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Brintons collaboration with Birmingham City University showcased at January Furniture Show

30th January 2017

Now in its eighth year, Birmingham City University's Trends project plays a pivotal role in showcasing future trends to the industry. The Trends Exhibition was held 22-25 January 2017 at the January Furniture Show, NEC, Birmingham.

The project is a collaborative partnership with Color Hive who are experts in providing accurate colour, trends and materials forecast information for the design industry.

This year’s project involved tasking third year Birmingham City University BA (Hons) Textile Design students with contributing to two trends that Color Hive identified for Autumn/Winter 2017. The two trends selected for the students included ‘Grace’ and ‘Punk’,  two very contrasting themes.

Grace Trend

Grace has a colour palette that includes soft shades of green and ochre with rose and cashmere cream. Using moody back drops of dark colours that include 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 questions their own thoughts and interpretations of grace and match it with the serene and luxurious roots that has formed Grace into a trend.

Punk 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 is to really question the existing design interpretations and allow for creative and personal responses from the students to push the boundaries of design. Selected design concepts from the students work and design proposals were realised, actualised, and made into products for display. This was achieved through BCU liaising with several manufacturing firms including Brintons, Tektura  MRF furniture manufacturers to create the trend forward products and proposals.

The entire project allows for industry experience and to help take students on their own personal journeys with design by encouraging multi-discipline work practices and experimentation in textile design right through to the process of manufacturing and displaying forward thinking designs. 

Carpet Design Award 

BCU BA (Hons) Textile Design students and rising stars Ella Downes and Helen Johnston, saw their design work made in to reality by Brintons, using our revolutionary 32 colour ‘High Definition Weave’ technology to construct a carpet design based upon each trend, Grace and Punk. Ella Downes was awarded the Carpet Design Award at the show by Brintons, Commercial Marketing Manager, Sarah Draper. A lot of thought was put in to the design and it was a very good interpretation of the Grace trend brief. Our design team particularly loved the texture in the design. 

During the 2016 Trends project, Brintons helped students with the manufacturing process and the collaborative work resulted in students’ work being displayed at Brintons London showroom during Clerkenwell Design Week.

 Third image: BCU Student Helen Johnston with the Punk Trend display

Image above : l to r Sarah Draper, Brintons Commercial Marketing Manager with Ella Downes, BCU Student with the Grace Trend display

Image below: Students pictured with their awards and industry representatives from Brintons, Sarah Draper,  ColourHive, Hannah Malein and Tektura, Julie Mason and Jo Cain

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