Ash heats up Demand for Action

Student Success

A graphic designer from Plymouth has won a prestigious design award from Sky for his innovative use of heat-sensitive technology.

Ash Henderson, a BA (Hons) Graphic DesignstudentofPlymouthCollege of Art, was spotted by Sky at London graduate show New Designers recently – picking up £1,000 in prize money and a three month internship alongside the ‘New Designers Sky Award’.

21-year-old Ash, who is originally from Grimsby, said: “I was shocked. They said my name but I didn’t hear it properly at first but all of my course mates just started jumping on me.

“It was overwhelming. I didn’t expect it at all.”

Ash picked up the prestigious prize for his final year project ‘Now You See Us Now You Don’t’ – an interactive developmental

experience for children aged four to 10 aimed at highlighting the plight of endangered species.

The piece uses heat-sensitive, ‘thermochromic’ materials that, when warmed with human body heat – or a hair-dryer as he used at New Designers – reveals a colourful hidden message beneath.

The message then slowly disappears as the materials cool, which Ash uses as a visual demonstration to the user about the risks of not caring for the some of the world’s most endangered species.

Kamal Gohil, programme leader for BA (Hons) Graphic Design at Plymouth College of Art, said: “We’re incredibly proud of Ash for gaining recognition from a company like Sky on a national platform. It’s a big achievement.

“Ash loves to experiment with ideas and play with design. A few

times those experiments failed but for him that was a good thing. He was able to understand what went wrong and rectify it. It didn’t stop him.Hecontinuedfindingnewways to tackle the issue.

“His project was very innovative. Through risk-taking and finding new ways of problem-solving he’s come up with something fresh. He’s applied materials in an exciting form of visual communication.”

Ash, who says he immediately fell in love with Plymouth and its coastline when he attended an interview at the college three years ago, plans to pitch the idea to zoos around the country.

He hopes that the fun and interactive element of his design work will capture the interests of children and help them engage with teaching.


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