Skip to main content
Print

Olivia Howick

Olivia Howick is an awarding-winning designer and researcher working within the fields of colour, material and finish. Olivia focuses on how material language can help facilitate the creation of an increasingly environmentally and sustainably aware society. With an anthropological approach to her work whilst at the RCA, and an analytical approach to material design, Olivia harnesses the potential that materials have to tell stories and shape the experience of our surroundings.


Awards & Sponsorship:

The Haberdashers’ Company Scholarship (2018-2021)

Masters Dissertation awarded with Distinction: ‘Are Youth Subcultures relevant to teenagers growing up in the UK today? Teenage identity, consumption and style in an internet age’ (2019)

The Textile Society Postgraduate Student Award (2020)

The Eaton Fund (2021)

Exhibitions:

A Journey of Material Discovery, PriestmanGoode Studio (Summer 2019) 

Flight BA 2119: British Airways Centenary Exhibition, The Saatchi (August 2019)

REIMAGINE// Lockdown Artefacts: My Neighbour’s Mementos

How can we reimagine the value of materials deemed troublesome or worthless? 

What makes a material precious? How could we utilise locally abundant waste materials? What stories could they tell? Lockdown Artefacts: My Neighbour’s Mementos is a critical design project exploring our relationship with waste, using locally abundant discarded HDPE gathered during the lockdown of 2020. Utilising plastic waste collected from a neighbour, this body of work showcases how the materials we discard can provide insights into our behaviours and actions. The result: a collection of precious mementos from an extraordinary time, acquired as a by-product of our most mundane rituals.

Supply chains halted due to restricted movement during lockdown and access to materials and services decreased. This highlighted the importance of capitalising on locally abundant materials such as waste. This work aims to showcase how we can design and create objects, surfaces and materials using ‘found colour’, as well as ‘found material’, designing from what is available rather than seeking to modify materials set out by pre-determined colour ways. 

Plastic Collage: elevating the beauty of waste
Recycled HDPE objects: my neighbour's mementos
Textures of recycled milk bottles
Recycled HDPE objects: my neighbour's mementos
Design Development: vessels and objects
Publication: stories of lockdown as told by my neighbour's waste HDPE
Publication: stories of lockdown as told by my neighbour's waste HDPE
Waste colour palettes from discarded HDPE
Vessels created from HDPE waste processing
Research: plastic craft

Haberdashers' Company Scholarship

Textile Society Postgraduate Student Award

The Eaton Fund