Fiona Davidson

Placement at QUEST


In 2007 Quest 1 brought together nine designers from the UK and the Netherlands and two companies, BGB Engineering and Smith of Derby in the East Midlands. The aim of the project was two-fold, to enable the manufacturing companies to explore big picture issues through a process of blue sky thinking; and to support designers to develop extended portfolio experience within businesses.

Quest 1 - in which Arts Council East Midlands collaborated with the Dutch organisation Young Designers & Industry (YDI)  - was a knowledge transfer laboratory that travelled between the Netherlands and East Midlands.

It had a simple methodology. Following the selection of the businesses and designers, there were three workshops in the UK and the Netherlands. The first workshop introduced the businesses to the designers and set the ‘quests’.

The second workshop in Amsterdam showcased examples of designers working with businesses in new ways and saw the designers present their first responses and spend time in designers’studios. At the third workshop at The Hub in the East Midlands the designers presented their final concepts to the companies, who were able to choose one idea or concept each to take forward for further working. The designers worked in groups and presented collaboratively.

Two teams were selected to take their initial proposals forward. Fiona Davidson and Chris Kabel were selected to develop the BGB proposal to the next design stage. See Documents for a description of their ideas.

Fiona Davidson (East Midlands)
Fiona Davidson says, `My approach to design is concept-led, and therefore not restricted to a single material, process or market; this design ethos allows for diverse responses, often collaborating with manufacturers, to produce innovative, thought-provoking outcomes.

'I enjoy collaboration, and working outside of my ‘safe’ practical knowledge; where projects demand intuitive and intelligent interpretation of process, empathy for the materials at hand, and sympathetic examination of context. My work is experimental and investigative; although the concepts can vary widely, from questioning cultural and human interaction with objects, through to exploitation of process and material, there is always a clear ideology that drives each project.'

 Clients include DuPont Corian, the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers, and creative agency Wieden + Kennedy.