posted: November 2016
New Designers 2016 saw Naomi France from Swansea College of Art beat off stiff competition to win a 6 month internship within the Design Studio at Amtico.
The judges stated ‘Naomi is unique in personality and originality of design. We were drawn to her enthusiasm and her sensitive exploration of materials to achieve a diverse mix of textured qualities. Her bold designs drew us in.’
I feel like I have settled right in, the whole team have been really welcoming and lovely to work with. It’s amazing how diverse everyone’s creative backgrounds are, with designers from automotive to multi media and knit. Something that has really stood out to me whilst being at Amtico is that each designer is encouraged to bring their unique style and individual way of working to their design project. Obviously providing a product that is commercially applicable is the priority but I have noticed how your own unique approach to a project is really encouraged. It seems to enable the designs to unfold organically and keeps the work being produced fresh and unique to Amtico.
The first week was very informative and there was a lot to get my head around. However, through helping out with different tasks, I have started to become familiar with collections and product. From never really looking at flooring, I now constantly find myself looking down at my feet to see what I’m walking on. Something that makes Amtico really special is seeing the design team creating artwork in house and next door in the factory seeing the final product being produced.
No day is the same. I split my time between laying patterns development and helping out around the studio. I am able to collage and create line drawings that I can later transfer into a flooring design. Something I have noticed is that the pace in which I'm working at is more efficient. In a day I am able to create far more designs than I did at university. I think this is because my core focus is on one project and I am drawing most days which allows me to keep my creativity running.
One thing I have had to adjust to is the use of colour. My previous work was bold and bright in colour. I am starting to understand how tonal shade and gradient can be used to really enhance a design, especially in a laying pattern. If I had to pick out a few favourite woods; Quill Gesso, Script Maple Silver and Ink Wash Wood would be some good contenders. I love the dark tones with the subtlety of the blue running though and how the light catches the texture of the wood with the slight metallic finish.
Having a background in surface pattern I often focused on soft furnishing and wallpaper. This experience has enabled me to see how the design process is the same for most areas of design, with research trips, inspiration and hand art-working all key elements of development. Being surrounded by a creative network where ideas can bounce back and forth is a way of working I thrive on and when looking for future job roles it is something I will keep in mind. And of course I will always look at my feet to see what I am walking on!