Welcome to Blinds Direct's Inaugural Student Design Challenge.

In our first annual competition, we asked undergraduate students to design a printed fabric in a particular theme. This year we celebrated individuality and requested submissions around the question "who am I?".

Curious to know more? Read on…

We have a winner!

After reviewing the amazing entries sent in from students across the UK, we are delighted to announce Marna Alberts from Norwich University of the Arts as the winner of our Design Challenge 2021!

Selected from an extremely competitive field, Marna's design perfectly captured our theme of “who am I?” with excellent use of colour, pattern and overall creative execution - we absolutely love it.

Guest judge and editor of Good Homes Karen Walker said:

“Marna has harmoniously mixed her South African heritage and love of nature to produce a beautiful winning design. The use of natural dyes, real leaves and vegetation appeals to an increasing number of environmentally and eco-conscious interiors consumers. The on-trend colour palette and pattern would work in any room of the house, and suit either a classic or contemporary decorating scheme. I particularly like the idea of filtering natural light through the material to aid wellbeing, and the shadow patterns are simply stunning. Marna has produced an exceptional design that ticks all the boxes for interior design, I wish her every success in the future.”

As part of our challenge, we asked designers to provide a 200 word summary of their creative process. In her own words, Marna said:

"My South African heritage has allowed me to be exposed to a nation of people whose creativity knows no bounds. In Africa art is for everyone, not only the educated or 'talented'. It is how we, as a multinational and multilingual nation, express ourselves. What I miss most about my homeland is my connection with nature. Walking barefoot and climbing trees on a sunny day. Moving to the concrete jungle (London) has often left me feeling homesick and deprived of Mother nature's touch, which has only been emphasised by COVID 19. My design strives to re-establish not only my own connection with the natural outside world."

"One of the many benefits of spending time outside is an improved sense of well-being. Eco printed marks and impressions of real leaves and vegetation together with natural dyes have helped me to create an experience of being outside. My design references shadows created by natural light to create a sensory experience reminiscent of being outside. The design is appropriate for an interior design context."

Congratulations to Marna and our runners up Amandine Mondion, Central St Martins University of the Arts, and Ariane Itelli, University of Hertfordshire, for their excellent designs also!

Keep an eye out for our 2022 Design Challenge which we'll be announcing early in the new year.

Look out for the BD Design Challenge 2022!

In early 2022 we'll be posting details of the second design challenge - the brief, prize and how to enter! If you have what it takes to enter, follow our social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and who knows, you may be joining Marna in our hall of winners!

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