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One to Watch - Charlie Firth

Where did you study and what was the course title?

Bath Spa University, Somerset – Furniture & Product Design BA(Hons)

Name of your lecturer – course tutor?

Julia Kyte & Erin Deighton

How did you feel about winning the Colour in Design Award – what does it mean to you?

I was so overwhelmed to have won a Colour in Design Award. My exploration of colour is a relatively new and is an exciting chapter in my design career. It has been a challenging process but having the recognition from the judges is so gratifying. I am so appreciative of all those who have viewed my designs in this wonderful community.

How important is colour in your work and how do you choose and narrow down colours?

Colour enables me to express visually and emotionally through my products. My work explores the use of light and shadow which results in a manipulation of colour. I choose colours which have similar values, paired with light and shadow these colours create a natural colour transition.

What is your main source of inspiration?

I’m inspired by the spaces that lack colour and energy. I feel the need to design to make environments brighter and more engaging, fundamentally to make people smile and feel good.

What makes you happiest/most fulfilled in your creative process?

My favorite part of the process apart from designing, is assembling my products. A large part of my process is making hundreds of components which thread together to create the ‘Umbra Lux: Furl’ form. Seeing the form and colours coming together is so fulfilling.

Creative high point?

My creative high point was also my creative low point, the pandemic made me reassess my view on contentment. happiness and wellbeing. I felt the urge to challenge my use of colour as a benefit in these difficult times. I wanted to design in order to make people smile and feel good again. I noticed the inherent impact colour could have within a space and how it could influence a viewer’s emotional state. Finding methods of applying colour into everyday spaces to create energy, warmth, comfort, relaxation and stimulation. Colour was the answer…

Creative low point?

My lowest creative point was during the Covid 19 pandemic, I lost all inspiration and couldn’t work out which direction to take my design practice. Looking back on it, I am now really grateful to of had this time to reflect and truly think about why I love design. Which lead me on to my creative high point.

Where do you want to be in 3 years’ time?

I would love to continue building my design practice and sharing my products with the community.

Please tell us about a special person during your studies/life who has really made a difference to you on your creative journey.

My family have had a huge impact on my creative journey. They are creatives themselves and introduced me to a world of the unique and different, to explore beyond the social norms. Although minimalists, their lack of colour inspired me to do the opposite and push my boundaries of colour. Its now my mission to introduce them to more colour!

What is your favourite colour?

I love really bright fluorescent colours but my all-time favourite colour is purple.

Image credits: Charlie Firth


Instagram: @firth.bydesign


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