LEAF on Portland Street: My NMP Building

I’ve visited LEAF a couple of times during the NMP process to have a greater understanding of the building structure, its atmosphere and as I sometimes struggle with visualising to scale, being in the building has helped with my ability to visualise LEAF as my proposed women’s centre.


The building itself consists of a basement and a ground floor, but lacks disability access – something I will incorporate into my design to make sure the centre is all-inclusive. There are existing dividers that I would like to keep in my design as they section off rooms nicely. The are beams on the ceiling provide a cosy and rustic atmosphere. The front of the building lacks window and light, although this could be beneficial for privacy/intimacy, but the back makes up for it with an abundance of windows, looking out into Manchester. LEAF has lots of potential for a quirky and on trend design for a women’s centre.


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NMP: Independent Female Businesses

For part of my women’s centre, I have decided to incorporate the celebration of small independent female businesses and artists for the centre’s visitors to discover. The centre will be promoting their work whilst setting an example for women who are interested in building their own business or want to pursue their artistry further. Their work will be displayed in the galleries, advertised through flyers and business cards, and even sold in the gift shop.

I have chosen the following artists and business women;

Emma Low ‘Pot Yer Tits Away Luv’

Emma is a freelance Leeds-based independent artist selling handcrafted clay pots that embrace the female form and uniqueness. Sometimes collaborates with charities such as Every Month Mcr – a charity supporting women in poverty. Emma has a big online following with 29.3k followers on Instagram. Emma sells her work on Instagram, Facebook and via her own website.

Day in the Life of Pot Yer Tits Away Luv
Emma Low aka ‘Pot Yer Tits Away Luv’
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Emma Low’s work


Jasmine Moodie ‘Mude Threads’

Jasmine is a Leeds-based student artist selling a range of commissioned items each embroidered with the female body. “Fighting sexualisation and championing body positivity.” There is a high demand for her work and once live, often sells out within minutes. Sells on Instagram and own website.

Jasmine Moodie ‘Mude Threads’
Mude Threads design


Lou Foley ‘Are We Nearly Bare Yet’

Lou is another Leeds-based illustrator creating commissioned art prints from women wanting to celebrate their bodies. The project focuses on diversity and acceptance and has been described as a healing tool for women experiencing body negativity issues. Sells on Instagram, Big Cartel and own website.

Image of Liv
Are We Nearly Bare Yet design
Image of Louise
Are We Nearly Bare Yet design


Julie Gough ‘Illustrated Women in History’

Julie is a Swindon based illustrator creating art prints and books of influential women throughout history to educate and inform about female accomplishments. Sells her work on Instagram, Tumblr and Etsy and takes on submissions.

This year marks the centenary of some women gaining the right to vote in the UK. To celebrate this, I have a special #suffrage100 #zine for sale on Etsy! http://etsy.me/2EtCJ2KDame Ethel Smyth was a celebrated composer, author, musician and...
Illustrated Women in History design
As today is #transdayofvisibility here are some of the amazing trans women we’ve featured so far on Illustrated Women in History! Please message with suggestions if you think anyone should be featured on Illustrated Women in History!Laverne Cox is...
Illustrated Women in History design


Pheobe Sung & Peter Buer ‘Cold Picnic’

New York based design duo selling abstract and female-form orientated high quality designs. Sells through their Instagram and own website.

Cold Picnic Bath Mat design

Leah and Nikki of  ‘Ohne’

Ohne is a tampon business selling 100% organic, biodegradable female health and lifestyle products. The company donates 5% of its revenue to The School Club Zambia, a Zambian non-government funded organisation ensuring girls have access to a relevant, effective and sustainable education, whilst teaching its students hygiene hacks and innovative menstrual health education.

the real facts about plastic applicator tampons and switching to biodegradable cardboard applicator 100% organic tampons

Reflective Practice: Specialist Studies in Design (16-17) Performance 1: ‘Convergence of the Body and Technology in Reinventing the Space’

This module piqued my interest from the very start. The opportunity to work alongside a client with a specific brief whilst being given a rough budget was exciting to me as it resembled real industry practice.
The brief itself was also centred around performing arts and dance, which is a special interest and was once an extra curricular activity of mine. The client, Natasha Stott, was personable. As a dancer I could identify with her and therefore had a greater understanding of the brief because of my enthusiasm, terminology used and abstract concepts portrayed. I found this connection encouraging in developing my ideas to suit her needs.

This was my favourite brief throughout my 3 years at university. It allowed me to explore set design, whilst considering it as a career path, rediscover my passion for performing arts, and meet industry professionals to discuss ideas, whilst being advised appropriately. The design process was lengthy, during which I considered multiple design ideas, some were tested in practice – I filmed my construction of a gazebo frame covered by fabric with a light placed inside the frame to get a physical and hands on approach towards how the design would feel and look for both performers and viewers – this was submitted in my final piece. I came out the other side of this exciting and explorative design process with a finalised design idea that was well considered, carefully developed and something I am still proud of.

For the design, I created a model as my final visual piece. I chose this format as I thought it best demonstrated my idea. It was also the most suitable way of presenting my ideas to a client who I understood as being familiar with visually striking and tactile things, rather than a technical scale drawing.

My idea was based on the client’s performance history and the brief introduction to her performers she provided us with. After researching her dance company and partners a little further, I understood the abstract, contemporary styles associated with her and the company and so developed the idea of utilising the space to its full potential.

I explored ideas relating to heavily incorporating the frame into the performance. I considered a user-intuitive frame that involved the performers being attached to it, with the performer’s movements adjusting the shape and structure of the frame. For this idea I studied how Expandaballs work and looked at pop-up tent frames that snap into place. From this starting point of making the design user friendly and centred around the performers, ideas were flowing and I was enthusiastic and excited about each idea.

In hindsight and as time has passed since completing the module, I can be objective about my work as I am no longer as close to it as I originally was.

I have compiled a list of what I consider to be the positives and negatives of my design and handling of the module. This critical ability will hopefully aid me in my future practices.


  • Thorough investigative skills.
  • Good use of sources.
  • Ability to understand the client and their needs.
  • Good use of outside sources i.e. approaching professionals about ideas and not being afraid to ask for advice.
  • Enthusiasm and passion for the module was reflected in final piece.
  • Good use of materials.
  • Creativity – I explored, considered and showed evidence of different ideas and how the ideas were attainable, or not.
  • Understanding of subject matter



  • Not enough technical ability/software involvement – SketchUp models would have made nice visuals to go alongside the model and model drawings. Technical ability has been a recurring issue for me during this course.
  • Technical ability of the model- some aspects of the model were rushed or a little messy. I could have made more effort rather than settling. (e.g. curtain hooks, measuring materials before diving into creating the model, use of better materials for a more finished and professional aesthetic).
  • Tutor-contact involvement. I think attending more tutorials may have been beneficial towards discussing my software issues and therefore developing some technical drawings.
  • Not enough sketches to go alongside model. More development sketches would have been beneficial.
  • Photographs of the final model; seem rushed and don’t display the model as best as it could be displayed.