Creative students chosen to design homeware range for top heritage attraction.

A multi award-winning visitor attraction in Northampton has enlisted the help of talented creatives from the town’s university to design its new range of merchandise.

78 Derngate is famed for being the only house in England designed by acclaimed Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, attracting thousands of visitors from around the world, every year.

Given the attraction’s rich design heritage, the 78 Derngate trust decided it would be fitting to invite students on the University of Northampton’s Graphic Communication course to devise designs for a range of homeware items to be sold in the venue’s shop and online.

The students gathered research and inspiration during several visits to the house, before presenting their concepts to a panel from the 78 Derngate team.

Designs from a quartet of final-year students were chosen for the Contemporary Classics @ 78 homeware range, which includes a tea towel, a tote bag, an apron, oven gloves and two poster prints.

Les Patterson, secretary of the Trust said: “Each group offered such a lot of wonderfully imaginative ideas that it was very difficult to make decisions on the final range – but it had to be done. The students have brought a fresh, young element to the existing retail range.”

Third year student, Sebastian Wrobel, was delighted when he found out his poster designs based on the house’s rooms had been chosen by the panel.

He said: “I feel honoured to have my designs being sold at the shop. I had to compete with my peers, who are also very talented designers. This pushed us all to work very hard and deliver our best.

“I hope that my work will help 78 Derngate gain more visitors and show that the house is a great work of art.”