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Bath Spa student wins prestigious ethical designer award

Rosie Lee Hood, a BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design student studying at Bath Spa University’s Bath School of Design, is celebrating after winning the Creative Conscience Ethical Designers’ Award in the prestigious New Designers Awards 2023.

Every year, the New Designers Awards invite key industry leaders to select their rising stars of tomorrow who have created work in response to particular themes such as sustainability, mental health and diversity.

In recognition of her versatile use of natural wool, Rosie was awarded her ethical accolade for the design and creation of a collection of three lamps with woollen shades known by their project name, ‘Floccus’. Through her work, she was committed to addressing the idea that wool has become a less desirable and valuable material over the last 50 years, inspired by the fact that it now costs less to buy per kilo than it costs to farm it.

Judging criteria stated that the winning work would be an engaging, passionate and hope-filled response that aims to improve society for the better with the potential to educate, inspire, excite and encourage new behaviours. Judges specifically described Rosie’s artworks as “beautifully made products”, adding that they loved the project’s “local focus” and its potential to “expand and create a sustainable and profitable business”.

In addition to her winner’s certificate, Rosie was awarded a place on Creative Conscience’s popular three-month Creative Impact Programme worth £1000, giving her access to eight weeks of online training and mentorship from design industry experts, in connection to a social or environmental impact project.

Spotlight on Rosie’s award-winning work

The Bluefaced Leicester

Named after one of the most popular British breeds of sheep, Bluefaced Leicester is frequently used for knitwear due to its incredible softness and drape. Rosie’s Bluefaced Leicester shade was hand-knitted using Bluefaced Leicester double knitting yarn from Cheshire, suspended from locally sourced, Wiltshire forested British Ash.

The Wensleydale

The Wensleydale is the second lamp created by Rosie as part of her collection. Made from raw unprocessed Wensleydale curls glowing atop a solid British Ash base. The Wensleydale fleece is one of the most unique and valuable of the British breeds, highly prized due to their super long, and unbelievably soft creamy white curls.

The Romney

The last lamp from Rosie’s final project collection is The Romney. At approximately one metre tall this floor lamp gives off a lovely warming glow without being too dominating. Made from Romney felt from Fernhill Farm on the Mendip Hills in Somerset which was then hand-stitched using pure-breed Jacob yarn.

Talking about her work and her award win, Rosie said: 

“It’s been really lovely during this project to have the opportunity to engage with so many different aspects of the British Wool industry and meet so many passionate people – and sheep! I am so proud of Floccus. It’s been really validating to know that other people connect with not only the outcomes but also the deeper issue I’m trying to draw attention to.

“I’ve always been inspired by nature as well as craft and traditional ways of doing things. I was taught to knit at a young age and that has really been the key building blocks of my work. Connecting with people has been one of the key things to making this project a success and it’s been so inspiring.

“My course has also allowed me to really dive into who I am creatively and explore my passions whilst equipping me with the practical skills needed to do something like this. It has given me confidence as a designer but also allowed me to work and learn alongside so many other amazing creatives which is invaluable.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to Creative Conscience and New Designers for awarding my project the Ethical Designers Award 2023. Not only is the award in itself a huge accomplishment and an honour but it also allows me access to the Creative Conscience Creative Impact Programme which will hopefully give me the opportunity to connect with other sustainable designers and give me the tools and knowledge to begin to grow Floccus. Watch this space!”

Erin Deighton, Senior Lecturer in Furniture and Product Design at Bath Spa University added: 

“It is a tremendous achievement for a student to be nominated for an award at the New Designers Awards, let alone win one. The whole year group and the staff are incredibly proud of Rosie’s achievements. We always support each other so when one of the group wins an award we all celebrate the success. However, Rosie is a worthy winner of this award in particular, as it reflects her passion and her values as a designer, wanting to add value through design and bring attention to a worthy cause. We all wish her the very best of luck and success taking this forward.”

To see more of Rosie’s work you can follow her on Instagram @rosieleehood.

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