Prestigious design win for Heriot-Watt graduate

A student from the School of Textiles & Design at Heriot-Watt University has scooped the New Designers Harlequin Award.

New Designers is very important as it puts you on the mark and gives you a chance to get yourself out there

Samantha Fenn-Johnston, New Designers Harlequin Award winner

Samantha Fenn-Johnston was awarded a cash prize of £1500 and a two-week work placement with Harlequin to develop a design collection, as well as selling some of her final degree collection. Harlequin is considered one of the premier brands in the decorative interiors market.

A total of 21 students who this year graduated from the BA (Hons) Design for Textiles programme at the University's Scottish Borders campus were selected to take part in the New Designers Exhibition in Islington, London.

New Designers showcases the best of Britain design talent presenting work from thousands of graduates across textile design, ceramics, jewellery and craft disciplines. Each year there are around a dozen awards presented by leading companies after rigorous judging.

Samantha said: "I was surprised to win the award. I was just pleased to be asked to exhibit here.

"New Designers is very important as it puts you on the mark and gives you a chance to get yourself out there."

The judges' comments on Samantha's work were: "Sam's designs represent a new interior direction. We like the qualities used, abstract architectural influences and directional inspirational use of colour."

Find out more about the Harlequin Award  and read an interview with Sam on the  New Designers website.

The students' attendance at the exhibition was supported by funding from the Alumni Fund.