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Outstanding achievements from our visual arts and design departments

Did you know we have BAFTA winning tutors on our staff? Or that graduates have gone on to win the Turner Prize and had work exhibited at the Tate? Or that one of our technicians went on to produce THE Peppa Pig?!

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Students, alumni and academics from the department of Visual Arts and Design have a long history of winning awards for their work which is making an impact on the creative industries all over the world. Here’s just a snapshot of some of the notable successes the Visual Arts and Design departments have enjoyed over the last couple of years.

  • MDX grad designs Brit Awards statuette based on Marvel comics

    Olaolu Slawn, who studied graphic design at Middlesex, is a Nigerian-born London-based artist known for collaborations with Skepta, Central Cee and the late Virgil Abloh. Slawn designed the new Brit Awards statuette inspired by tri-faced The Living Tribunal – a character from the Marvel comics. Slawn’s statue in bronze has three expressions, representing ‘Opportunity’, ‘Gratitude’ and ‘Celebration’.

  • Awards all round in animation, including two-time BAFTA winning academics

    Our award-winning staff and students include Animation Director of Programmes Jonathan Hodgson, a two-time BAFTA winner, recent grad Gemma Schnable who won a Breakthrough award for her short film Dysmorphia and Animation student Jordan-Leigh Campbell who won a motion graphics competition set by an anti-knife crime campaign.

  • British Fashion Council award-winner receives £3,000

    Fashion Textiles and Design BA student Mihai-Eugen Popescu won the 2022 Fashion Design Research competition, a collaboration between the British Fashion Council and the British Library. Popescu’s research project celebrates fashion craft practices and carries the positive message “you can be gay, Romanian, traditional, whatever”. The £3,000 competition prize will go towards developing Popescu’s final year collection.

  • Touching animated film about depression wins prize

    Illustration BA student Betty Kim produced the animated film To Be Or Not To Be about suicide and depression. To Be Or Not To Be won a prize by Creative Conscience, an international organisation dealing with world social issues. Her portfolio of work was also chosen by D&AD as a contender in the New Blood Awards. Kim has gone on to focus full-time on her creative career and exhibit work in event spaces and do artist talks and workshops.

  • Middlesex sustainability project wins prize

    The Active Energy project won an award for knowledge exchange at the ‘Oscars of Higher Education’, the Times Higher Education Awards 2022 in London. The initiative, led by Dr Lorraine Leeson Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, began 15 years ago to bring together young and old through their passion for engineering and design. The winning team of engineers have worked with a retired men’s club called the Geezers Club to generate renewable energy by designing waterwheels driven by tidal flows. Waterwheels also pump air into the water to help fish and wildlife. The Active Energy team have now developed and tested a prototype turbine for the Thames.

  • MDX graduate designs print for WWF climate change campaign and has them exhibited at Tate Britain

    Artist and MDX PhD graduate Heather Phillipson produced a limited-edition print for WWF's Art for Your World campaign – a call to action for the cultural sector to come together and demand urgent measures against climate change ahead of the COP26 summit.

  • Illustration grad Florian Grossey’s publishes ‘The Chagos Betrayal’

    In the graphic novel she wrote and illustrated as her final year project, Florian Grossey examines the atrocity committed against the people of the Chagos Islands by the British Government. The illustrations move from full colour to sepia to black and white to evoke the islanders’ brutal experiences and poor living conditions.

  • Second year Graphic Design BA student Allana Friedrich won 2nd place for the Penguin Student Design award

    Allana’s outstanding book cover of Bill Bryson’s very popular ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’ shone through the competition. She is now working as a design assistant at Penguin Random House!

  • Fashion graduate who exclusively works with sustainable materials shows latest collection at London Fashion Week 2022

    Graduate Miles George Daniel works sustainably from second hand fabrics, donations and found materials, valuing handcraft as a making tool and has just received a full scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art.
  • MDX graduate wins world’s most prestigious prize for tapestry

    Louise Martin, MDX alum won with her tapestry Lifetime. The shortlist of 20 artworks by 19 artists who were all in the running for the £8,000 prize are to be exhibited to the public at Inverleith House Gallery in Edinburgh.
  • Final year Interiors students win second place at the BIID student design competition

    The BIID Student Design Challenge is an annual, day-long competition for final year university students of interior design and interior architecture. The team that represented MDX reimagined a dynamic new space for the Topshop flagship store on Oxford Street.

  • Got questions about what it’s like to be part of our award-winning creative community? Head to Unibuddy where you can chat to current students and academic staff.

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