Florence Pike impresses judges with her study of an ubiquitous fabric.
01 Aug 2013
University of Brighton Faculty of Arts graduating student of 3D Design BA(Hons) Florence Pike, has won the undergraduate Design History Society (DHS) Essay Prize for her dissertation entitled Moquette: Fabric of the Underground.
Florence's dissertation explored the role of the designer in industry, with a particular focus on the textile designs used on seating on the London Underground.
During the interwar period, as part of a larger plan of modernisation for the service, artists and designers were employed to improve all aspects of the visual experience of tube travel, from posters and signage to the patterns on the carpet-like seating fabric.
Florence traced the history of this usually overlooked material through visiting archives, museums and industrial sites to examine previously unpublished letters and photographs and original artefacts. She also visited the manufacturers in Huddersfield where moquette is still produced to examine the practical and aesthetic decisions that are made when new designs are created.
Florence completed her dissertation by bringing her project up to date by examining recent artistic collaborations aimed at producing new patterns that reflect 21st century London.
Entrants to the prize competition had their work assessed by two independent judges. DHS Essay Prize Officer, Annebella Pollen said: “The assessors were particularly impressed by the originality of her topic and the ambitious range of research material that she had brought together.”
The prize is an international competition and Florence will receive a £300 cash bursary, a year's subscription to the Journal of Design History, membership of the DHS, £100 in books from Oxford University Press and also a free place at the annual DHS conference, which this year takes place in Ahmedabad, India.