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Cornwall combines design innovation with golden age of travel

Airfix tea kitTo celebrate and consolidate University College Falmouth's position as a leading producer of outstanding design talent, twelve students from its BA(Hons) degree courses in 3D Design, Contemporary Crafts and Textile Design are making the journey from Cornwall to Milan via plane, train and automobile to showcase their work at That's Design! – an event for design colleges across the globe as part of the prestigious international Milan Furniture Fair.

The students were set a brief, as part of their studies, to combine 21st century design technology with the old-fashioned glamour that a long train journey across Europe affords. The aim of this brief was to design a product or service that would make the journey for a traveller from Falmouth in Cornwall to Porta Genova station in Milan – the duration of which is 24 hours and 13 minutes – more enjoyable, comfortable, stylish and productive.

The students have risen to the challenge and combined cutting-edge design thinking with the golden-age of travel. Ten exhibits have been selected to be showcased at the renowned Milanese event. From a personal postcard that you can design yourself and a set of sleeves for disposable coffee cups that highlight each stage of your journey, to a multifunctional travel blanket inspired by antique maps and an airfix tea kit for a traditional English 'cuppa', each exhibit characterises the design innovation for which University College Falmouth is renowned.

"The chance to exhibit my work in Milan alongside talented designers within the industry is a very exciting opportunity for me, and a first step towards launching myself as a new designer," said exhibiting BA(Hons) Textile Design student, Toni Sexton. "I'm sure this will prove to be an inspirational experience and hope it will challenge me to design innovative textiles," she continued.

The design of the University College Falmouth stand has been undertaken by two second-year BA(Hons) Graphic Design students, MikeAndrews and OllyBarnes in conjunction with Director of Design, JohnMiller. Using the themes of the 24 hours and 13 minutes brief, they have created a 10 metre long paper display which both unites and underpins the diverse range of exhibits.

As former head of the renowned Furniture Works, University College Falmouth's Director of Design, John Miller, is no stranger to Milan. "Offering the designers of tomorrow the opportunity to showcase their work to a world market and seeing the effect that the experience has on them as designers and people is something that we cherish and actively encourage at UniversityCollegeFalmouth," he explained. "We nurture our students and encourage them to take creative risks with their ideas, to find inspiration from a variety of sources, and combine traditional techniques with innovative computer-controlled machinery in world-class facilities," he added. "We are proud of our record of graduate success and our strong links with the design industry enable them to sustain successful careers."

The work of University College Falmouth's students can be viewed at Stand 17, That's Design, Ex Ansaldo, Via Bergognone 34, 20144 Milan.

Tavs Jorgensen, a Research Fellow in 3D Design at University College Falmouth, is also exhibiting at the Milan Furniture Fair in the Superstudio Piu, Via Tortona as part of the finalists' exhibition of the Bombay Sapphire Prize 2008. Jorgensen's work was shortlisted from over 300 projects submitted by designers and artists from 35 countries around the world, and his glass pieces, One Liners, are a result of the unique focus of the College's 3D Digital Research Cluster, Autonomatic.

University College Falmouth will also be represented at Salone Satellite by Small Factories - a collective of bright young designers, Jethro Macey, Nick Fraser and Charlotte Tangye, who are based at the College and design a diverse selection of work with a continually fresh approach. They are based at Stand A34.

For further information please contact Jilly Easterby, Head of Public Affairs, University College Falmouth on 01326 213792 or email

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). UniversityCollegeFalmouth is a partner of the CUC.


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