platform for talented designers
With the Grand Final of the SDC International Design Competition 2015 approaching, the excitement is building as the participating countries select their finalists. The grand final takes place in London at the Fashion and Textile museum (which can be seen in the image above) on 23 November and we will welcome the finalists from around the world. Open to fashion and textile undergraduates, the competition runs in 13 countries worldwide and much of its success is due to the amazing work of our regional coordinators who promote the competition and arrange the local heats. We asked some of them about their experience of the competition.
The SDC Northern Ireland Committee has been involved in the competition since it started, and Paul Santokhi is the Chairman. Paul commented, “the competition would not happen without the keen interest and support of the tutors at participating institutions who we work closely with. We invite industry experts or local designers to the judging events to give a talk to the students about different aspects of the industry. A direct result of the regional heat was a successful competition organised for Irish students in 2011 by SDC in collaboration with local company KK Schoolwear. First prize was a placement at the company for the winner, Toni Doherty who now works there full time. We have been very lucky over the last few years to have the support of key professionals from the textile and fashion industry on our judging panel as well as previous competition winners. We are very proud of the success of Ireland finalists Rachel White and Orla McCarthy who went on to become global winners in 2013 and 2014 respectively and finalist Sinead Laverty, now Creative Director at ‘Nead n print’. We look forward to our 2015 finalist Aoife Mullane making it a hat trick of wins for Ireland at the Grand Final.”
The competition has attracted huge interest in Thailand this year with over 250 entrants. The regional final was held at the Central Embassy, a luxury shopping centre in Bangkok. Mr Wiwat Hirunpruk, Business Development Director at Thailand Textile Institute, and an expert in textile, clothing and fashion became the regional competition coordinator four years ago. He commented “the SDC International Design Competition opens up the opportunity for Thai designers. They are very creative and highly talented. They need direction, and with a good platform their inspiration can go somewhere meaningful… please mark on the world map that we are one of the fashion cities”.
Last year’s Thai finalist Paradorn Katerat was awarded Runner Up at the Grand Final; this year Thailand is hoping that finalist Thaweesak Chattuwan will be their first global winner.
Joana Cunha, Assistant Professor at the University of Minho, became regional co-ordinator in 2014 when Portugal first participated in the competition. She commented: “Coordinating the Portuguese participation has been a challenge and an interesting experience for the interchange of experiences between academics, professional designers, the technologists from the industry and the students. Students that participate see in this competition a way of developing their abilities in textile design in a creative way and also a way to share and learn.”
Bangladesh regional coordinator, Anna Troupe was introduced to the competition in 2014 when she attended the Grand Final in China with her student. She comments: “There are some 15 universities with fashion and textiles programmes in the country, and as the competition coordinator for the region, it’s my task to promote and widen participation in 2016. I’m extremely excited to imagine how spreading awareness among young creative Bangladeshis about this tremendous opportunity will add to the local culture of textiles and fashion in the years to come. And bringing Bangladeshi design to the international arena is an important contribution that I feel very honoured to be part of. The significance of this exchange reflects the great necessity of organisations like the SDC: Bangladesh has so much to offer in the field of colour, and so many young people who are passionate about their heritage. This design competition provides the perfect catalyst for them to share their unique vision, to the benefit of everyone who cares about colour.”
Muhammad Fawad Noori has been regional coordinator of the competition in Pakistan since 2009. He said “My tenure has been really challenging, initially facing many problems because few institutes knew about this competition. We held seminars in various institutions to raise awareness of SDC and present the competition theme. The whole experience was great. Meeting with teachers and students of respective institutes is really fascinating especially the Q&A session and giving guidance on how to develop your project and what will be the benefits from participating in this mega event. It’s a real pleasure for me that I’m representing the talent of this region on an international level.”
This year’s finalist representing Australia/New Zealand comes from Massey University College of Creative Arts in New Zealand. Dr Sandy Heffernan from the university contacted us to let us know about the impact of the competition on a previous finalist. “You may wish to know that your competition contributes in no small way to the future career success of these young people. Our previous regional winner, Amy van Luijk runs a successful design atelier in Berlin. I’m sure her trip to SDC Grand Final in Belfast contributed to her design aspirations.”
The full list of participating countries is: Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Bangladesh, Portugal, Pakistan, South Africa, Singapore, Thailand and the UK. We look forward to welcoming all the finalists to London.
The competition is open to undergraduate fashion and textile design students and the brief for 2016 is now available from SDC’s website.
Trackback from your site.