Innovative Textiles and Design at the Royal College of Art

The annual Royal College of Art Summer Graduate Show is the place to see up and coming designers in the UK. Last year we spotted Paul Thomas' bicycle carrier bags, and this year they were featured on the Apprentice. So who will be next year's super star?

Fiona Sperryn makes wall hangings out of bamboo, waste fibres, throw away bits and off-cuts from factories. Her theme is endangered species and extinct animals, like the dodo bird and certain woodpeckers pictured in her hangings. She uses a jacquard loom and also hand weaves some of these very effective pieces.Sperryn did her dissertation on sustainable yarns and discovered what a complicated and contradictory subject this can be. She is interested in the tension and contradiction of making luxury items out of waste yarns.


Justin Smith hand knits his exotic and fabulously shaped bags. He lives a 2 hour train ride from the school so he has lots of time to spend knitting, as he travels to and fro. This year he won a hand knitting competition at the school Some of his creations are also made on a knitting machine. For him it's all about structural shapes and pushing techniques to the limit. He plans to sell some of his bags on the net.

This mirror doubles as an ironing board. What a great way to store an unwieldy object. Therese Glimskar has created this practical space-saving device as part of her MA in Product Design. She has a clothes tree as well for hanging up clothes or drying them--another handy adaptation of every day objects.


Fabien Cappello makes benches and stools from Christmas trees discarded after the holiday. They are original and green. The design has a hand-made, rustic feel but the stools are very sturdy. He had his photo in the Financial Times--is he bound for glory? : Royal College of Art Summer Graduate Show
More on Royal College of Art Graduate Shows
Darning Clothes As an Art Form : TreeHugger
Manor Garden Rises Again : TreeHugger
New Designs For Cork and Recycled Plastic : TreeHugger

Tags: Designers | Exhibits | Sustainable Fabrics