Textiles Company, Milliken, Announce Winning Student’s Designs for their Live Project

Milliken is a global textile design and manufacturing company, with expertise is in chemicals innovation and floor covering, as well as creating innovative textile solutions such as flame-resistant fabrics. They started collaborating with the Loughborough Textiles: Innovation and Design course in 2018, after the Milliken design team were impressed by the students’ work at the annual New Designers fair in London.

For the second year in a row, students in Part B (2nd year) are given a brief by Milliken to work on an interior design project around floor covering designs, along with soft interior products. Students visualise their design outcomes in the proposed spaces (e.g. hotels, bookstores, and offices) to create unique, individual, and innovative spaces.

At the beginning of July, representatives from the company met virtually with the 11 shortlisted students and members of staff to announce the three winners, who will each get the opportunity to have their designs made into fabric tiles and displayed at the London showroom. The judges spoke about how difficult it was to choose and that they “were so impressed by the calibre of work and levels of creativity, even under the most challenging of circumstances. Well done to all who took part!” They were also pleased to mention they already had clients interested in one of the students designs.

Congratulations to the winning students:

1st Prize - Annabelle Loweth

First place winner, Annabelle Loweth
First place winner, Annabelle Loweth

2nd Prize - Dani Nash

Dani Nash's designs
Second place winner, Dani Nash

3rd Prize - Morgane Dumas

Third place winner, Morgane Dumas
Third place winner, Morgane Dumas

The following students were also highly commended:

Commendation - Octavia Maundrell
Commendation - Hannah Barrett

Dr Ken Rin Kim, who oversees the project, says the teaching collaboration receives very positive feedback from the students and is a valuable industry experience. The students really appreciate that Milliken has long-held commitments to sustainability, quality, and safety, establishing the first-ever recycling policy in 1901 and championing sustainable measures. A current student stated that “working on this project and reading about Milliken’s approach to commercial design has really given me a lot more confidence that there are genuinely ethical companies out there that I can aim to work for.”

This live project brief offers a great opportunity for students to work with industry professionals. Senior designers visit the school for project brief presentation, tutorials and finally judging students work. The company also supports the students with material costs, as well as offering cash prizes for the best projects, and is considering offering placements in the future. Last year’s 1st prize winner, Tamara Drew, won £1,000 which she bought a loom with, to continue her practice at home, while Milliken continuously supports her career development and sharing her work through their social media channels.