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Toni Packham – One to Watch 2018 New Designers

University Course - University of Brighton, 3D Design and Craft BA (Hons)

Designer statement

"As a designer I am material driven, I often work backwards; starting with a material and its properties and then determining how it can be applied to a product. The outcome often differs from the initial goal as the material dictates the direction of the project. I am interested in using waste materials that are perceived as having no value. I like the narrative that these materials tell, when waste from a specific site can be re-processed and made into something for that local area. Creating well crafted functional objects from waste re-examines their value and highlights their wider potential".

What was it like to be spotted by the judges as ‘One to Watch’ award for 2018?

It was really exciting to be recognized for my degree work at New Designers. At such an early stage in my career, it’s given me confidence and encouragement to pursue this work further. I’m eager to see where this opportunity leads and what might arise from it.

How important is colour in your work and why?

In this particular project I was working with materials collected from along the coast. It was interesting to see how when these materials were combined the colours and patterns reflected the nature of their origin, the sea. For me it was important to recognise the potential of the colours available and to curate them to reveal intriguing surface patterns. Working with heat and pressure, it was exciting to see the effect that processing it at different temperatures had on the colours that emerged. Colour and surface pattern was an integral part of this project as it revealed the beauty of the material. I found that the more I worked with it the more I was able to curate the colours even though the final outcome was always a surprise.

What or who inspires you?

I’ve always been really intrigued by materials and my degree has given me such an amazing opportunity to explore that. I keep gravitating towards waste materials as I think they have so much potential.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

The sheer panic of looming deadlines.

What would you like to achieve in the next year?

Primarily, I would like to gain more professional experience in the design industry, and work with other creatives. I’d like to continue working with waste materials and see where it leads. Ultimately this could mean having my own established studio/workshop or working for an organization which shares my values.

Tell us about someone who really made a difference to your creative journey in the past few years. Who are they and what did they do/say

It’s difficult to pick out one person in particular as I’ve met so many people that have inspired and encouraged me along the way. My parents have always pushed me to follow my creative interests and without their support I’m not sure where I would be. Also my final year personal tutors Stefano Santilli and Tanya Dean have been a massive part of my creative journey since I first arrived in Brighton. They pushed me to do my best by supporting and challenging my ideas.

What is your favourite colour?

It’s always changing but at the moment I’m partial to a mustard yellow.

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