Tuesday 15 May 2018

A multi award-winning visitor attraction in Northampton has enlisted the help of talented creatives from the town’s university to design its new range of merchandise.

78 Derngate is famed for being the only house in England designed by acclaimed Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, attracting thousands of visitors from around the world, every year.

Given the attraction’s rich design heritage, the 78 Derngate trust decided it would be fitting to invite students on the University of Northampton’s Graphic Communication course to devise designs for a range of homeware items to be sold in the venue’s shop and online.

The students gathered research and inspiration during several visits to the house, before presenting their concepts to a panel from the 78 Derngate team.

Designs from a quartet of final-year students were chosen for the Contemporary Classics @ 78 homeware range, which includes a tea towel, a tote bag, an apron, oven gloves and two poster prints.

Les Patterson, secretary of the Trust said: “Each group offered such a lot of wonderfully imaginative ideas that it was very difficult to make decisions on the final range – but it had to be done. The students have brought a fresh, young element to the existing retail range.”

Third year student, Sebastian Wrobel, was delighted when he found out his poster designs based on the house’s rooms had been chosen by the panel.

He said: “I feel honoured to have my designs being sold at the shop. I had to compete with my peers, who are also very talented designers. This pushed us all to work very hard and deliver our best.

“I hope that my work will help 78 Derngate gain more visitors and show that the house is a great work of art.”

The Contemporary Classics @ 78 homeware range
The Contemporary Classics @ 78 homeware range

Sebastian will graduate this summer and has nothing but praise for the Graphic Communication course.

He said: “Being a talented designer is one thing, however knowing how to use that talent is another.

“The Graphic Communication course helps students to release their inner designer, broaden their visual and theoretical knowledge and inspires to come up with new designs which are the future of the creative industries.

“The projects run by the University also allow the students to meet new people from the industry and gain connections, such as 78 Derngate. Tutors support the students in many areas, they help their pupils to test their skills, overcome the barriers and have fun while doing it.”

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