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Tuesday 4 August 2015

Summer shows: students receive awards

Industry experts and employers alike were blown away by the quality of the work on display at the student shows this summer – particularly in the case of Solent’s built environment and fashion students.

Built environment students including Lee Slaughter and Megan Brooks were given a Charted Institute of Architectural Technologists (South East Region) award for their built environment projects, which were featured alongside a selection of final-year research projects, dissertations, and project work from the architectural technology, construction management, and interior design programmes.

Lee Slaughter, 28 and from High Wycombe, collecting his award from Alex Naraian

Lee picked up an IAT award for his project ‘How product and process innovators influence UK construction companies’. Talking about his experience on the course, Lee said:

“I really enjoyed this area of study because it looked into how and what innovation impacts the construction industry, the current performance of innovation in the industry, and the perception that the construction industry is lacking innovation when compared to other big industries around the UK.”

Megan Brooks, 23 and from Guildford collecting her award from Alex Naraian

Megan was also given an IAT award for her project, which was titled ‘The utilisation of offsite construction within the UK house building industry’.

She added: “The support and teaching from Southampton Solent University throughout my studies has been great – I’m pleased that all my hard work has now paid off.”

Alex Naraian, a Southampton Solent alumni and Associate Director at ADAM Architecture, also visited the built environment show to cast his eye over the student’s work, saying:
“Those exhibiting demonstrated a good level of understanding that’s well grounded in the fundamentals of construction – this can seriously boost a graduate’s employability. The award winners also carried out their research of architectural projects into a highly relevant and current topic.”

From architecture to fashion – Solent Graduates Lucy Tradwell, Rebecca Skyrme and all their classmates recently showcased their final-year collections to industry, family, friends and fashionistas at the home of Southampton Football Club, St Mary’s Stadium.

Rebecca Skyrme’s collection

Rebecca’s collection reflected the conflict between religion and nature through designs shaped by organic forms that intertwine with rigid sculptural structures. The embroidery, gothic applique and print illustrate the clichés of religion and nature.

“Ultimately, I want to own my own fashion brand, and along the way work for industry professionals, working in fashion houses as a design assistant or assistant buyer and work my way up,” she says.

“The most valuable skill I learnt during my time at Solent is confidence; I would not be the person I am today if I hadn’t moved away and studied at Solent with the tutors who have guided me.”

Lucy’s collection was based on the idea of mutating diseases that attack healthy cells and break down your body.

Lucy Tadwell’s collection

“My course at Solent has given me the confidence to believe in myself and be independent,” she says.

“I will miss having the freedom to learn and push boundaries, and the tutors, but I’m looking forward to working in the industry.”

BA (Hons) Fashion course leader Kathryn Sanders said:

“For the second year running Solent has been voted one of the top creative universities in the country and the showcase event showed why. The students have worked extremely hard researching, designing and producing their unique collections of outfits and they demonstrated what creative fashion designers we produce.”

Exhibitions of talent also came from final year BA (Hons) Graphic Design Students. Bianca Midboe, Sam Bullock and Oliver Mills were among 60 students who showcased their major projects to the public.

Bianca Midboe’s ‘Stitch N’Bitch’

Bianca Midboe, 23, wanted to influence more young people to knit through her final project, which includes a banner that took her an incredible 310 hours to plan, knit and sew.

Her time at Solent has seen her learn lots of new techniques that she will be applying in an internship with the Environmental Party in Norway this summer. “I will then be coming back to Solent to undertake the MA Visual Communication, where I am planning on focusing on sustainable graphic design,” she says.

Sam Bullock’s Paraphysical

Sam Bullock’s book – Paraphysical – explores the dark nature of paranormal phenomena in a fresh and less daunting light.

Sam says: “A topic of disregard for most and a glimpse of hope and excitement for others, the paranormal topic of discussion is as an age-old argument across people of all nationalities, cultures and religions.”


Oliver Mills based his project around his grandfather, Gordon Mills, who managed three of the world’s most successful recording artists of the 1960s and 1970s (Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck and Gilbert O’Sullivan).

Nick Long, programme group leader for graphic design says: “The work by students at this year’s degree show is outstanding. They have used innovative and creative designs that create a powerful, striking exhibition.”

To find out more about studying creative disciplines here at Southampton Solent, please visit our course pages or email