Design showcase

8th September 2000 at 01:00
ELLA NORTON from Westminster University's Design Future course was learning about life in the business jungle. The good news was that she had succeeded in getting sponsorship to exhibit her interactive website design at The Future of Design, the UK's largest graduate design showcase, held each July at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. Better still, she won the BT Interactive Media Award, worth pound;1,000.

The bad news was that during the show her blueprint was stolen. It was a valuable lesson: good ideas are like crown jewels, but it was a hard way to learn it.

Ella is passionate about education for young women. "It's not appropriate in a country as advanced as ours that women are not receiving education they need about sex and other problems," she says. Her web-based community would provide "a totally private platform for medical and other problems". Its menu would range from anorexia to erogenous zones and include chat rooms and links to a counselling service.

Louise Pike's clothes made her winner of the Osbourne and Little Design Award. This Glasgow School of Art and Design student's pinnies and bras drew affectionatly on her childhood in Scarborough. Cleaning cloths, children's windmills, and icecream cones were woven into the clothes, which were both beautiful and funny.

In the spatial design section Lee Worthington, from Leeds College of Art and Design, was showing his interactive music centre. Internet shopping could be the death of music shops; Lee's answer is "a music experience which provides even more advanced technology than could be experienced at home". There were terminals for customers to download music, recording studios for hire, live bands, games, virtual reality pods, a classical music area and internet access.

Virtual reality also featured in the design for a travel agent, by Mark Fisher of Reading College School of Art and Design. In his egg-shaped "privacy pods" customers visit their destination and choose their preferred location. With no screaming kids or fear of rain, this might provide an alternative for the holiday itself!


Next year's Future of Design - dates to be confirmed - will takeplace at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1 0QH. Tel: 020 7359

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