Studio 1: Ornamental/ Sentimental

Studio philosophy

This studio recognises our deep-seated need for ornamentation in our surroundings; as clothing, in living areas, our buildings and even on our gadgets. We use ornament to communicate to society the identity we want to project.

As designers, you will develop your own visual language that can be applied through print and or stitch to fashion, furnishings, products and lifestyle accessories.

The studio will explore the ideas that we have absorbed from our heritage and culture, from our ethnicity and personal histories, in order for you to gain an understanding of your personal interpretation of ornament. You will develop your own grammar of ornament, playing with image and surface, subverting traditional messages from art, fashion and culture, using parody, wit, and wisdom.

Through both hand and digital print and stitch technology, you will be applying these ideas to any surface from wallpaper to garments, from laminates to hand bags.

A hundred years ago in 1913, Adolph Loos wrote his essay 'Ornament and Crime', in which he famously considered ornament as degenerate, and this philosophy shaped our view for much of the 20th century. Since Loos’ declaration, we have had modernism, postmodernism, and new modernism, yet still ornament carries a sense of unnecessary indulgence.

In this studio, we reclaim the notion of ornament as superfluous to function, and explore it as fundamental to our identity and culture.

Project brief

Through photography, drawing and mixed media, you will develop your ideas, taking them into designs for print and stitch for fashion and interior textiles.  Skills will be taught in stitch, print, fabric dyeing, illustration, pattern cutting, and software, through an exciting range of live projects.

The first project is working with The London Embroidery Studio, with presentations to industry professionals. This will lead to further projects: designing for Ikea furniture covers, printed/embroidered fabric for high-end fashion, and upholstery fabric for furniture company Parker Knoll, with successful designs shown at trade shows here in the UK, and in Milan.

In Level 6, you will develop your final major project, with the choice of incorporating any of the live projects, or working to your own brief, on a subject that you passionately want to explore. Outcomes will be for the printed and/or stitched surface, either as material collection, finished garment or product.

Study trips:

  • Premier Vision/Maison Objets
  • Designer workshops - Phoebe Unwin: The Presence of People and Shapes
  • Wilkinson Gallery
  • Victoriana
  • The Art of Reviva
  • Guildhall Art Gallery
  • Victoria & Albert Museum
Image credit: Gina Pierce


Course Textile Design BA (Hons)
Tutor Gina Pierce
Samuel Membery
Sam Wingate
Where Studio 1, 4th Floor, Commercial Road
When Tuesdays, Fridays

Leandra Augustin
Majeda Clarke
Victoria Clay
Rachel Louden
Anna Niedzielska
Victoria Powell
Magdalena Resztak
Sheree Stuart
Sarah Smith
Rebecca Steadman
Michelle Witts
Maria Adegeye
Frederika Andreasjan
Nicole Bedborough
Karen Buckley
Tamara Duncan
Emilia Foolessur
Sophie Jackson
Alice Kelsey
Eerika Leino
Natalie Lewis
Carla Martinez
Ellie-Rose Mcfall
Nilfa Musoke
Kathrine Nicolaisen
Matea Josephine Prela
Amelia Rees
Katherine Tuck
Stephanie Witts