Unusual materials, functional concepts and fabrics with emotional value: The University Contest gives young talents the unique opportunity to present design concepts at Heimtextil. The participants can give free rein to their creativity in conception and implementation.
From works of double interpretation to modular tufted carpets and the exploration of textiles as a potential memory: Each year students from design universities around the world have the chance to submit their latest and most unusual designs and have their concepts evaluated by a selected expert jury based on a set of criteria. "As trade fair organizer, it is important for us to invest in knowledge transfer. Because creativity must be thought of holistically. The industry needs young and unconventional approaches, which we want to promote and develop with our University Contest format," says Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt.
This year, among the 28 works submitted, three outstanding artists will be given the unique opportunity to present their work free of charge and exclusively at Heimtextil 2024 - and to represent their university. From January 9 to 12 2024, the winners will have the chance to network on an international level and make valuable business contacts thanks to their own exhibition stand in Hall 3.0 in the New & Next area. The entire global industry also benefits from fresh ideas and creative minds that take new paths in thinking and develop marketable ideas.
From unconventional pattern dimensions to functional modular elements and fabrics as a means of communication - three projects with fundamentally different approaches that convinced the jury with their original concepts. Winner Rebecca Milautzcki describes her work, titled Below the pattern, as follows: "The ambiguity of the work lies in the regulated development scheme and the four defined pattern dimensions that form an aesthetic, constructed formulation of ambiguity. It is enacted through the combination of translucency, materiality and three-dimensionality of the bonding structures." In her master's degree in Textile Art / Textile Design, Rebecca Milautzcki developed this project in collaboration with the Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau.
In addition to the black and white representation, there is also a very colorful and functional design, developed by Tasja Videmšek: "In my project Home textiles inspired by Bauhaus I focused on modularity of products, developing a modular tufted rug which can be freely assembled into different compositions depending on the needs of the space. Inspired by the Bauhaus movement, several design areas were explored, preserving the vision of the movement, and placing it in an environment of a contemporary home", Videmšek explains her project. She is studying Textile and Fashion Design at the University of Ljubljana and was also able to develop the result as part of her Master's degree.
Svenja Bremen, Master's graduate in Fashion Design / Costume Design / Textile Design at HAW Hamburg, is the third winner of the contest. She commented on her project as follows: "Soft memories is a design research project in which I explored textiles as a potential memory. It was especially important to me to find a way to embed personal memories into the fabrics to enhance their value and promote respectful interaction. I want the textiles to be much more than mere fabrics; they serve as powerful means of communication, carriers of meaning, and memory." Hall 3.0 offers comprehensive further information on the projects as well as the opportunity to exchange with the young talents.