NewsUCA Farnham

UCA scoops awards at SDC International Design Competition

Two students studying Textiles at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) have be awarded prizes at the Society of Dyers and Colourists’ (SDC) International Design Competition.

The International Design Competition is SDC’s annual flagship competition, engaging with hundreds of students, universities and designers globally. The competition helps the entrants develop their understanding of colour and the challenges around sustainability in the textile supply chain. The competition is free to enter and attracts hundreds of entries worldwide.

Bnita Vaghela, who was named runner-up, and Charlotte Bull, who was ‘highly commended’ both came from UCA’s BA (Hons) Textiles for Fashion & Interiors course at UCA Farnham.

Boards by Charlotte Bull

Boards by Charlotte Bull

Taking part in the London Heats, the students each had to put together four boards with imagery and samples illustrating their responses to the theme ‘Colour and the Universe’. Thinking about the theme, students were asked to consider such questions as to where does colour come from and how do we see it, what colours do we see in the universe, what is the importance of light on colour, and the issue of sustainability.

The students presented their samples and imagery to industry judges at the iconic William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, London. The judging panel consisted of top industry professionals including; Kathy Lewiston, Textile Designer; Jane Duncan FRSA, a Director at J & D Design Ltd; and Krupa Christopher, a Fabric Technologist at River Island.

Design by Charlotte Bull

© Charlotte Bull

“The universe can inspire many aspects of design,” explained the ‘highly commended’ Charlotte. “From the colours within the dust and gasses of nebulas to the colossal balls of flames we call stars, not forgetting the tactile inspiration we can collect from planet surfaces, and their natural colours.”

Charlotte's samples were also inspired by the strong contrasts between colour and shadow. “I love watching the sky and sunsets, the warm and cool tones are relaxing and dreamlike causing a tranquil experience,” she said.

Charlotte worked with mercerised cotton, a sustainable and recyclable material, to create her final woven samples. “The gradient from reds to blues links to the colours of energy floating around space and the texture connects to the organic swirls created by gasses around galaxies and planets.”

Photo: Bnita Vaghela

Bnita at the London Heats

Bnita Vaghela, who was the runner-up in the heats, responded to the ‘Colour and the Universe’ theme by seeking inspiration from the colourful coral reefs. Using her boards and samples she wanted to bring attention to how global warming and climate change is harming them. 

“I wanted to show the gradual change in colour and decided to use Silk Viscose Satin because of how beautifully it drapes and shines in the light,” explained Bnita. “Through experimentation, I learnt that I can use the technique of Double Dyeing and Devore to add colour to my prints in a more interesting and playful way. Because of this I can see my prints in a fashion collection, with its summery and vibrant look, and would work well as a floaty dress or a sheer top.” 

Design courtesy of Bnita Vaghela

© Bnita Vaghela

This was the first competition Bnita had entered: “I felt very excited and proud of myself. This has made me feel more confident in my work, proving to me that I can create a strong collection of samples.” 

To learn more about studying Textiles Design at UCA, visit the course pages.