In June we launched ND SELECTS, a unique campaign curated by New Designers, celebrating and showcasing the final year projects of the Class of 2020.

ND SELECTS: IN FOCUS provides in depth insights into the works of the graduating Class of 2020; their inspiration, influences and processes. 

Grace Oliver, BA (Hons) Textile Design, Birmingham City University:

Inspired by the beauty of bleached coral reefs, the collection expresses the message that change still needs to happen, with coral bleaching still an ongoing consequence of man-made pollution.

Grace uses alternatives to traditional embellishment of beads and sequins, instead she uses combinations of clay, found materials and textile elements. These are hand-crafted to make relationships and connections between form and surface texture.

The encrusted surfaces created express the beauty of the complex creatures and organisms that together form the unique and ever-changing coral reefs that exist, under threat, in our oceans.

Using the view point of a diver’s journey as inspiration, this influences the formation of clusters and ‘pathways’. Transitions in colour, and its absence in many parts, expresses the experience of discovering different levels of health within the environment.

Jua O’Kane, BA Hons Illustration, Plymouth College of Art:
Jua is a non-binary illustrator and comic artist from Northern Ireland, inspired by fashion illustration, josei manga, and technology – with a passion to tell stories that explore the line between reality and illusion. 

In Jua’s spare time they enjoy cooking and reading comics – constantly drawing or thinking about illustration.

Rachel Elinor Toye, BA Hons Textiles, Glasgow School of Art:
Articulating her love for adding colour, Rachel draws inspiration from vibrant cities, combining textures and marks from materials like concrete, metal and wood that have been manipulated by different people and aesthetics over time. ⁠

Elinor ensures her practice carries the same playful and bright impact. Rachel designs her prints for interior and lifestyle accessories to put happiness and colour onto something tangible and useful every day.⁠


Shining a spotlight on the graduating Class of 2020’s final year projects. 

We know graduates have worked incredibly hard on their degrees and don’t want their work to go to unnoticed – the New Designers team will be selecting works from June to September to showcase through our platforms.