Interior designers shortlisted in Global Graduate Show

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Designers who recently completed their studies at the University have made the shortlist for the biggest-ever online showcase of graduate creatives worldwide, supported by fashion powerhouse Gucci.

Interior Design BA Honours graduates Alexandra Costache and Sophie Downes have been named as finalists in the Global Design Graduate Show 2021.

The 2021 Show, run by Arts Thread – the world’s leading network for emerging designers and artists – in collaboration with Gucci, is the second edition of this initiative and was open to all art and design students graduating in the year 2020-21 (undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate), in any related creative discipline, located anywhere in the world.

Alexandra and Sophie were shortlisted in the Product, Architecture and Interiors category by industry experts after 5,211 students uploaded their end of year projects across four categories this year. The others were: Fashion, Accessories and Textiles; Digital, Visual Communication and Film, and Fine Art, Photography and Craft.

Alexandra Costaches project The Harlech Collective
Alexandra Costaches project The Harlech Collective

Alexandra’s proposition titled ‘The Harlech Collective’ repurposes an existing building to create a sustainable community environment where residents have both private individual living accommodation and a vibrant communal space. Considering the history of the site, the new concept aims to preserve elements of the original architecture and materials whilst creating a new atrium allowing natural light to come through the building to house a range of communal spaces in a unique atmosphere.

Sophie Downes project Ailwylltio
Sophie Downes project Ailwylltio

Sophie’s project titled ‘Ailwylltio’ (Rewilding) reimagines Dorothea Quarry, an abandoned slate quarry on the Snowdonia Slate Trail, as a cultural hub. The proposal explores the narrative of natural rewilding, and the evolution of a landscape scarred by slate mining.

Lynne Bell, Programme Lead for Interior Design at the University of Chester said: “We are delighted that both Alexandra and Sophie have been shortlisted for the Arts Thread Global Design Graduate Show 2021. Both portfolios demonstrate their exceptional design skills and imaginative approach to the visual communication of their projects. Good luck Alexandra and Sophie.”

To see all of the entrants in all the categories, and for further details about the show, please visit:

The winners will be announced on Monday October 18.