Class of 2017 Current Students Student Contributions

Zeba Safdar – Eastpak Artist Studio Wildcard Winner

From Eastpak Artist Studio wildcard winner to assisting on an instillation destined for the V&A, design student Zeba had an interesting summer.


As a sport enthusiast I have a keen interests in sports wear. When I zeba-safdar-portraitgraduate (from the BA (Hons) Textiles & Surface Design course in June 2017) I’m planning to work somewhere where I can combine my love for sport and textiles, such as working as a colour and material developer within a sportswear company.

Eastpak Artist Studio Wildcard Competition Winner 2016
The prestigious annual competition is organised with the body Designers Against Aids and the creative website and network, Arts Thread.

I will now see my backpack design become a reality as part of a fundraising drive on World AIDS Day.

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The competition brief involved coming up with an original design for transforming a blank Eastpak Padded Pak’r® backpack into a unique work of art. My design was initially inspired by reptile skin, the idea of a changing skin, adaptation and camouflage. This led me to look into military camouflage, as Eastpak originally produced backpacks for the US military.

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Eastpak and I collaborated on this video filmed at Bucks to introduce me and my design concept so please have a look to learn more about this project.

More of my design work can be seen via:

ArtsThread    Instagram    Blog    LinkedIn    Twitter

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Textiles Intern at Layer Design Studio
This was fantastic opportunity to work with a design studio led by award winning British designer Benjamin Hubert.

I interned over a period of two weeks, designing and making the ‘Foil’ instillation, a collaboration by Layer Design Studio and Braun, which will be shown at the V&A as a part of the London Design Festival:  http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/FOIL.
I worked on the first 4 meters of this 20 meter long instillation, sewing together the large sections of material and the placings of the metal pieces.

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Design Intern at Jane Bowler
Working with Jane Bowler studio was an amazing experience, I got to work alongside her and the team on the Spring/Summer 16 collection. Over the 3 months during the summer I worked on making 2 pieces of garment for her collection, experiencing the design and making process of how a collection is put together:  http://www.janebowler.co.uk/pages/ss-16

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Advice for other students regarding internships
From these and other internships I’ve learnt that time management and organisation are key, there’s always a deadline and being prepared and on the ball is the best way to keep on top of things. Also communication is so crucial. I feel if you don’t understand something just ask, it’s the best way to clarify the situation and be sure that your doing the right thing. Lastly, getting someone else’s opinion, your working as a team so don’t be afraid to get someone else’s input, a fresh set of eyes always make a good thing better.

Also, I can’t stress enough that you should start looking for an internship as soon as you start your first year of study. The more internships you have means more experience, and that’s essentially what employers are looking for. The more hands-on experience you get allows you to get a better understanding of what you want out of life and your career, and more importantly what you don’t want.

Try an get an internship that will last at least 2 weeks or more, that way you will get a good understanding of how things work, having said that there are many places where they offer one day internships. Take every opportunity that you get because you may never know where/what it may lead to.

ALWAYS do your research on the company that you are applying for, see what they get up too and the things that they are interested in. this way you will be prepared for you interview, company’s want to know that you understand what they are about.

It is also important to go out of your way to make opportunities. During Clerkenwell Design Week I came across the Layer design studio stand and was really interested in the exhibit. I went home that day and researched the studio, I then emailed them and asked if they provided internships, and was lucky enough they were in need of help from a textiles intern for a project they had coming up. They asked me to email my portfolio and a week later I had a Skype interview with them, which lead to the offer of an internship.

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A message for the companies I interned with
I’d firstly like to thank Jane Bowler for giving me my first internship, and the stepping stone into the design world. I had such a fun and exciting experience at your studio.

I’d also like thank Gabrielle and everyone at Layer design studio for giving me the opportunity to work for them, and also for making me feel welcome and a part of their team. I had an amazing time at the studio and it was a great experience.

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