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SDC International Design Competition 2015 won by Aoife Mullane from Ireland

Aoife Mullane, a Printed Textiles graduate from the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin has been announced as the winner of the SDC International Design Competition 2015. The announcement was made at a prestigious awards event held at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London.

The competition judges were internationally acclaimed designer Dame Zandra Rhodes, knitwear designer Laduma Ngxokolo from South Africa and Duncan Neil from Turnbull Prints.

sdc-awd_1115_d389Aoife was chosen over the other finalists representing Hong Kong, India, UK, Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, China, Portugal, New Zealand and South Africa. All entries had to show evidence of using colour as an integral component of the design process as well as incorporating this year’s theme of ‘Buy Less, Choose Well’.

Aoife commented: “It is a huge honour to win such a prestigious internationally recognised award. It has given me motivation and confidence in my work and it has made me feel the long hours spent in studio are truly worthwhile.

I have recognised that today there is an appreciation of craft made items. People want to buy products that do not feel or look mass-produced but that have a feeling of authenticity – a connection to humanity. My collection is deeply focused on raw materials and geological matter found in nature. Foraging and exploring a variety of bird’s eggs, pebbles, sea glass and driftwood is where it all began. Mineralized rocks inspired use of this metallic within my work. My colour palette reflects my natural subject matter. Screen-printing and hand dyeing is an intrinsic part of my design work.

sdc-awd_1115_d239My aspiration is to develop a successful brand of designs. I hope to gain some early collaboration projects, and get listed within a high-end retailer. Following this, I hope to design for site specific commissions such as restaurants, retail outlets, hotels, businesses and institutions.

I look forward to seeing what my year ahead brings as I have already felt great momentum following receiving the international design title. Onwards and upwards from here!”

The judges commented: “Aoife’s concept and product had an extremely high degree of professionalism throughout. The use of colour is subtle, beautiful and classic, to enable it to sit in a home for many years. The use of processes is extremely well considered for product, and fabric choices were ideal for interior products at the high end of the market”.

Dame Zandra Rhodes

Dame Zandra Rhodes

Aoife’s tutors from NCAD commented: “The Faculty of Design, and in particular the Textile Surface Design pathway tutors are absolutely delighted that Aoife has won the SDC International Design Competition.

This is a wonderful achievement for her and is testament to her creative talent and professionalism. These qualities shone through during her time studying here in Dublin at NCAD on the Textile Surface Design degree course. She always approached each design challenge with original thinking and skilful execution. Aoife has become a very talented young designer. Her contemporary aesthetic is refreshing and her use of colour, which is developed through her love of painting, dyeing and textile process experimentation, is highly desirable to an interior market which was the focus of her work in her final degree show in June 2015.

The finalists and judges

The finalists and judges

This is the third time that a student from NCAD has won the SDC International Design Competition but it is not third time lucky for Aoife. She does not leave anything to luck. She is a passionate, hardworking, creative young designer whom I hope will soon be using her skills to further her career in design. We are very proud of her achievement and wish her all the best in her future work”.

Aoife goes home with the £1,000 cash prize and the Veronica Bell trophy. The trophy is in honour of the late Dr Veronica Bell, (an SDC past-president) to acknowledge excellence in the field of colour and design.

Congratulations also to the runners up: Thaweesak Chattuwan, from Khon Kaen University in Thailand, and Tasneem Patrawala from the B D Somani Institute of Art and Fashion Technology in India.

Dr Graham Clayton, Chief Executive of the SDC commented: “the SDC is a committed supporter of young designers. We work with universities across the world to ensure that the next generation of students has a clear understanding of colour. The work of the finalists is always of an exceptional standard and on behalf of the SDC, I would like to congratulate all the students on such inspiring designs.”

We’ll bring you further news of the final and finalists in a future blog… watch this space! Interested in entering the 2016 competition? Take a look at the competition brief on our website.

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