Lincoln Uni graduate on BBC2 show

A Lincoln graduate is battling it out for a place in the new BBC2 series Design For Life. The program first aired on the 14th September and follows the lives of 12 students and graduates trying to make it in the design industry. The chosen 12 lock horns in attempts to impress the infamous French product designer Philippe Starck.


The 12 hopefuls of BBC's Design For Life. | Photo: BBC

Week by week the group will diminish as Starck and his design entourage whittle them down to one person. The last student/graduate will be given a six-month placement at his design agency in Paris.

University of Lincoln graduate Helen Bickford was one of the lucky applicants to be selected out of hundreds of hopefuls. She loves design brands like Alessi and Ikea as well as quintessentially British design icons, such as the red telephone box. She believes that this experience and possibility of working with Philippe Starck will set her up well for a much anticipated career:

“The ideals I’ll get from him could inspire me to start my own business, or take those ideals to a new workplace and hopefully change it or make it better – it’s just such an amazing opportunity”, said Bickford to the Lincoln School of Art and Design blog.

Helen, who is originally from Durham, graduated from the BA (Hons) Product Design programme at the University of Lincoln in 2008 and exhibited her work at New Designers in London 2008. Her portfolio included the distinctive Nightwatchman chair, inspired by the work of designer Martino Gamper.

The chair, which was created from abandoned pieces of furniture, requires the interaction of the user to remain stable. The design attracted the interest of the curators of the The National Centre for Craft and Design and featured in a collection of emerging talent 2008/09.

Dave Bramston, Senior Lecturer in Product Design at the University of Lincoln, said: “Helen has an ability to explore alternative languages in design and her creative thinking and enthusiasm has enabled her work to get recognised at international exhibitions. The Product Design programme at the University of Lincoln look forward to seeing how she interacts within the Starck studios and are delighted that she has been presented this valuable opportunity.”

Design For Life can be watched every Monday night on BBC2 at 11:20pm. The first episode is also now available online on BBC’s iPlayer.

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