Lara Smith

As a designer I strive to create simplistically beautiful and functional designs and I am inspired by both historical and contemporary design. With an interest in a wide range of design disciplines I enjoy working holistically to fully develop a concept into a commercially viable product. Understanding the importance of user centred design, I have developed a strong, iterative design process.

I believe that an understanding of the benefits of a circular economy within design is fundamental to the future of design. Having thoroughly researched the circular economy for my dissertation, this philosophy has been a key focus for my final year work.

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Un Dressing Table

Designed to provide an intimate space to undress from the stress of modern life. To settle, breathe and focus. The Un Dressing Table is a serene space designed for self-care routines. In our hectic lives we are often bombarded with distractions and rarely allow ourselves time to slow down and switch off.

This project explores what a dressing table, previously a piece of furniture for beautification, could become in modern day society. Intrigued by the idea of furniture made to be experienced by the senses, Lara designed a holistic piece which draws from aspects of Japanese Zen meditation.

Constructed from oak, the table surrounds you in inviting materials that are natural to the touch. Instead of traditional drawers, the table has sturdy cotton baskets for simple, refined storage as tidiness is important for relaxation. Inspired by Japanese construction, the table’s legs have repeating slats to let light and air freely pass through. When light shines through these, shadows reveal precise forms, adding a sense of calming depth.

A small range of ‘lifestyle’ objects were designed to accompany the Un Dressing Table with an aim to encourage people to create rituals which allow time to unwind and reconnect with themselves.

Baux Light

Bauxite residue is a harmful and abundant waste material that is created during the production of aluminium. It is also a beautiful colour.

Baux Light is a floor lamp with a large, pivoting orbicular frame through which the lighting cable is guided. A curved reflector sweeps around this frame, providing a wide range of movement. The concept was developed while researching into the possible benefits of a circular economy within design. It demonstrates how a better understanding of the subject could change product consumption, aiming to raise awareness of environmental concerns.

A mixture of bauxite residue and concrete gives the base its striking colour. This is to demonstrate how a waste material can add beauty. Cast in a mould developed and fabricated by Lara, the base has a channel through its middle to provide simple storage for newspapers and magazines, and its height allows it to be used as a side table.

The reflective aluminium dish is designed to glide around the frame to allow the light to be directed in different ways. The lamp functions as a focused reading light when the dish is positioned at its highest point or an ambient light in its lower positions. This reflective element also exposes the piece’s narrative – contrasting ‘useful’ aluminium with ‘waste’ bauxite residue.


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