This very prestigious course produces some outstanding graduates who go on to exceptional international careers. Even while still at the University, many students regularly sell their work to textile and surface pattern design industries, and win some of the world’s most esteemed design awards. Students have won over 60 national and international design awards in the past three years.
This course has an outstanding global reputation. We look for talented, hard-working people who will develop their own ‘handwriting’, both anticipating and setting future trends. In exchange we offer comprehensive tuition, experiences and opportunities.
As a student, you’ll have the significant advantage of working in an exciting studio environment that houses all three year groups, in an open plan studio that supports and enables student designers to discover and express personal design solutions.
By providing an intellectually challenging course of study, students can engage with the critical, practical and creative issues and debates surrounding the role of the Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Designer.
We place major importance on drawing in its broadest contexts, through which you will translate your ideas into digital formats, wall-coverings, fashion and interior fabrics, greetings and innovative materials and surfaces.
You’ll use cutting-edge computer suites plus professionally equipped workshops for dyeing, screen-printing, heat-transfer printing, digital printing, laser-cutting as well as woodwork and ceramics. The emphasis is on originality and innovation, and the highest standards of work and professionalism.
We love creativity, critical thinking and design in all its guises, but equally we recognise the desire to make a living doing something so wonderful, which is why we place a strong value on offering real world experiences and employability.
Whilst on the course, you will be given opportunities to sell your work at industry standard trade fairs. We have exhibited for many years at Indigo in Paris, a leading fashion fabric fair, and also at events such as MoOD (Belgium), Maison et Objet (France), Surtex (USA) and Heimtextil (Germany) for those specialising in interiors or surface products, as well as the New Designers exhibition in London, which offers an opportunity for our graduating students to present themselves and their work to a professional audience and to meet potential employers.
Typically, first year students will engage in cultural study trips while second-year students have a choice of visits linked to their growing professional interest and specialised trade fairs.
We aim to help our students find an audience for their work in the outside world, whether that is in the design studio of a multinational manufacturer or setting up their own design practice; whether their passion is fashion or interiors; whether they wish to be designers, consultants or stylists or whether their market is high street, couture, automotive industries or gallery pieces. We encourage students to develop innovative thinking and engender flexible approaches to multidisciplinary personal working practice, fostering entrepreneurial and professional awareness.
Given the diversity of experiences, employment and opportunities available within the discipline we encourage and offer a focus towards the specialism of interests themed around skills-focused strands commencing at the start of the second year. These strands are not exclusive choices, but rather provide the opportunity for you to invest more time in the areas that you have a real passion for.
In order to help students familiarise themselves with the discipline as a whole, we commit the first year to developing the essential skills: technical, aesthetic and professional, that are features of the course from which you will be able to make an informed position as to your specialist interests in years two and three.
Innovative Print strand
Working within the printed textiles strand, you will be encouraged to engage with a broad range of processes, ideas and methodologies to realise personal solutions and innovative responses.
Typically you will work in specialist workshops and a thriving studio, to engage in live briefs, industrial contexts or working as a designer-maker undertaking challenging and sophisticated understandings of the discipline. Students are encouraged to recognise themselves as professional designers, developing an enquiring, open minded and versatile approach to their work. These explorations are supported and underpinned by a strong studio work ethos, drawing and painting, dye and print workshops, printmaking and bookbinding, amongst others.
Digital Textiles strand
Working within the digital specialist strand you will be encouraged to pursue your creative ambitions through highly informed and considered application of leading industry standard equipment and discipline specific software such as AVA, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, alongside technologies including digital printing and laser cutting, to create innovative designs for the future by expanding and developing new methods of design and production.
This strand is focused on developing the skills, processes and aesthetic sensitivity to communicate drawing, colour and practical solutions through digital means which directly engages in real-world commercial applications for employment and innovation across a number of sectors and material outcomes.
Surface Innovation & Material Concepts strand
Working within the innovative surfaces strand, you will be encouraged to explore and develop approaches towards prototypes and solutions that challenge the traditional conventions of surface design, creating samples which realise responses that are both experimental and forward thinking.
This strand will emphasise dynamic content to engage with emergent ideas, technologies and themes for surface design that transcends the historical notional boundaries of the discipline. Students will be encouraged to develop an enquiring, conceptual and versatile approach to their work, combining a rediscovery of traditional processes and materials with unconventional production methods towards emerging contemporary markets.
These explorations are supported and underpinned by a strong studio work ethos, a collaborative outlook and a simulative approach to design thinking.