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Lucy Wightwick


Why did you choose Northumbria School of Design, and what did you know about us before you applied?

I came to two Open Days at Northumbria University before I started here and there was something about it which made me feel at home. I hadn't heard much about the university before I started but I thought the facilities were amazing and the work which I saw was inspiring. I just knew I wanted to come here and that was my aim from when I finished my GCSE's.  

What do you most like about Newcastle, and how do you find the city?

I think Newcastle is a brilliant city for students. I like how the university is close to the town centre and nothing is too far away to get to and if you want a change of scenery the coast is a 20 minute ride on the metro. There is a good student community and the people in Newcastle are always friendly.  

Did you find the Design School welcoming?

I felt nervous, as expected when I first came to the design school but the tutors were all really friendly and easy to approach. It also helps when your fellow peers are all in the same situation. We were also assigned 4th year students in our first year, mine was so friendly and we could ask them anything to help us settle into university life.   

What are the facilities like?

I think the facilities in the fashion department are amazing. Most things you need are there. As a textile student I spend most of my time in the print room where the facilities are first class and available to use by anyone. The technical support is also excellent and highly valuable. 

What do you like most about the School of Design?

I like how there is a strong sense of community. People are always willing to help others out which helps in our development as designers. I also love being in a creative environment where other people understand what you are doing.

Tell me a bit about your course?

I am studying the textile pathway for fashion design. This involves printing, embellishing and knit. I love being practical, and being in the print room allows me to do so. The course is non-stop and fast-paced which I enjoy because as soon as I stop I feel lost and get bored easily. In first year you explore everything - womenswear, menswear, textiles and knitwear. This helps us to decide on our pathways for the rest of the course. The course also involves a placement year which I found so valuable to develop my understanding of the fashion industry. I was lucky enough to have worked in Italy and London. After you complete your placement the pace of the course really picks up as you only have a few months before final year, this is where we are prepared to begin our final collections.

If you had to pick an object to represent your course, what would it be and why?

I would choose my SLR camera. I love taking pictures and since I got my camera I have taken pictures of things I wouldn't usually take pictures of. Most of my inspiration comes from the pictures I take so I would be a bit lost without my camera.

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date during your time with us?

I have learnt that nothing you do can be wrong, as long as you stick with it and can explain why you did something. I have also learnt that it is so important to enjoy what you are doing, otherwise you will not be happy with the work you produce and it will also show to others. 

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?

Creative, Challenging, Rewarding

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say?

Make the most of everything, these will be some of the best years of your life and they will also be the ones to set you up for life. Work hard but also have time for fun. 

What are your plans now and for the future?

I still have my final year to get through which I am very nervous but also so excited about. I would love to see my work at Graduate Fashion Week and after that who knows. I would love to travel with my work.

What skills would you say you have gained/improved since the start of your course?

I have gained skills in printing which I previously had very little knowledge of. I love how diverse it can be.   

What new knowledge of your subject area have you learnt so far on your course?

I have learnt so much more about fashion and the whole process involved in a collection from beginning to end. 

How do you feel you have changed as a person since being at Northumbria School of Design?

I feel a lot more confident in myself and my work. For example I was a finalist in a national Dorothy Perkins competition which made me believe in myself. Being on my placements has also made me a more independent person and I will try anything.

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