July 1, 2016

The Up and Coming | New Designers Part One

FILED IN: Uncategorized

Blimey. If anything was going to cheer me up this week (yes, still harping on about you Brexit) it was going to be New Designers. Over 3,000 budding young rays of talent filling up the Business Design Centre and presenting the latest in design and fashion.

Part One of the event showcases textiles, fashion, jewellery, metalwork, ceramics and other contemporary design crafts – a whole mix of alternative practises to inspire and get your own creative thoughts rolling. It’s always a pleasure to discover the next hopefuls making their way into the creative industry and as usual (the chatty one I am) I’m always like to have a good old nose into what everyone think their future holds.

David Bowie inspired collection by Lydia Grace, Falmouth University
Texture, colour and geometric shapes appeared to be a big hit amongst a lot of the students and of course I couldn’t have been happier to see so much pattern filling the room. What was interesting with lots of the projects this year was the amount of research into the final outcome; in some cases mark makings on ceramics led to surface pattern design which then in turn led back to ceramic design, all in all some very complex processes which I’m sure has led to some very good grades.

It’s all got me thinking about my own creations and how I really need to get back into a rhythm of making on a weekly basis. Life is so sad without doodling, isn’t it? I need to make the time to collaborate ideas and actually get them down on paper.

Eliza Glanville, Glasgow School of Art
Another great aspect of the show is the innumerable amount of companies offering their own knowledge and picking out their favourite pieces. When you walk around the show you’ll see notes from John Lewis, Absolut and Not on the Highstreet – all very exciting accolades to receive when pitted against so many others going into the same industry as you. The awards evening sees the most promising of the designers presented with cash prizes and internships, a helpful hand when you’re probably feeling slightly directionless. This year the highly esteemed award of BDC New Designer of the Year went to Rob Anderson of Sheffield Hallam, so do take a look at his collection of hand-raised iron, copper and steel vessels – beautiful earthy tones and true craftsmanship at it’s best.

Theo Riviere, Leeds College of Art
Naming just a few of the designers to keep an eye out on is hard but my favourites included Lydia Grace, Eliza Glanville, Johanna Samuelsson, Theo Riviere, Emily Stopford and One Year On participant Lydia Mary. All are very much in keeping with my own style but have something a little different about them, something that made me stop to stare and want to know more. I hope to catch some of them a little later down the line and find out a little more but do check them out in the meantime and let me know who you want to see more of here. 

Well that’s all folks, until next week anyway. Part Two is just around the corner and I’m going crazy with excitement to see what graphic design and illustration have in store for us. I’ll whack all of the info on New Designers below and drop me a message if you’re exhibiting next week so I can make sure I visit you.


Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London, N1 0QH

See here for Opening hours & buy tickets here


  1. I know so little about design but I do love what Lydia has produced – there is something so eye catching to her piece that is strong 🙂

    Erin | art & bad dreams

  2. Hey Erin! Yes, Lydia's work stopped me in my tracks. I guess that's what it is all about! x

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Emma Jane Palin is a freelance art consultant, interior stylist and multi-award-winning blogger residing in Margate, UK. She has worked with various home and lifestyle brands not limited to West Elm, Apple, John Lewis, Habitat, MADE, Caran D'Ache + No.3 Gin. Emma is also a regular contributor to Hunker where she writes about design trends and interior advice.

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