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Posted 22.03.17

Modern florals & cool tones: Futon Shop selects student designs for production

By Sarah Packer

Left to right: Students Ellie O'Rourke, Lucy Ellis, Peter Farrow of The Futon Shop and Cathy Freeman, Programme Leader.

Two first year students on our BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern programme have had their designs selected by The Futon Shop to put into production later this year.

Looking for a new design that appealed to a younger market, The Futon Shop, who imports and sells internationally, set a client brief for our first years with the aim of putting two of the designs into production.

Students presented their finished designs, samples and research to Peter Farrow, director of The Futon Shop, who then selected Ellie O’Rourke’s and Lucy Ellis’ floral designs as the winners.

"It has been exciting to see my designs develop and become ready for manufacturing, being acknowledged by a company and having my work bought by Futon Shop is a privilege and is really motivating!" said Ellie O'Rourke.

It was a great opportunity for our students to work with a well-established business, alongside developing their research and design skills and gaining an insight into how to respond effectively to an industry client brief.

Lucy Ellis described the project as a “great and exciting opportunity” and said of the experience, “it has taught me a lot about designing for a client and has given me confidence in myself.”

Both students received cheques for their designs and will see them put in production later this year.

BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern Programme Leader Cathy Freeman said, "This has been the first live brief that our first years have worked on this year.

“It has been a great opportunity for all the students to understand the skills they will need to prepare themselves as professional designers in the industry.”

“I initially entered the project with the hope of gaining insight into the styles and designs in fabrics that young people would find vibrant and relevant to current market trends.

“I am pleased to say that not only have the students delivered this in a professional and enthusiastic manner, but the whole experience was highly motivational for me to be involved in and around the creative and friendly environment of the college.

“Indeed the hardest part of the whole experience was selecting the winning designs due to the strong level of entries delivered by the students. I hope there is opportunity to work together again in the future”

— Peter Farrow, The Futon Shop Ltd

Ellie and Lucy’s designs are currently in production with the final products set to be unveiled later this year.