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Ellie Grainger.

Interior Design BA Honours graduate Ellie Grainger has made the shortlist for an award in the Global Design Graduate Show 2023, the biggest annual online showcase of graduate creatives worldwide.

The 23-year-old impressed judges with her designs for the Alter.e concept store, which takes shopping for fragrances to the next level, and was Ellie’s final degree project.

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The cover for Ellie's Alter.e portfolio.
The cover for Ellie's Alter.e portfolio.

The 2023 Global Design Graduate Show, run by Arts Thread - the world's leading network for emerging designers and artists - in collaboration with Gucci, is the fourth edition of this initiative and was open to all art and design students graduating in the year 2022-23 (undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate), located anywhere in the world.

Ellie has been shortlisted in the Product, Architecture and Interiors category by industry experts after more than 5,000 students uploaded their end-of-year projects across four categories this year. The other categories are: Fashion, Accessories and Textiles; Digital, Visual Communication and Film, and Fine Art, Photography and Craft.

The public vote is officially open to choose favourite artists and designers; voters can select one person from each category.

Ellie’s project, the Alter.e concept store integrates digital innovations and otherworldly design to help consumers explore their favourite fragrances beyond the bounds of reality.

It includes testing and refill stations, surreal seasonal exhibitions, and immersive experience bubbles. These bubbles allow consumers to explore virtual environments that embody the essence of each Alter.e fragrance. As they explore, they will be surrounded by a fragrant mist, enhancing their experience.

Consumers can also receive personal recommendations with store assistance powered by artificial intelligence and use a payment system that eliminates the need to wait in line.

Ellie said: “I'm beyond excited to have been shortlisted in the 2023 Global Design Graduate Show awards. It's an incredible feeling to have been selected alongside so many talented designers with amazing projects. I feel both thrilled and proud at the same time. I'd like to express my gratitude to the University of Chester for their support, and to Arts Thread for this opportunity.”

Adding more about her project, Ellie explained: “The interior scheme draws inspiration from the liquid form of perfume and its interaction with air inside its glass container. The relationship between the air pockets and liquid inspires a physical environment where solid and void present an intriguing path for customers to follow and discover. Materials include glass, steel, resin, pink clay, pink velvet, and vibrant indoor plants.”

Lynne Bell, Programme Lead for Interior Design at the University of Chester said: “We are thrilled that Ellie has been shortlisted for a Global Design Graduate Show 2023 award. The project demonstrates her exceptional design skills and imaginative approach to the visual communication of her project. We wish Ellie the best of luck.”

To find out more and vote in the Product, Architecture and Interiors category, please visit:

To see all of the entrants in all the categories, and for further details about the show, please go to:

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A retail 3D visual.
A retail 3D visual.

The Global Design Graduate Show judges include representation from: Hugo Boss; Tommy Hilfiger; Italian Vogue; the United Nations; the Royal Institute of British Architects and Google.

Voting closes on Wednesday October 11. The esteemed panel will be choosing their favourite artists and designers, with the announcement of the judges’ vote and the public’ vote on Monday October 16 2023.

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