Collaborative Project between Surface Pattern Design students and Orangebox to be showcased in London during Clerkenwell Design Week


The creative talents of UWTSD Swansea College of Art L5 Surface Pattern Design students will be showcased at an exhibition hosted by office furniture company Orangebox at their London showroom during Clerkenwell Design Week (May 21-23).

The students have been working with the Orangebox design team as part of their Enterprise and Employability module. The students were asked to design an innovative upholstery cloth for the Skomer stool that utilises fabric off-cuts as its main resource; while addressing one or more key issues in contemporary office spaces. This involved a material investigation of the Circular Economy, celebrating luxury cloth waste produced by Orangebox, and reimagined by the students at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD.

Georgia Mckie, Programme Director, BA (Hons) Surface Pattern Design at UWTSD said: “With live briefs such as this we work with the students in a spirit of we are ‘in this together.’ We learn ‘live’ with them - demonstrative in our problem solving, adapting to changing situations as they arise, but always focussed on the creative impetus at the heart of the project.  It is important to build resilience in our designers and makers of the future.

"Learning to liaise with professionalism, accepting client or partners’ needs are vital experiences that we introduce them to early on in their careers.  They experience working together as a team, working with staff, working with external parties – their creativity is stretched, their communication skills are enhanced, their confidence is boosted, their employability is heightened.”


Catherine Hammerton, Lecturer in Surface Pattern Design added: “The project has been a brilliant experience and learning curve for our students; working directly with a global furniture brand to address real world problems surrounding the circular economy. The work produced tackles the issue of textile waste head on, offering sound solutions for future product development and scaled production.

"Our students have worked exceptionally hard to deliver a breadth of ideas, across a range of technical processes, with absolute professionalism. They confidently pitched and presented the project to Senior Management teams at Orangebox and we are delighted that, as a direct result if this, the work will also be exhibited at Clerkenwell Design Week, next month, which all our L5 students have been invited to attend by Orangebox.”

Surface Pattern Design L5 student Stephanie Nicholas said: “This has been an experience that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my design career. Learning how to solve a waste problem and having the opportunity to work with a manufacturing company has been great. I will also now take into consideration the waste of the work I produce in future projects, and how to minimize this problem and save the next generation future in doing so.”

The exhibition is being held at Orangebox Smartworking, 38 Northampton Road, London, EC1R OHU.

Note to Editor

This is part of PhD research being undertaken by Steve Whitehill of UWTSD into the Circular Economy and is a collaborative project, funded by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2), a major pan-Wales operation supported by European Social Funds (ESF), in partnership with Orangebox Ltd, designers and manufacturers of office seating, furnishings and work spaces, who are based in South Wales, UK.

Our Surface Pattern Design and Textiles degree course at Swansea College of Art UWTSD is a vibrant, multidisciplinary programme where we explore textiles, materiality, pattern and making. We do this through the far-reaching contexts of fashion, interiors and for design-led brands and galleries. The programme is academically challenging, contemporary in outlook, and students are taught a wealth of practical and technical skills, enjoying the design potential of our extensive digital and more traditional facilities.

Our students graduate as designers and makers ready to flourish in a wide range of creative employment, having had several significant live projects, exhibition experiences and industry liaisons embedded in their studies.

Clerkenwell Design Week

Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) taking place from 21st-23rd May, celebrates its 10th edition this year. From new designs by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Established & Sons to Fritz Hansen’s exhibition in collaboration with Zaha Hadid Architects and an outdoor cooking space serving food by Kitchen Architecture, the show is set to bring the industry's focus back to the London’s design district, presenting hundreds of showrooms, fringe events, talks, workshops and installations. 

CDW has established itself as one of the UK's leading independent design festivals, and has flourished over the past 10 years. 

Further Information

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