Mallika Gupta, a final year student pursuing Bachelors in Knitwear Design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Bangalore, has won the Wallpaper Design Industry Brief based on Indian Cultural Heritage, an initiative undertaken by the UK-based Staffordshire University's wallpaper design enterprise - High House.
The title was shared between Mallika and Joanna Mathias, a Staffordshire graduate, who is now working as a designer-maker in Stoke-On-Trent city. Another NIFT student, Roshni Vyam was the first runner-up of the Brief.
The High House Wallpaper Design Industry Brief based on Indian Cultural Heritage was announced for Indian art and design students in February 2016. This live industry brief drew upon Indian cultural heritage to inspire a High House Indian heritage range of wallpapers for the contemporary market. Mallika's design, which was inspired by India's rich color palette of the cities of Rajasthan, responded to all the key aspects of the Brief.
Her design was a blend of traditional as well as modern elements along with a touch of professionalism and gave an insight on how the historic culture of India has influenced the international designs. It created nostalgia for traditional craftsmanship with potential for contemporary as well as future creativity.
Mallika's design was selected as the best amid several entries received from other Indian institutions like St Stephen's School (Chandigarh), Faculty of Architecture and Ekistics - Jamia Millia Islamia (New Delhi) and the Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology, Shibpur (West Bengal).
"My fashion and design sense has always persuaded me to take inspiration from traditional heritage, art and crafts, not only from the ones originated in India but also from different parts of the world.It was my inclinational towards conventional methods that made me participate in the unique India Collection Brief. I have never aspired for fame, but was always dedicated to make a mark and impact through my work, and winning the High House India Collection gave me that platform which I was in search of from a very long time," said the 22-year-old Mallika.
Unlike traditional surface pattern designers, who sell their designs and often do not know what happens to them, High House indulges its students in the journey of their designs. From origination to potential production and beyond, High House supports their development as designers. Therefore, the two successful wallpaper designs of the High House India Collection will be put up for commercial production through crowd funding.
The winners will not only get an opportunity to showcase their work and themselves as designers, but will also be collaborating with a Masters student at Staffordshire University during the commercialization of the design. Moreover, Should the designs become a commercial success there is potential for students to gain financial benefit.
According to Rowena Beighton-Dykes, Director, High House and Academic Partnerships Manager &Wallpaper Specialist, Faculty of Arts and Creative Technologies, Staffordshire University, "This is the first time High House has offered students in India a brief to work collaboratively with Staffordshire University.
It is really pleasing to have a successful designer for the India Collection from National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore and moreover, it is extremely exciting to have a Staffordshire University graduate and a soon-to-be graduate from NIFT going on to the next phase of their design development. The entire process has been so exhilarating that we hope to offer another brief and develop more collaborative approaches to working with universities in India that specialize in developing creative design talent."