2021 MULLENLOWE NOVA AWARDS SHORTLIST

With shortlisted projects across fine art, product design, fashion and performance, 14 talented creatives and visionaries have been shortlisted for this year’s judges of the MullenLowe’s NOVA Awards. But only 6 will be chosen to receive the prestigious award. Over the last couple of weeks, people have been voting for their fav piece of work from the shortlist and the winners will be announced in an online ceremony on Wednesday, Aug 18th. The student with the most votes will be crowned the ‘YourNOVA’ winner for 2021 and take home a prize of £1,000, so you can make a big ass difference in supporting them by taking things further in these difficult post grad times. Voting is still open until Friday, Aug 6th. So, what are you waiting for? Have a look at the shortlisted work below and cast your vote!

Alice Turner, BA Product Design, ‘Carnerie’ 


Inspired by home-brewing devices, Turner’s product, ‘Carnerie’, acts as a visualization of a future device to “grow your own meat”. As she remarks: ‘cultured meat offers us the opportunity to produce meat with significantly reduced environmental impacts and without slaughtering animals.’ The device would be controlled by an app and the user would be able to order cell capsules from local farms to grow different types of meat. 



Cheuk Laam Wong, BA Product Design, ‘Looop Can’ 


Being placed in water-scarce regions and being financially restricted, majority of female refugees often undergo period-poverty troubles. In pursuing to help them and many others who have limited funds, Wong created a product to provide a washing kit for reusable sanitary pads. She writes, ‘Looop Can’ has a five-year expected lifespan which covers the minimum time a refugee is likely to stay in a camp waiting for identity approval.'



Claudia Gusella, BA Fashion Design, ‘everything is great *’


Realising an imaginary world inspired by medieval symbolism and imagery is a way for Gusella to overcome her trauma and find acceptance. Her pieces are a collection made focused on sustainability in the hope to inspire others to make a change, to be resourceful and to challenge the shameful exploitation in the fashion industry.



Francesca Dalosio, MA Industrial Design, Ulïètu


Dalosio’s project consists of a collection of surface panels reflecting the traumatic effect of xylella fastidiosa, one of the most dangerous plant-pathogenic bacteria in the world. This project seeks to avoid combustion and taking advantage of the material residual properties in large-scale contexts. Preserving what remains of the Apulian olive trees, Ulïètu is able to give them a second chance of life. This project represents a traumatic loss but also a rebirth.



Gwen Siôn, BA Fine Art XD, ‘HS2 Ghostlands’ 


In response to the climate emergency and HS2, Siôn’s project creates a digital space which exists beyond the loss of the physical locations. HS2 Ghostlands highlights the concerns of deforestations, habitat destruction and biodiversity loss. She has said, ‘HS2 Ghostlands aims to capture a moment in time by exploring the ghostly liminal landscapes of endangered woodland through acts of mapping and translation, musical composition, field recording and photographic documentation.’ The final project comprises of a digital archive of recordings in the form of an interactive sound map, a set of musical instruments hand-built by recycling natural materials found at 18 specific sites over a five-month period, and a piece of experimental music.


Jann Choy, BA Graphic Communication Design, ‘Liǎn’ 


Inspired by Chinese face-changing opera art and online avatars, Choy creates an experimental mask in which it explores the relationship between our online and offline selves. The high-tech mask responds to our real-time online emotions using code and soft robotics. 


Jessie Zhang, BA Graphic Communication Design, ‘Song Light’ 


Living in a digital world, Zhang aims to reintroduce nature and increase our awareness and connection to the natural world by creating an ambient lighting system controlled by birdsong. It is powered by a convolutional neural network trained on the song of 88 bird species commonly heard in the United Kingdom. Each species of bird is represented by a unique colour. So, the more diverse the song, the more colourful the light. 


Kaius Mowbray, BA Fine Art XD, ‘Speculative Mind Mulch’ 


Investigating ideas of alternative realities and speculative futures is explored through the presentation of an alternate London, which is inspired by high and low cultural forms and Mowbray’s personal experience and memories. The work is a shifting lens that zooms in and out of different characters and “worlds”, presenting fractured stories through animation, writing, sound and illustration. 





Lydia Hardcastle, BA Performance: Design and Practice, ‘FEN (Growing Garments)’ 


Living a wonderful journey of exploring organic materials has led Harcastle to understand the importance of nature to ‘people’s mental health, as well as to people’s in/accessibility to green spaces during lockdown’, says Hardcastle. FEN is a growing piece of living art made from curveleaf hypnum moss foraged from her local countryside. 



Molly Macleod, MA Art and Science, ‘We Are All Carbon’ 


Emerging technological future with our biological matter is explored by Macleod in this project where her biological matter is repurposed to amplify sound. One year’s worth of hair and nails, shed and collected, are cremated to form carbon granules. Vibrations passing through these granules create a transducer that converts electrical signals into sound.



Nikoleta Crysikou, MA Material Futures, BacTerra’ 


In the hope to start a conversation about the promising possibilities of biotechnology within pottery, Crysikou creates alternative ceramics that are self-fired and biologically glazed with the use of bacteria. Ceramic waste and living organisms became the key ingredient for Crysikou’s project.



Paula Camina, MA Biodesign, ‘Co-Obradorio Galego’ 


Galicia is a region in northwest Spain bathed by the Atlantic Ocean and it is where Camina and three basket makers created this collaborative project. Developing a flexible and biodegradable bio-material from Galician seafood exoskeletons (unused waste) will help regenerate Galician craft heritage, relating the local with the global and establishing connection between the culture and the community, and the seafood industry and basketry. The unique design also aims to rebuild the Galician identity. 



Yijia Wu, BA Fine Art 4D, ‘Homes on the Move’ 


A visual and performance artist based in Beijing explores and discusses the nomadism and the sense of dislocation through personal experience. The artist employs moving image, performance and installation as tools to further explore the experience of drifting and “unsettling” into a visual language. The artist’s body is used as a medium to also discover the boundaries between public and personal spaces and the impact of the government’s policy on individuals.


Yuhan Huang, MA Fine Art, ‘Planet Series’


Huang poses a question, ‘In the contemporary network environment, how can text and images break through algorithms and data visualisation, and get rid of network cybernetics?’ The ‘Planet Series’ focuses on the impact of online derivatives on social lifestyles and communication methods in the development of online culture including social media, short video app and barrage website.




Voting for the YourNOVA ‘People’s Choice’ Award ends tomorrow, August 6, 2021. Vote here

The winners will be announced on Wednesday 18th August in a live event, link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu7j6o3sKX8