Two students from the BA (Hons) Textile Design course at Hereford College of Arts (HCA) have each won a cash prize of £150, and two week long work placement at Envisage Group, in Coventry.

Envisage Group produces automotive design and engineering, and focus on combining traditional craftsmanship with innovative technologies. HCA students Megan Swancott and Rebekah Harding, along with the rest of their class, have been working on a competitive live project with Envisage Group, as part of their current studies at the college. The live brief was for students to explore colour, material, and form (CMF) by seeking out three materials which were new to them, and investigating their properties, with the aim of changing the material context and creating new aesthetics. Students were encouraged to use their existing skills, new technologies, and any unusual processes to explore their materials. Finally, they were encouraged to think playfully about the outcome of the project, and consider everything from artefacts, to fashion, interiors, architecture and more!

Sammie Mayers, Kate Webster and Philippa Jones from Envisage Group had a tough time choosing a winner, so chose two! Megan Swancott and Rebekah Harding both won £150, and a two week placement at Envisage Group – during which they will be working with the CMF team learning more about the discipline, and how they can use their textile skills – particularly their intuition with colour and materials.

Envisage Group said, “CMF is opening up as an expanding field for textile designers. Those designers specialising in CMF can work in any industry and the exciting thing is the experimentation with process. We really enjoyed working with the textile students at HCA and chose two winners as the quality of work was so good.”

Textile Design Course Leader at HCA, Claire Anderson, said,

Our textile students are very engaged with the processes involved in textile design.

By applying their intuitive and experimental approach to these materials, they achieved outcomes which both answered and generated questions around issues such as health and wellbeing, climate change and the environment, and the role of smart textiles within traditional crafts. Students worked with a range of materials from jesmonite and copper, to faux fur and applied textile techniques of hand embroidery and knitting as well as industrial sandblasting and casting processes. The students have set the bar high – and we are looking forward to seeing what they achieve for their summer show.