Graduates 2022: Nikkan Woodhouse: 3D Design and Craft

“The 3D design course at Brighton has always interested me for its focus on materials exploration and narrative.”

Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

My work uses 3D objects to draw attention to campaigns. My background is in regulation and lobbying and I decided to combine this experience with a love of making. Using images to tell the narrative of a campaign seems to make sense in this image-heavy age of social media. I use a wide range of materials in my work and try to make the choice of material really count in the messaging.

The two campaigns I ran were:

  1.  The campaign to allow hemp to be grown freely in the UK; and
  2. The campaign for Assisted Dying

The first campaign involves re-perceiving hemp. I’ve made a life size plant from felt and invited people to rearrange the plant, moving away from the iconic five-leafleted shape so symbolic of ‘cannabis culture’. If we can lose the association with its cousin plant marijuana we might be freed to make good use of the ecological benefits the plant brings.

I also built a crown made purely from hemp. The aim of this was to mimic the Crown Jewels and to highlight what we should really be valuing in this age of climate crisis.

The second campaign looked at the fight to legalise assisted dying in this country. I became interested in the symbolism of the hospital wristband and thought what an anonymising object it was, reducing us all to a name and a date, and sometimes now even a barcode. I played with the bands as a vehicle to express thoughts on the issue of assisted dying, remaking them as jewellery and protest bands.

I also turned to craftivism as a way of gently exploring difficult subjects and decided to try and use a hospital blanket as a canvas on which to stitch the story of assisted dying. I brought together a group of people with experience of end of life and together we talked and stitched our thoughts and insights. We used Victorian samplers as our inspiration but the project soon became more than cross-stitch alone! The blanket project is still ongoing and will be a nice transition piece for me to finish on graduation. I made a book of samples for the degree show to give a flavour of what has been done to date (images to follow in another email).

How have you found your course and time at Brighton?

The 3D design course at Brighton has always interested me for its focus on materials exploration and narrative. It has great team of highly experienced tutors and technicians, many of whom are 3D graduates themselves.  Thinking environmentally about materials is also a prominent ethos of the course.


How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study 3D?

I’d known about the course for a long time and have attended the degree show several times. I like the highly practical element of the work and the involvement in community-based projects. The wide variety of skills and materials the course exposes students to over the 3 years is really valuable too.


What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to re- direct my current communications work to focus more on making objects which tell the story behind a campaign. My work for my degree show was all about this and was designed to start building the portfolio to support this.


Insta: making_the_message

Find out more about BA(Hons) 3D Design and Craft

Visit the Graduate Show

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