The most important occasion on any discerning graduate designer’s calendar has to be the New Designers exhibition, which takes place every summer at the Business Design Centre in North London. Showcasing the work of over 3500 graduates over two weeks (from the 27th of June to the 7th of July), covering two floors and nine distinct design zones, this event was THE place to find out what the designers of the future had in store for us.
The first pieces to catch our eye were the cut tin metal lampshades by Middlesex University graduate Elsa Sandy. Using a traditional lace making process in her designs added a beautifully feminine touch to the ordinarily hard material. Her ‘Love Lace’ lamps were dotted with hundreds of holes, which allowed light to pierce through the wooden frame in a delicately intricate pattern.
Goldsmith College and University of the Creative Arts graduate Kay Grannell created a unique hexagon coffee table made of plaster and wood. Not only was it aesthetically pleasing but it was also wonderfully smooth to the touch, as we found out when she insisted we couldn’t leave without giving it a rub!
Nottingham Trent University graduate Rachel Elizabeth Ward’s year long placement at the Walt Disney company was an obvious influence on her interactive nightlight. The Good Night Light is a whimsical piece made as a project collaboration between the Walt Disney company and Helix lighting. The night light, featuring a woodland silhouette pattern against an auto-fading soft sunset skyline helps to soothe a baby to sleep while allowing mum to see in the nursery. When the baby gets older the detachable figures can be used as part of a fun bedtime storytime routine.
We also visited the One Year On section of the event, which gave an opportunity for past graduates to show the progress they had made since the last New Designers exhibition.
One of our top picks from this section was Joanna Corney. Combining her love of travel with her passion for illustration, Joanna’s designs are full of quirky drawings of Brighton pier, pavillion and other nearby landmarks. Another Nottingham Trent graduate, she prefers the traditional screen printing method to make her items, and this technique means no two of her prints are ever the same.
All in all, the standard and quality of work on offer at the exhibition was considerably high. With an overwhelming selection of designers to view, we were spoilt for choice and picking a favourite was virtually impossible! One thing’s for certain – with graduates producing work like this, the future of design looks very exciting indeed…
I'm the Editor of the mydeco.com blog, writing about the interiors that inspire me most. I love bright colour against neutrals, and have a soft spot for themed rooms. Quirky accessories are my favourite and I love nothing more than finding something bold and beautiful to make a room really stand out! Read more posts by Laura.