New Designers, which ran in two parts and brought together some 3000 of the UK’s best emerging designers from 24-27th June and 1st-4th July, drew a broad range of major companies and businesses as well as collectors and press looking to recruit and buy from the graduate designers.
The 30th edition of the show, which took place at the Business Design Centre, Islington, was emblazoned with window displays honouring notable New Designer alumni including Thomas Heatherwick, Bethan Gray, Joe Ferry and Andrew Lamb. The show was officially opened by writer, broadcaster and director of the Design Museum, Deyan Sudjic, and Part 2 was opened by publisher, writer and curator Max Fraser.
Isobel Dennis, director of show organiser Upper Street Events, comments: "Still young and talented, New Designers is the best of its kind and gives you an event that continues to deliver new generations of brilliant individuals, year on year, ready for businesses and a design-savvy public to snap up and set on their creative paths. It makes me incredibly proud to be a part of this fantastic legacy that ensures the life cycle of the design industry continues to grow and thrive where new talent and business is brought together for all to benefit.
"New Designers is supported and visited by some fantastic global brands who are so committed to nurturing new talent. It is the people from these companies and organisations who drive the passion to support the emerging talent they discover at the show. The leadership they demonstrate in recognising the importance of bringing fresh thinking fulfils New Designers’ aim to introduce new talent into the commercial world."
Supporters include John Lewis, Virgin Atlantic, Hallmark Cards and Sky, as well as visitors Anthropologie, Lego, Amazon, Dyson, Honeywell, Jaguar Land Rover and the BBC.
In Part 1, six of the 13 New Designers Awards and half of the Associate Prizes were won by Scotland’s exhibiting institutions. The Glasgow School of Art celebrated three award wins, including the overall New Designer of the Year, which went to Textile designer Olivia Qi, while graduates from Edinburgh College of Art, University of Dundee and Heriot-Watt also celebrated Award and Associate Award wins.
In Part 2, the University of Hertfordshire’s Graphic Design and Illustration course had a particularly good year, with Ryan Panchal winning the New Designers Pentland Award and Tessa Noble winning both the New Designers Sky Award and the Webb DeVlam Associate Prize for her work. Beyond this, Imogen Elliot and Scott Crouch were both finalists of the Absolut @ New Designers bottle design competition with Catherine Cooksley winning its overall prize.
Jack Lennie, winner of the Business Design Centre New Designer of the Year award, says: "If you get the opportunity to view or be an exhibitor at New Designers then take it, 100%. I know some universities don’t come here but if you can then then you definitely should. New Designers offers a real opportunity for exposure and employment opportunities. Without this exposure all the designers here would be thrust into a world where industry would not know they existed."
Lynda Relph-Knight, design writer and consultant and one of the New Designers judges, comments: "Judging New Designers Designer of the Year may appear a daunting task, given the number of amazingly talented contenders at the show. It is, though, a huge privilege to meet and quiz the next generation of designers. We are proud of everyone on the shortlist - and particularly our winner Jack Lennie of Edinburgh Napier, from whom we expect even greater things."
New Designers will return to the Business Design Centre from 29th June to 2nd July 2016 (part 1) and from 6-9th July 2016 (Part 2).