New Designers, the exhibition for emerging design, has today reported a record attendance of 18,265 – making it the busiest year in the show’s 28-year history. The two-part exhibition took place at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London, from 26-29 June and 3-6 July.
Isobel Dennis, director of Upper Street Events, says: “New Designers is arguably the most important design event in the UK for ensuring the life cycle of the design industry continues and thrives. The careers and fresh thinking it generates and delivers year on year is hard matched elsewhere. The breadth, diversity and calibre of visitors makes New Designers out-rank any other emerging design talent event.”
“This year, the energy and vibrancy throughout each part of the show was unfailing and we were absolutely delighted with record attendance figures. The leadership that our loyal partners and sponsors show demonstrates their passion to support the emerging talent they discover at New Designers. They are integral to the show’s continued success in introducing new talent into the commercial world.”
This year’s exhibition was attended by designers, buyers and talent spotters from major brands including:Debenhams, The Design Museum, Dyson, Foyles, Habitat, Heal’s, Hemmingway Design, London Design Festival, Made.com, Marks & Spencer, Proctor & Gamble, Sainsbury’s, SCP, Sebastian Conran, SeymourPowell and Tesco. “Everyone I’ve spoken to has had a placement or an offer,” said Gemma Luxton of Nottingham Trent University, winner of The New Designers Hallmark Award 2013.
At two prestigious award evenings on Wednesday 26 June and 3 July, graduates were presented with awards and prizes that included work placements and support from industry sponsors, including John Lewis, Wilkinson’s, The Goldsmiths' Company, Hallmark, Harlequin, InterContinental Hotel Group, Sanderson, Sky and Tigerprint. The coveted Business Design Centre New Designer of the Year Award was won in Part 1 by Kate Turton of De Montfort University, for her sophisticated and well considered experimentation on a wide range of fabrics, and in Part 2 by Henry Franks of Northumbria University, for his range of Dyslexia-inspired products.
Thursday Lates encouraged visitors to flood through the doors until 8pm both weeks. On Thursday 26 June, Absolut presented its Absolut Art Talk with textile designer Kitty Joseph, Stuart Wood of Heatherwick Studio and renowned graphic designer Malcolm Garrett. The following Thursday a panel of design experts including Jay Osgerby and Bethan Gray selected five young designers to become the Design Council’s first 'Future Pioneers discovered at New Designers’.
Every year, New Designers showcases the work of 3000 of the very best graduates across a host of creative disciplines from 200 of the UK’s leading design universities, colleges and courses. It is an essential event for those who wish to see iconic designs of the future before they hit the high street, buy original design, commission work, or meet and recruit the design world’s rising stars.
New Designers 2014 will take place at the Business Design Centre from 25-28 June and 2-5 July.