Design alumni from Leeds Metropolitan University are collaborating with Ikea to create Seven Year Itch, an exhibition of personal and professional work, which will be shown next month in the city.
Former students from the Graphic Arts & Design degree course will reunite for the exhibition, masterminded by Steve Lewis, now creative director of Trouble, Challenge and FTN channels at Virgin Media.
‘Because of the way the course is structured, and [because] it is not tied to any particular design discipline, it led us all in very different directions. Some of us are now copywriters, graphic designers, animators and illustrators, while others have gone off to be curators, broadcasters and digital designers,’ says Lewis.
The challenge for Lewis and his former colleagues at Leeds Metropolitan University was to find an appropriate context for the diversity of work that will be shown. ‘Room sets’, including a home office, a rest and play area, and a lounge provided the solution, with Ikea being brought on board to help install and design ‘white gallery’-style sets.
‘As most of the work shown is already out in the public domain, we needed to show how it is consumed. We wanted to put the magazines that some of us work on now on coffee tables, while the rest and play area will have listening posts for music and audio books. We will also have a home office that will show identity design work in stationery and so forth,’ says Lewis.
Among those exhibiting will be Sarah Peake of Household Design, illustrators Dave Pratt and Ben Hall, as well as Ricky Wilson, lead singer of indie band the Kaiser Chiefs, who has been involved in art direction for music over the past seven years.
The show will be co-curated by former students Rowan Drury, Steve Lewis and Andrew Fairhurst. Details can be found at www.7yearitch.co.uk