On Friday I attended the opening night of Ones to Watch 2015, the degree show by the University of Dundee’s art school, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. Anyone who has been to the degree show before knows that it’s virtually impossible to see everything in one evening, so I headed straight to Textiles and Jewellery; as soon as I entered the Textiles exhibition, printed textile designer, Ryan Albert caught my eye. I was so taken by the interesting palette of rich ochre hues teamed with muted shades of navy, grey and white that I did a quick circuit of the room to confirm my suspicions; Ryan Albert stood out from the crowd.
The collection, entitled BRIK, bridges the gap between the old and the new by “taking traditional screen-printing with newer contemporary processes such as laser cutting, vinyl cutting and combining them with digitally printed fabrics that are traditional.” The idea behind the project was to show that these traditional and modern processes can work together successfully – the end result, BRIK, suggests that this mission was, indeed, accomplished.
As well as liking the prints, fabrics and shirts in general, what I found particularly impressive was the designer’s ability not only to come up with a concept, create a collection and deliver the end result accordingly, but that he was able to consider commercial issues throughout the project. From creating a product that is a staple in every man’s wardrobe (men’s shirts), and thus, will sell to the right market, to setting up what appeared to be a pop-up shop as exhibit space, he has kept in mind that, eventually, one of the most important goals of a design student is to be able to make a living. I believe that it is the young designers and the established designers who can afford to have fun with design (the first because they don’t yet have to worry entirely about sales, and the second because they now have the funds to do so), but what I admire about Ryan Albert is his ability to create an interesting design and, all the while, consider the market and sales audience. It’s not often a young designer thinks ahead in this way, and I have no doubt that this skill – teamed with a good eye for style – should set Ryan Albert on a solid path for the future.
Ryan Albert / Printed Textile Designer / http://randerson91.wix.com/ryanalbertdesign