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Middlesex University couple plan to conquer design world. [Andreas Nydahl]

Two bright lights in the Middlesex University design world, partners Helena Garnfors and Andreas Nydahl, both from Sweden, are working hard to prepare for their very first exhibition at the Art and Design Graduate Degree show to be held at the trendy Old Truman Brewery in early June.

Each year the University stages the Graduate Degree show in east London’s Brick Lane. This annual event attracts representatives from the design and art worlds on the look out for talented young designers. Theshow opens with an exclusive fashion show on 5 June 2008, where professional models will stalk the catwalk in the fast-paced and cutting edge show. Helena 27, is studying BA Fashion. She previously studied fashion in a foundation course in Sydney, Australia immediately prior to her move to London and Middlesex. Her designs are inspired by “impossible things” and she has been called an “odd designer” by her tutors. This is evidently meant as a compliment since her tutors characterise Helena as one of the strongest in her year.

Helena’s current collection is inspired by the children’s building blocks, Lego and “childlike perspective of Wes Anderson films”. Helena has even
created her own Lego inspired laser printed fabric for her designs.

Helena, who studies at the University’s Cat Hill campus, has enjoyed two high profile work experiences, with designers Julian MacDonald and Vivienne Westwood. She chose Middlesex because of the strength of the tutors and the high level of support that they provide.

Meanwhile, Helena’s boyfriend Andreas Nydahl, 27, is studying BSc Engineering Product Design at the University’s Trent Park campus. He too previously studied in Sydney, Australia, in between Sweden and arriving in London. Andreas explains why he came to Middlesex University: “Because of the workshops facilities. They’re the best I’ve ever seen. I’m going to miss those machines when I leave!”.

For his final year project – the one that he will exhibit at the Art and Design Graduate Degree show – Andreas is currently working on a range of bespoke furniture made with an unusual engineered wood called Parallam Beam. Andreas uses machine-led design to create furniture that does not use screws or glue – all the elements fit together perfectly as they have been so well designed. The other advantage of the type of wood, as well as the way in which Andreas works, is that his products are carbon neutral.

Andreas’s work placement during his three year Middlesex course was as a 3D artist creating computer generated images for architects and other product designers for a year. “I learnt so much,” he says.

The Muswell Hill based couple plan to work in London for a while, before returning to Sweden to start their own design focused business.

From Middlesex University.

May 29th, 2008 | designer press

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