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Bucks New University Surface Design Graduate William Lee

A Textiles and Surface designer recently graduated from Bucks New University, William Lee specialises in Suface Design.

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‘I see myself as a concept led designer that designs though exploration. I take inspiration from a variety of sources and always strive to explore new concepts and design ideas. I have a strong interest in material development that has led me to work with a diverse group of individuals both within and outside my chosen field. Alongside this I am interested in the responsive element that designing for public spaces can have, how it interacts with its surroundings and the people within them – indeed my dissertation explored the way architectural design effects the human body.

My interest in material development was realised when exploring my second year university project – ‘Seeded Concrete’. In collaboration with a materials scientist and Shire Green Roof Substrates Ltd, I developed a biodegradable ‘seeded’ concrete. With a similar consistency of ‘regular’ concrete, seeds start to germinate once water is added to the material. Plant growth through the substance slowly breaking down the material that decomposes into soil, becoming completely biodegradable. Creating specially developed concrete material, with seeds embedded within it, provides a unique opportunity to welcome nature within architectural design.’

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‘Nature has been the fundamental influence on my design. We are living in an increasingly industrial world, since 1750 (the start of the industrial revolution) there has been a conflict of interest between our urban and rural spaces. With the transition away from agricultural-based industries towards machine-based manufacturing, came an influx of population from the countryside into towns and cities, which swelled in population. I am inspired by the notion that design could provide a solution for lost habitats for both native plant and animal species along side incorporating the many additional benefits of introducing plants back into the urban environment.

Many walls in towns and cities are often blank, featureless canvases that provide opportunities for creating living walls. Green or living walls are essentially vertical structures that are covered with vegetation. Patrick Blanc is arguably the founder of modern vertical gardens and credited with capturing the publics imagination in the 1990’s. ‘Eco-Systems’ was my graduate work in which my aim was to create an industrial cladding, that can be used either for new builds or to recladding existing buildings. Eco-Systems aimed to make creating living walls more accessible. I found very little products on the market that allows for individuals and organisations (who may not have design knowledge) to create beautiful living walls easily. The cladding aims to control and manipulate plant growth to create pattern, creating visual harmony without the expertise of vertical gardeners.’

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Website | @WilliamLeeSD