Birmingham City University's Trends project plays a pivotal role in showcasing future trends to the industry. The project is a collaborative partnership with Color Hive and includes working collaborations with industry partners such as Ikea, Tektura and Brintons. The Trends Exhibition was held 22nd-25th January 2017 at the January Furniture Show, NEC, Birmingham.
This year’s project involved tasking third year Textile Design students with contributing to two trends that Color Hive identified for Autumn/Winter 2017. The trends selected were ‘Grace’ and ‘Punk’.
Grace has a colour palette that includes soft shades of green and ochre with rose and cashmere cream. Using moody backdrops of dark colours including laurel green, navy and peat brown, it allows for light and mid tones to combine to create a rugged natural world look.
The references include serene landscapes of Scottish heather on misty mountains that present some interesting design challenges to create unique designs. It becomes a very real journey of exploration, which causes individuals to question their own thoughts and interpretations of grace and match it with the serene and luxurious roots that has formed Grace into a trend.
Punk by contrast presents a real opportunity to explore the anarchic and exuberant spirit of punk. It allows for exploration of personal freedom that is boldly inclusive but rejects the common clichés. Punk allows for inclusive inspiration taken from challenging social views through design in new technologies such as the internet, exploring overt embellishment in areas such as jewellery along with tribal references and the development of rich gaming landscapes. It provides a rich, diverse field of colour while avoiding and challenging clichés making it rich for exploration.
The Punk colour scheme is usually dominated by rich and sensual dark tones using pinks and yellows to provide balance, all grounded in pale shade blush white. It is a broad opportunity to create something uniquely personal, reflective, and challenging.
The aim of the project was to question the existing design interpretations and allow for creative and personal responses from the students to push the boundaries of design. Selected concepts from the students design proposals were realised, actualised, and made into products for display, including BCU students Ella Downes and Helen Johnston, constructing a carpet design based upon each trend.
Ella Downes was awarded the Carpet Design Award at the show by Brintons as the design team particularly loved the texture in the design.