June 25, 2024

Dezeen School Shows: tactile toys that take cues from architectural features and a clothing line that references alternative subcultures are included in Dezeen’s latest school show by students at Arts University Plymouth.

Also included is a yacht with a sustainably designed interior, and fabric informed by water-based outdoor activities.


Institution: Arts University Plymouth
School: Arts University Plymouth
Courses: BA (Hons) Interior Design & Styling, BA (Hons) Fashion Design, BA (Hons) Textile Design and BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts
Tutors: Heather Martin, Cathryn Bishop, Emma Gribble and Gayle Matthias

School statement:

“Radical and revolutionary, contemporary design has the power to both redefine our everyday lives and solve urgent global issues.

“Staff and students from the Arts University Plymouth are pushing the boundaries of aesthetics to affect real-world change.

“Whilst good design shows how form solves problems or conveys complexity in beautiful ways, it simultaneously fosters a way of thinking about our world as a shared experience.

“Our community of artists, designers and makers address the constantly shifting territories of contemporary design, considering the breadth of design thinking alongside material and digital practices in establishing new approaches, forms and possibilities.”


Hand holding blue and silver fabric in front of white wallHand holding blue and silver fabric in front of white wall

Waives and Waves by Kirstin Taylor

“Taylor uses the traditional craft of Passmenterie to express her vision.

“She combines pattern creation using the ordered and repetitive processes of weaving and sewing with the less predictable results of hand dyeing techniques and micro pleating.

“The effect, when also using less conventional materials, encapsulates her experience of water-based outdoor adventures.

“Waives and Waves elevates the everyday in our homes, adding compelling finishing touches.

“Taylor wants you to be able to add your own flourishes that enhance and adorn your surroundings in a multiplicity of colourful and tactile ways.”

Student: Kirstin Taylor
Course: BA (Hons) Textile Design
Tutor: Emma Gribble
Email: kirstin[at]sewit4.me.uk


Sectional drawing of dining areaSectional drawing of dining area

La Collina Gardens by Isabelle Clarke

“This in-class brief involved expanding the company La Collina Gardens through the building in which they’re based.

“Clarke researched trends within the retail sector focusing on the meaning behind flowers with the aim of incorporating floral elements into the design.

“Clarke worked closely with live clients in order to understand their systems, needs and wants and applied these to the design to produce a practical outcome.”

Student: Isabelle Clarke
Course: BA (Hons) Interior Design and Styling
Tutor: Cathryn Bishop
Email: isabellegraceclarke[at]hotmail


Board showing yacht floor plan and renderingsBoard showing yacht floor plan and renderings

Pure Couture | Fashion-inspired Charter Yacht by Ellie Marshall

“Marshall’s project investigates sustainable luxury design for charter yachts. The scheme uses designer fashion brands Louis Vuitton and Balmain to influence the concept, resulting in a unique and unconventional scheme.

“The textiles have been inspired by Louis Vuitton’s collection and include bold colours, floral designs and a mix of textures.

“The focus of the design is on the upper deck, which the guests will use frequently for socialising.

“Existing furniture will be used to reduce waste and costs while focusing on the finishes to ensure sustainability.”

Student: Ellie Marshall
Course: BA (Hons) Interior Design and Styling
Tutor: Cathryn Bishop
Email: elliemaemarshall[at]gmail.com


Visualisation of dining areaVisualisation of dining area

Core, Mental Health Hub, for Plymouth Options Livewell Southwest by Zoe Shakesheff

“Shakesheff has taken a strong interest in the use of colour theory and how it affects people and the scheme of a room due to different connotations.

“In this module, Shakesheff created a Mental Health Hub with the aim of promoting health and wellbeing in the community, which provides people with a safe, welcoming space.

“Due to their interest in colour theory, Shakesheff applied what they’d learnt into the final design of the hub along with incorporating a variety of natural materials and plenty of natural light.”

