Graduate Profile: Bucks New Uni

Over the past week we have been profiling design graduates, the response from both students and our readers has been fantastic. After our enthusiastic response from Sheffield Hallam University students, we also had some exciting responses from students at Bucks New Uni.

In this post we meet Sophie Orde, Michaela Springford  and Lia Raquel Marques who will each graduate with a BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Design.


First we spoke to Sophie about her project. She said: ‘My project stemmed from researching how space can communicate direction for example through colour, pattern or material changes. Through development this has lead to creating display materials for a retail context. The materials I have designed aim to direct and highlight attention around retail spaces to aid way-finding. 

It is also adaptable so they can be used for fixtures and fittings, so are decorative but still functional. I chose to make them from plywood and used techniques such as marquetry, routing, laser cutting and sublimation printing for a bold eclectic outcome.’ 

When asked about her plans for the future, she commented: ‘For the future I plan to move to Bristol or London and hope to acquire work in interior decoration, ideally surface finishes for canal boat interiors.’

You can visit Sophie’s website here, see her Arts Thread profile here and follow her on Instagram here.


Michaela spoke to us about her project Creative Consciousness: ‘Creative Consciousness is a range of surfaces with acoustic properties designed to enhance the work environment.  These surfaces can be used for wall panels, wall coverings, screens and privacy pods.  Made from cork, one of the world’s most naturally sustainable materials, wood and wool felt, the materials are coloured using natural plant dyes and environmentally sensitive wood stains.’


‘The above image shows hand cut birch ply, treated with Liberon Liming wax, with cork fabric painted with environmentally sensitive wood stains.  Placing several of these components together forms a screen or room divider.  Alternatively the shapes can be placed on a wall.  Not only will this create an aesthetically pleasing surface, but will assist in reducing noise levels.  Aimed mainly at the workplace, other applications could include retail, education and hospitality industries.’

Michaela will be exhibiting at New Designers from 28 June to 1 July. Click here for more details.

You can visit Michaela’s website here or follow her on Instagram here


Lia Raquel Marques’ project Material Transformation ‘focuses on the re-use and transformation of waste leather and wood shavings and responded to an era where the activities of mankind have and continue to have a significant influence on earth. Drawing inspiration from the metamorphic process of rock formation I developed two materials, Meta Leather and Woodrate. These are futuristic rock composites alternatives to marble.

Material Transformation consists of two collections, one of surfaces for interiors, with five ranges in five different colour ways and a collection of objects, modern day heirlooms and one off a kind vessels for commercial interior environments and sustainably conscious consumers.’

Lia has a clear plan for her future ‘In the future I plan to intern and work for product design studios for awhile and then work as a designer maker.’

Please take a moment to visit Lia’s website here.


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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