James Dart
BA(Hons) 3D Design
Brighton University, Faculty of Arts

Masters Product Design

Photography by ECAL/Philippe Fragnière

Following a one week trip in the South East of China to discover its immense whole sale market and manufacturing centre, I have sketched and portrayed the many places visited throughout my long journey, capturing moments and casting a fresh look on China's industry and everyday life.

Photography by ECAL/Philippe Fragnière

An exhibition was held a Latitude 22N Studio in February 2014, marking the end of the tour and displaying images, artefacts and drawings from the journey.

My research into composites moves into a realm where theory can be rapidly prototyped into working models that can be tested with freedom, and proven by the rider

Understanding material behaviour through moulding was the primary concern of early development. The basis of the saddle design has been a paired-down construction with a 'nose', rear 'cradle' and rails suspending the composite structure

Many contemporary saddles utilise an injection moulded chassis, covered with contoured foam and a textile upper. A number of these elements are assembled with no means of economical repair further in the product life cycle

The use of composites here allows a number of advantages such as, water proofing, reduction in weight, tailored distribution of forces, assembly and maintenance.

The use of this particular bio-composite, of woven flax fibre and UV cure resin, further enhances possibilities and creates some new opportunities:

The composite can be accurately heat-cured at temperatures less than 80 ºC to a set standard ready for use. Further UV curing can then be used to achieve maximum material rigidity. This could be after a short period of wearing in, similar to breaking in a leather saddle.

The use of this low cost material retains the correct proportions of flexibility and comfort, requiring less components over all, replaced instead only by the implementation of intelligent lay-up

By virtue of the material the saddle can be easily cared for and ultimately repaired, unlike many modern leather and vulcanised rubber saddles.

The project has benefited from the support and review of designers, Tomás Alonso and Alexander Taylor. The project is weighted heavily towards research at this stage, to understand the new materials possibilities correctly.

Development continues presently on this project, towards a final concept; uniting the materials innovation and function with a distinguishable Swiss design language of simplicity


The curation of an exhibition shapes the viewers perspective of the objects presented.

Overseen by Nathalie Du Pasquier, we were tasked with creating a unique way of presenting everyday objects. Through the contexts of the presentation, the objects take on new meanings and their inherent banality is brought into question.

Bricks are known as being solid and heavy. by changing this common understanding, the object becomes light- hearted and less 'weighty'.

This is a tongue-in-cheek play on materials expectations, as well as presenting the obvious juxtapositions of hard and soft, lightness triumphing weight and the ephemeral verses the enduring

Photographed by
ECAL/Axel Crettenand

For the Milan International Furniture Fair 2014, Camper, the Majorcan shoe brand, and the ECAL /University of Art and Design Lausanne presented an exceptional multidisciplinary project at the Arlecchino Cinema

'SAVE MY SOLE!' Proposal by James Dart, Elea Nouraud & Patrick Tarkhounian

The basic idea was to create a full-size Camper shop in the Studio Cinema of ECAL,and shoot a short film”, explains Ramón Úbeda of CAMPER

Images ECAL/Axel Crettenand

British designer Bethan Laura Wood was in supervision as we created an original set, an authentic design piece with two-way mirrors – a special effect that is vital to the script – and shaped like a huge shoe box. “ What is there to film in a Camper shop? To discover the film’s concept we were inspired by the company philosophy: humour and jokiness”, reveals Jan Czarlewski, director of this short film lasting around 12 minutes.

The Duo Lin project arose from the desire to create a practical product; to apply and demonstrate my process of turning different resins into foam
The primary goal was to control these processes with the use of simple moulds
As my understanding of the benefits of flax fibre, and the connection to Dragonkraft Europe's new linseed oil based resin, began to grow, I began to conceive a product that used one renewable resource - for virtually all of its parts

With the resin being flexible, and water resistant, I wanted to use it with woven flax reinforcement, as a bio-composite. Although durable, the outer structure would not be as suitable for purpose without the foam inner core. These two elements were designed to be co-moulded by changing the core-half of the mould

The resin comes as two-part liquid, resin and hardener. The resin will cure with ultra-violet light (as much a sunny day) and is made of '98% carbon-renewable content'. It is also toxicologicaly safe to work with at room temperature, unlike traditional epoxy resins. The resin

Understanding the potential of flax today is very important if we are to push in new and better directions with our choice of material

Careful thought about process has helped me to deliver an early concept that could now be subjected to tests. The first concept has been born well, the addition of extremely durable needle-punched straps further illustrates how versatile the flax plant could be.

Duo Lin is a creative approach to research. It is clear that advances in materials are being met with increasing interest as performance improves.

To create a convincing product, that performs equal to or greater than those which already exist, is an immense challenge. An object can become a valuable artefact, a focus for meaningful discussion and a test for new technology. Through the energy of experimentation and making I have gathered a great deal of knowledge that can be shared.

Duo LIn was not the work of a moment, and has potential to move away from the current paradigm of artefact creation for the sole purpose of discussion. This takes the support of partners, with clever solutions, thoughtful design and ultimately individuals to question both the positives and negatives.