Student: Zoe Shakesheff
Course: BA (Hons) Interior Design and Styling
Tutor: Cathryn Bishop
Email: zoeshakesheff[at]gmail.com


Visualisation of brightly coloured funeral homeVisualisation of brightly coloured funeral home

Rethinking Funeral Homes by Rachel Hicks

“People somehow overlook the interior spaces of funeral homes, despite the fact that we will all eventually need to visit one during some parts of our lives.

“Hicks’s project aims to end the taboo within this industry of work, creating a place where people feel less worried and anxious.”

Student: Rachel Hicks
Course: BA (Hons) Interior Design and Styling
Tutor: Cathryn Bishop
Email: rhickscornwallinteriors[at]gmail.com


Visualisation of dining areaVisualisation of dining area

Pause Lifestyle Store by Eden Parnell

“The idea behind this multifunctional store was to create a community space for women going through menopause, where they could talk to others going through similar experiences and shop for products to help ease their symptoms.

“Parnell’s design includes a retail space on the ground floor, a café on the second and a yoga/meditation studio/workshop space on the third.

“Parnell was tasked with developing a customer profile and producing concept boards, elevations and visuals, as well as branding for the project.”

Student: Eden Parnell
Course: BA (Hons) Interior Design and Styling
Tutor: Cathryn Bishop
Email: eden[at]semidisposable.com


Model wearing outdoor-style clothing on black backdropModel wearing outdoor-style clothing on black backdrop

Planet Kataie by Katie McMillan

“McMillan is a fashion designer and garment maker with a highly colourful and fun visual aesthetic.

“Their work uses textural fabric manipulation – giving it a sense of freedom and playfulness – that is underpinned by strong technical skills.

“The concept originated from the concepts of nostalgia and escapism and has evolved into a combination of distinct elements, fusing rave and festival wear with a utilitarian vibe.”

Student: Katie McMillan
Course: BA (Hons) Fashion Design
Tutor: Heather Martin
Email: kaemcmillan[at]gmail.com


Model wearing lacy top and gloves on black backdropModel wearing lacy top and gloves on black backdrop

Reclaimed by Nature by Zoe Stephens

“Stephens is a fashion graduate with a strong sustainable and ethical approach to their work.

“Inspired by Cornwall’s fading industrial heritage, their graduate collection ‘Reclamation’ explores the temporariness of human-made versus the timeless force of nature.

“Mixing both hard and soft aesthetics, Stephens challenges the traditional view of femininity by incorporating utilitarian features into their designs.

“Adopting a ‘nothing new’ stance, sustainability remains at the core of this collection through the use of reclaimed materials.”

Student: Zoe Stephens
Course: BA (Hons) Fashion Design
Tutors: Heather Martin
Email: zoeolivia1806[at]gmail.com


Collage of models and text on white backgroundCollage of models and text on white background

Welcome The Freaks by Rudy Downing

“Downing’s work as a designer aims to explore human connectivity and its impact on both ourselves and others.

“The concept came from a quote from their colleague stating – ‘We’re just a bunch of freaks running around throwing up tents’.

“This led Downing to explore what actually makes us ‘freaks’ through the use of distortion and embellishment within their designs.

“People are a huge part of Downing’s life. They have built a community around them of people they care about and their project reflects their importance in the designer’s life.”

Student: Rudy Downing
Course: BA (Hons) Fashion Design
Tutor: Heather Martin
Email: rudyjacca[at]btinternet.com


Hand touching objects on grey backgroundHand touching objects on grey background

‘Play + Work = Plork’ by Tyrone Anthony Vera

“Vera’s work responds to the act of play through the use of architectural forms, taken from primary photographs of buildings that have been interpreted through a variety of materials such as rubber, foam, jesmonite and fabric.

“His investigations have led him to respond to the senses of sight, touch, smell and sound.

“Vera invites the audience to interact with the forms by stacking and connecting using a variety of methods from magnets to velcro.

“His work is about the sensory experience when engaged in the act of play. The forms have been fabricated in a variety of materials to evoke different sensations when being held.”

Student: Tyrone Anthony Vera
Course: BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts
Tutor: Gayle Matthias
Email: tyrone.a.vera[at]gmail.com

Partnership content 

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and Arts University Plymouth. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.


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