Not that I need much of an excuse to travel into London, the home of all things interesting, but the opening of a new Drop Dead store seemed as good a reason as any.

London is the perfect place to see the old and the new rub shoulders. Whether you like classical Palladian inspired architecture or modern structures, London’s splendours will have you looking up.

Unlike my mother, who remains to believe that graffiti makes a place look ‘scruffy’, I think that graffiti brings a place to life in a way nothing else does. It’s honest; it reflect the personality of its occupants, a view into the mind of the city, a collaged diary of gigs, knitting afternoons and the coolest brands, a public post-it note for all those creative types.


So one good thing about having practicing and passionate lecturers is that they really have their finger on the pulse of the design world, they know all the trade shows and events coming up. It’s becoming ever more apparent that to be successful in this industry you need inspiration coming from all angles, for this reason when my lecturer mentioned in passing this amazing show that displayed current and new trends in surface design I immediately pencilled it in my bullet journal. I had to go.

I am lucky enough to have a handful of amazing friends who always take a keen interest in my degree, as I in turn do with theirs, and my blog. This, much to my pleasure, took over an entire evening with one particular friend. We whiled away the hours talking about the beautiful opposition between brick and glass, and for some time, the photos featured in this post. As soon as she saw the red carpet runners above she was immediately reminded of the warm and eccentric markets of Turkey she had visited some years earlier.

One prominent trend was tactile surfaces. This idea was perfectly encapsulated in the work of University of Huddersfield student Emma Linney. These 3D installations are not only beautiful additions to either an inside or outside space, but also have acoustic properties.

Embedded detailing was also a popular trend at the show, featuring many marbled and metallic surfaces.

Living walls were also high on the agenda. One eye catching display from Innerspace Cheshire boasted the new innovative approach to make the living wall much more practical and affordable. The premise is moss, carefully dried with a focus on keeping the plants soft texture. From there they can dye it a variety of colours and the possibilities are endless.

Naturally the show also presented a vast array of tiles, which was met with no objection from myself, with a heavy focus on geometric patterns, tonal colours and bright block colours.

Trade shows like this one are not only a fantastic opportunity to spark inspiration but also to make contacts (something that I didn’t realise until I got there and was sadly unable to oblige people asking for my business cards due to my lack of having one) and to learn new things. In the afternoon I settled myself on the perfect seat in front of the main stage and listened to a talk on the design of educational facilities, and I only scoffed once.

Autokind V’s Mankind

Although it’s arguable that presentation skills are more important and useful in the design industry than written communication, it is still important to be able to demonstrate ideas cohesively through written work. For this reason one of my modules, Context and Critical Studies, is assessed on an essay that is written and critiqued during the semester. Above are the covers of the books I used to research my last essay. My question, ‘What are the similarities and differences in the ways in which official authorities have employed design and architecture as part of larger social and political agendas?’ lead me down the path of post war rehabilitation of England. An extremely interesting subject to read up on and a very enjoyable essay to write.

Luckily, I enjoy writing essays. English is something I have always been passionate about, keeping it close to me all the way through school and college. This year I’m using my 2500 words to discuss something I wouldn’t usually chose to research, the evolution of the automobile and the effect it has had on architecture and town planning. I am a self confessed pen and paper girl so learning about the automobiles technology and its rapid advances is extremely enjoyable. Especially as cars are an entity I have a strange relationship with, respected form a far for their undeniable capabilities but also fervently disdained for the countless negative impacts they have had and will continue to have on our planet. This was mostly spurred on by a crash I was in a few years back, it was around the time all of my fiends were learning how to drive but since then any urge to drive was literally knocked straight out of me. This love loss has allowed me to view the damage that automobiles inflict on our planet without smog rose tinted glasses. I think researching and writing this essay is and will continue to enable my cynicism about the modern world. And the wise words of Kenneth R. Schneider are only consolidating my beliefs that ‘settlement through history has been the simultaneous result of both creative and destructive forces’.

I’ll leave you to ponder this quote:

‘If transportation in the city is smilier to the blood vessels in the body, the automobile explosion occurring throughout many parts of the world today is now creating the same problems for the health of the city as blood clots create for the body’

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about the automobile, join the discussion

Preparing to Prepare

Blogging is something I really enjoy doing by rarely find the time to do. While I recognise it’s something that could further my studies and career, it’s also something I never want to take priority over my degree. Having said that, this year I have made a promise to myself (and the few regular readers I am thankful for) to make more time to blog.

I began this blog with the intention of not only keeping track of the things I’ve seen and learnt, but also as a tool for others planning to embark on a course like mine or come to the University of Hertfordshire. For this reason I’d like to dedicate myself to blogging more about my lectures.

And what better way to kick this off than by telling you about the first lecture of my new module, Professional Development: Preparing for Industry

This is a module I was really excited to start this semester as placement year is looming and I still feel relatively in the dark about what that really entails. Fortunately Erica, my lecturer, seems to have more than her fair share of knowledge to impart. With three degrees under her belt, plenty of experience in the design industry and a handful of years as a lecturer, I’m eager to begin working with her.

In her module we will be creating professional portfolios, creative CV’s and other business promotions such as business cards, as well as towards the end of the semester taking part in mock interviews. During this interview, which is 50% of my module, I will be assessed on my portfolio, CV, cover letter, business cards and the overall physical presentation of my work and myself.

Although the money was never what drew me to the profession the anecdote of a graduate owning their own house three years after graduating defiitely made my ears prick up, and also realise that it’s now time to start considering the future. Time to start planning where I would like to live and work, whether or not I want a studio based job or whether I want to be out meeting clients and donning muddy boots and hard hat to inspect the progress of sites. Naturally, anyone who knows me will know the rushing around to different meeting, pen hastily stowed in my hair and still coming home with an armful of drawings and maps is something that I’m thrilled to inflict on myself.