With Show Two: Design opening next week, we talk to exhibiting design students about their work and the inspirations behind it.

Ruby Parker’s final BA Jewellery Design collection transforms deconstructed household waste materials into items of luxury, focussing on the aesthetic appeal of discarded packaging such as egg cartons, aluminium pie tins and washing detergent pouches. Creating unique textures and patterns, her work  disguises the material’s original form making them unrecognisable. Through craftsmanship, this normally mundane packaging becomes not only beautiful, but valuable objects of desire, challenging the viewers’ perception of what we deem as ‘waste.’

1. Celia Pym: 

I’ve been born into a throwaway generation whereby old school values are disappearing. Mending and fixing your belongings were the norm as opposed to throwing everything away – as we all do now so frivolously. It’s a different world from my grandparents’ generation, where post-war rationing dictated that nothing was ever wasted and everything had a value. They had nothing while we have too much of everything, so much so that we no longer have a conscience about how much we waste. I wanted to create the same attention to detail that Celia Pym’s lovingly darned socks have; highlighting this new throwaway culture and pricking society’s conscience into assessing how much we consume and then waste.

2. Daniel Greer:

Through craftsmanship, Daniel Greer adds value to discarded crisp packets densely embroidering them with thread, transforming them from a throwaway item into a bold consumer statement piece. In keeping with the colours and design of the branded crisp packets, he is elevating and admiring what most people would usually throw away once they had eaten the contents! The embroidered black plastic bag found on the street that reads ‘Thanks for shopping with us’ and comments on the way in which we consume these products with no thought on the packaging.

3. Cynthia Suwito: 

Cynthia Suwito turns a quick instant meal, into slow performance art. Knitting with cooked noodles takes an incredible amount of  patience and time and comments on how nowadays we expect or need an instant result, but we are not willing to invest our time in order to create it. Through making these long lines on knitted noodles Suwito aims to slow the viewers down, making them realise, you get out, what you put in – whilst also turning these noodles into a thought provoking art form.

4. Fulvio Bonavia: 

For me Fulvio Bonavia is the master of taking any material – no matter how mundane, odd or obscure – and giving it new life, of luxury and elegance, whilst adding a playful irony to his work. This ‘broccolli bag’ image taken from his book ‘It’s a Matter of Taste’ encapsulates how he plays the versatility of the colours and textures of food.

5. Lei Xue

Taking porcelain covered with a traditional intricate painted pattern and then making it into an object – usually only seen in a bin – is a juxtaposition that really inspires me. Xue’s ‘Drinking Tea’ is a collection of crushed cans each individually sculpted and painted by hand in contrast to the mechanical process used to produce drinking cans. 

Show Two: Design is open to the public 21-25 June at Central Saint Martins.

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