Students Catherine Beckett and Louisa Heywood from CCAD have seriously impressed a creative agency from London as part of their further education course in 3D design.
18-year-old Catherine and Louisa, 17, wowed exhibition designer Tom Doumasiou, owner of leading exhibition design agency – Neos Creative – when he came to visit the students at Cleveland College of Art & Design in Middlesbrough to select a winner of a joint competition set up by the agency and the college.
Catherine, from Skinningrove in East Cleveland, and Louisa from Ingleby Barwick in Stockton, took part in a ‘live brief’ alongside 24 students on the BTEC Extended Diploma in Art & Design (3D), which challenged them to produce designs for an exhibition, based on a real client brief.
The students were tasked with creating a dynamic, striking yet practical exhibition system for an international deep sea exploration company, which was to meet certain specifications and include storage areas, floor plan and layout, branding, colouring and aesthetics.
Tom, Creative Director at Neos Creative, visited the students 16 weeks ago to present the challenge and came back to the north east arts college to see how the students were progressing mid-way through, offering advice and reviewing the work to date.
The final visit involved the students presenting their designs to a team from Neos Creative and CCAD course lecturers, much like a pitch to a real client would be in the industry.
Both Catherine and Louisa produced a series of impressive designs for the exhibition space, which the team agreed were the most creative, detailed and most fitted the brief, although everyone agreed that it was a close-run competition.
Tom said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the students at CCAD and me and my team of 18 colleagues at Neos Creative thought the standard of creativity was very high. The students have taken the brief wholeheartedly on board and delivered designs with passion and detail.
“As this was our first joint project with CCAD we didn’t know what to expect, but it was clear that Catherine and Louisa’s designs were a winner, and I would like to congratulate them on their hard work and efforts. We examined all the designs and this one seriously impressed.
“I actually showed all the designs to my staff after the second visit and we were blown away by the level of detail and ideas. In fact, if I saw any of these designs in my studio, I could have taken something from them all, developed the concepts and presented them to a client, as they all had exciting elements that could be used and I think they will all have great careers in design.”
During his visits to the college, Tom was also able to offer this expert advice on getting into the industry, his career and setting up in business and what the job involves.
Catherine and Louisa were really pleased to win the competition. Catherine commented: “We really wanted our design to be different and although we were a little stuck at the beginning, scrapping our initial designs, we then took our ideas and thought completely out of the box, which lead to our final exhibition design. We also practised our presentation very hard, as this was an important part of the process.”
Louisa said: “We knew that this would be a tough competition but we wanted to win and thought our team was strong, but it is a complete shock! It is great to have the opportunity to work with industry specialists such as Tom and CCAD offers this expertise, which is why I chose to study here.”
Catherine added: “This course and the experience we have gained will definitely stand us in good stead in the future. I don’t think I would have had this opportunity at my local sixth form for such a specialist course.”
Both students are planning to go into higher education, with Catherine going to Portsmouth University to study architecture and Louisa attending Northumbria University for a degree in interior design, with a view to a career in production design.
Martyn Featherstone, lecturer at CCAD in 3D Design, said: “All the students have worked tremendously hard and have come up with some cracking ideas, despite a difficult brief which presented many challenges. In terms of the most creative, Catherine and Louisa’s design definitely had the edge and therefore took the first prize, and we also congratulate them on their efforts.
“This course has been running for over 30 years and as part of the programme, we bring in local, regional and national companies to help give students the latest in industry techniques, thinking and expertise. It has led to some of our former students going on to amazing things, such as working in Oman as a senior architect, designing cars for Citroen, Mazda and Nissan or retro toasters for Dualit, or even winning an Oscar for the design of a special effects software for the film industry and I am sure that all of our current students will go on to have great careers.”