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New generation of Kingston University art, design and architecture stars showcases creativity at annual undergraduate degree show

Posted Friday 29 May 2015

New generation of Kingston University art, design and architecture stars showcases creativity at annual undergraduate degree show

Graduating students from Kingston University's Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture have showcased their final projects in a major exhibition at the Knights Park campus.

The Kingston University undergraduate degree show has become a must-see fixture in the calendar for design aficionados and this year was no exception, providing industry experts and recruiters with an opportunity to get up close and personal with emerging creative talent. ‘Thinking Through Making' unveiled the work of students completing degree courses in architecture, design, film-making, fine art, landscape architecture, graphic design, illustration and animation, interior design, photography and product and furniture design.

Show-goers were greeted by an abundance of creativity and design flair - although they might have had to work a little harder to solve the clues embedded in one of the exhibits. ‘Hotel Limbus' was a model of the reception area of a fictional motorway hotel - complete with guest-book, pigeon-holes and telephone - created by BA(Hons) Illustration Animation student Olivia Waller. An imagined arson attack had taken place at the hotel and show visitors were asked to use their best sleuthing skills to solve the crime by listening to voicemail messages left for the hotel residents and leafing through the hotel guestbook for clues. As well as creating a conundrum, its creator wanted to convey a sense of impermanence. "I'm fascinated by transition - hence the hotel's name," 21-year-old Olivia said. "For me, hotels represent a microcosm of lives in flux and a snapshot of the transience of humanity."

Design buffs wanting to take a more genteel journey through the show were able to check out children's book ‘The Journey with Daddy' by Summer Bee, 24, who moved from Shanghai, China to study on Kingston's BA(Hons) Illustration Animation degree. Summer combined water-colour and digital techniques to depict the scenic journey of a passenger train winding its way from Paris to Switzerland. Her book told the story of a young girl being assisted by the train's conductor as she tried to find her father who was somewhere on the train. "I wanted readers to meet some of the passengers and enjoy the wonderful views," she said. "I was keen to conjure up a slightly fantastic but nostalgic world which I hope will be enjoyed by children and adults alike."

Thomas Lawrence's ‘inter-generational' stools are designed to provide a storage/seating solution for the growing family.Thomas Lawrence's ‘inter-generational' stools are designed to provide a storage/seating solution for the growing family.Thomas Lawrence's ‘inter-generational' stools are designed to provide a storage/seating solution for the growing family.Other work that grabbed plenty of attention included a bamboo chair created by product and furniture design student Tomhas Ballard, who was inspired by the Japanese drinking establishments known as Izakaya. Meanwhile, fellow product and furniture design student Harry Yoell turned his talents to making a series of resin bowls using powerful magnets, while Thomas Lawrence's inter-generational moulded stools were designed with the growing family in mind - they not only provide a combined seating and storage solution but can also be stacked for adults when outgrown by their younger users. Meanwhile, students from the School of Architecture and Landscape, who are regularly recognised in national and international competitions, used the showcase to present the latest elements of their research project examining the implications of heritage listing for a range of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Faculty Dean Professor Steven Spier believes the latest crop of graduates will go on to establish themselves as leaders in art, design and architecture practice. "Within education in the creative industries we distinguish ourselves by emphasising making as a way of thinking," he said. "This exhibition showed our Kingston University students at their very best pushing issues and ideas into materials, objects, propositions and images."

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