Design students focus on colour

The SDC International Design Competition challenges students’ creative and imaginative use of colour in fashion and textiles. With high levels of interest within the UK each year, five regional heats are held, each selecting a winner to go forward to the UK final.

P1030285The focus throughout is on colour science education for the students. The brief encourages the students to learn about colour and aspects of sustainability. The competition makes an invaluable link between the emerging talent of the students and the industry professionals who comprise the judging panels and speakers at the events. Each year the judges select the most creative work, which is showcased at the heats and grand final. Whilst hundreds of students complete the competition brief each year, the universities in the UK then select just two or three students to put forward to the regional heat.

P1030346The UK heats held over a six week period from March to April each year bring together representatives from industry, retail and academia. They are long days involving early starts, late finishes and snatched lunches, particularly for our judges, who are all industry professionals who give their time freely.

The first of the 2016 judging heats was held in London, at the Fashion and Textile Museum. Our judges were artist Jayne Duncan, colour psychologist Angela Wright and designer Kathy Lewiston. First place went to Hannah Rumsey of UCA Farnham.

The Midlands heat was hosted by Nottingham Trent University. Heejin Son from NTU was announced as the winner by our panel including Catherine Watkins, Responsible Retail and Sustainability Manager and Lisa Ly, Responsible Retail and Sustainability Assistant both from George @Asda whilst fellow judges Kirsty Whyte, Heal and Son Ltd and Jane Middleton-Smith, John Smedley Ltd treated the students to first class presentations.

IMG_1759Edinburgh College of Art hosted the Scotland heat where the entrants all took part in a colour blindness workshop. The judges were Hamish Carruthers OBE, Lynn Wilson, Zero Waste Scotland and Mari McCullan, Collect Scotland. The winning student was Zara Nugent from Edinburgh College of Art.

The North of England Heat included a dyeing workshop for the entrants and tutors and a guest presentation from Susan Kay Williams, CEO Royal School of Needlework. Judges Linda Hodgson, Joanne Cocker, JoJo CoCo Designs and Ruth Greenup, Camira Fabrics were delighted to be involved.  Joanne Cocker commented: “It was great to see the diversity of the students’ work and I was very impressed with the standard”. The winning student was Laura Ensinger from the University of Huddersfield.

P1030503The final heat, South Wales and the West of England hosted by Plymouth College of Art demonstrated students commitment to participating in the competition considering some of the journey’s made to get there. Entrants were judged by textile professionals Sue Scammell and Sara Little and were treated to the stunning Timorous Beastie Exhibition and a tour of the college’s cutting edge facilities. The winning student was Rachel Thomas from Falmouth College of Art.

IMG_1809We’d like to say a huge thank you to all of our host venues for the warm welcomes we received, the judges who volunteered their time, the students who participated and all the staff who nurtured and brought them along.

With the UK heats completed, it was on to the UK final in York where Laura Ensinger from the University of Huddersfield was announced as the overall UK winner. Laura will progress to the Grand Final in Shanghai. For further details of the SDC International Design Competition please visit the SDC website.

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