Today we are having a chat with Designer and Short Course tutor Kangan Arora about her work and her items featured in the short course exhibition
What is your full name and what short course/courses do you teach?
My name is Kangan Arora and I teach some of the Textiles courses here at Central Saint Martins. Summer Study Abroad – Textile Design course, a 3 week intensive summer programme and Screen Printing for Interior Fabric Design, Textile Design Workshop, and Screen Printing on Fabric Workshop (Weekend).
How did you come to work in your field/discipline?
After completing a degree in Fashion Design from NIFT, India I moved to London in 2005 to study on the BA Textile Design at Central Saint Martins, where I specialised in Printed Textiles.
After gaining some experience at a small design studio in South London, I launched my own brand – Kangan Arora – initially designing and making a small collection of soft furnishings that I took to design trade shows to sell. That was back in 2011, and since then the studio has grown a lot and now focuses on design collaborations
Tell us about your work
I run a design studio in South London producing small editions of soft furnishings as well as collaborating with various companies. I’ve designed bedding for Urban Outfitters, limited edition cushions for Heal’s, rugs for Floor_Story and packaging for REN skincare; so the work is quite varied.
My work is driven by a love of craft, colour and geometry and that’s a vein that runs across all the projects.
Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you stay inspired?
Inspiration comes in so many forms, but mostly just being in the cultural hotpot that is London. I visit a lot of galleries and exhibitions, meet a lot of interesting people (including the students here!). My main inspiration however, remains India, my home that I visit at least once a year.
What are you working on at the moment (if anything)?
I’m prepping for a 2 week workshop I’m teaching this September in Japan at the Kyoto Design-Lab. I’m also prepping for a Christmas launch of a collection I designed last year for a large design company. Unfortunately I’m not at liberty to say who at this stage but watch this space!
Tell us about the work you submitted to be featured in the Central Saint Martins Short Courses exhibition.
The cushions are from my 2015 collection, Fluorescent Forest. I thought it would be fun to show some of the process behind the making of the prints so you can see the original artwork, the screens and a short video of me printing the design.
Which piece of creative work, in any discipline, do you think everyone should see and why?
I think everyone should watch Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love, it is one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. Each frame is like a still photograph or a renaissance painting, I think it’s a great study in film, photography, art, painting, costume and colour.
What is the best bit of advice you have ever received?
Be the last man standing.
What advice would you give to aspiring creatives?
Be curious, invest in yourself, be resourceful and just say yes!
A video documenting Kangan’s collaboration with REN, which was shown in the exhibition, is available to watch below:
Like what you see? Take a look at some of Kangan’s upcoming courses – upcoming dates are available on her Screen Printing for Interior Fabric Design, Textile Design Workshop and Screen Printing on Fabric Workshop (Weekend) courses.