Cass graduate wins prestigious curtain design competition

Denise Lewis, a recent Textile Design BA graduate, has won a competition to design curtain fabric for the anti-poverty and social action centre, Toynbee Hall.

Date: 8 December 2017

Denise Lewis, who graduated from The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design with a Textile Design BA in 2017, has won a competition to design curtain fabric for the six residential volunteer’s bedrooms in Toynbee Hall, which is home to a charity that aims to bridge the gap between people of all social and financial backgrounds.

The design brief was for a textile print which would symbolise Toynbee Hall’s cultural and social heritage, as well as its close links with the community, which is an essential element of the residential volunteer’s role.

Denise’s design took inspiration from the philanthropist and social researcher Charles James Booth, who created a poverty map, alongside a group of Toynbee Hall residents, which highlighted the various social divisions in the Whitechapel area at the end of the 19th Century.

Her design featured the colours and shapes of the map, merging them together to indicate all areas of society working towards creating a cohesive community. It illustrated the Toynbee Hall’s ethos to support and help people from all walks of life.

Denise said: “This project has been an invaluable learning experience, in that I have had the opportunity to be involved in all stages of the design process – from inception to manufacture.

“This will, I am sure, prove to be a vital insight into a career as a Textile Print Designer.”