More about Fumi
Fumi also went on a semester abroad to Tomas Bata University of Zlín in Czech Republic, and won the Chartered Society of Designers’ CEP Student Prize for Decorative Arts 2017.
What made you choose to study at NTU?
“I visited the New Designers exhibition in London in 2014, where I came across NTU’s Decorative Arts course for the first time. At the time, I still didn’t have any inclination towards one particular subject; I was interested in illustration, furniture design, applied art, product design, and arts and crafts. As soon as I saw their projects, and talked to the graduate students, it appealed to me straight away.”
What did you enjoy most about your course?
“The diversity of activities available - we tried different things in our first year, including material experiments with ceramics, wood, textiles, resin, metal, and glass. Staying motivated was not difficult. I had a keen interest in what I was learning, as each module challenged me to learn something new and different.
“Each project is open and independent, so it allows students to explore their creative boundaries. I made a variety of things; from jewellery, lamps, a mini caravan, and a metal mask, to wigs, and much more! Each student on the course had different styles and interests.”
What did you enjoy most during your exchange to Tomas Bata University of Zlín and what did you learn?
“I went to the Czech Republic to study glass design and animation on the Erasmus+ programme for six months. I also studied calligraphy, contemporary visual culture, model making, design history, life drawing, and Czech while I was there.
“I had an amazing time, and if I had to choose what I enjoyed most, it would probably be my first exhibition in Madrid, Spain. The glass department in Tomas Bata University had the opportunity to hold their exhibition in Spain while I was there, and they selected me to represent their course.
“I met so many amazing and creative people from all around the world. Being surrounded by a new culture and a new environment without knowing the language, I found that the best way to interact with people from different backgrounds was through creativity. Creativity became my new voice, and my design process was just another way of expressing myself. I think this is a huge turning point for me as an artist to see design as a universal language.”
How did you find out about the exchange programme?
“I am always passionate about travelling and exploring new things, and the Erasmus+ programme was one of the things I wanted to achieve at University. In my first year, my course leader told us about exchange programmes, so I started looking at the Erasmus website, and what they had to offer. There is so much information available on the NTU website and the international office was really supportive from the beginning to the end of my exchange.”
Would you encourage other NTU students to go on exchange?
“Yes, because you can experience cultural differences and a new way of learning. Visiting new places and meeting people from different backgrounds has opened my eyes and changed my life in many ways. I was originally from Japan, however I lived in China for several years before I came to England, and then I went on exchange to the Czech Republic.
“I have made friends from all over the world, and this has provided me with a global perspective, and built my own identity. I do believe all journeys and experiences in life truly affect my ideas, development, and creativity.”
Has the course included any industry competitions?
“We had a live project with Johnson Tiles in my first year. We designed bathroom tiles based on the latest trends, and a winner was selected from the design challenge.”
What do you think about the facilities available to you?
“Our workshop is amazing. Students are able to access the workshop from 9 – 5 pm from Monday to Friday, and technicians are always there to help us. We’re also given studio space from Year One which allowed us to build our own working space.”
What do you like about studying and living in Nottingham?
“I like the size and social atmosphere of Nottingham. I was in London for a year before I came to Nottingham. The reason I moved from London was that I didn’t get the chance to meet any locals. As Nottingham is located in the Midlands, students there are from all over England. Visiting friends from my University town is one of my favourite things to do, since I came here to make friends from different cities.”
Why would you recommend your course / NTU to someone looking to study BA (Hons) Decorative Arts?
“It is a great course for you to discover what you are capable of. For those who aren’t sure what they want to do, but love making and creating things, I think this is the right course for them.”
Have you completed any work placements?
“I did a few different work placements while at University, including an internship at the Saatchi Gallery in London. I was also a Ceramic Instructor in Tokyo, a Manager for Artist Residence in London, a Design Assistant at Wild Rumpus in Nottingham, and I also did an internship in illustration at Debbie Bryan in Nottingham.
“Working in different creative fields allowed me to get to know the people working there, and gain an insight into how the creative industry is designed and how it operates. Through my internships, I learnt more about myself, what I am capable of, what I like to do, and what kind of career path I want to follow. It also helped me to develop my professional network within the creative industry; from designers to gallery curators.”
Where do you hope to be in five years’ time?
“I would like to gain more experience as a designer at an international design studio for the next few years, and hopefully I will be able to set up my own design studio in the future.”