New Designers 2015 – Part 1

Thirty years ago, London's New Designers fair launched to create a high-profile platform for UK design graduates to come together and exhibit their work. Soon the cream of this year's crop will share that stage again in search of fame and fortune. Will the next Thomas Heatherwick please stand up... 


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2015 is proving to be a landmark year in the design community. SCP has just turned 30 and marked the occasion with a special show at the Design Museum (see our post) and New Designers, the London exhibition dedicated to showcasing the year's best design graduates, has just reached its 30th birthday too. So there’s bound to be a celebratory mood when Islington's Business Design Centre opens its doors for New Designers 2015, ushering in more than 3,000 young talents over two weeks, and an excited audience of design fans, buyers and media scouts on the lookout for the next big thing. 

Split into two parts, Part 1 (24-27 June) focuses on craft-based design such as ceramics and glass, textiles and fashion, jewellery and precious metalwork, while Part 2 (1-4 July) features furniture, product and industrial design, graphics, illustration and digital design.

One Year On is a specially curated section within each week's show that represents designers who are in their first year of trading and are forging links with industry. Each designer has been specially selected for the quality of their work and their entrepreneurial flair. One Year On is a great chance to see how these rising stars have honed their fledgling business skills and how they’ve developed creatively since graduating.

ABOVE: CHLOE MELLEN One Year On Chloe Mellen's eye-catching and elegant 'Perception of Time' collection of jewellery and accessories is inspired by how the passage of time has affected her life, actions and emotions. Made of copper, brass, leather and Swarovski crystal, these are deeply desirable pieces with bags of chutzpah. Seen above: 'Handheld Monocle'

New Designers 2014 - Credit James Champion (1).JPG

The highly anticipated New Designers Awards will also reward the most Fizztastic students with accolades including the coveted New Designer of the Year Award which is given to the most innovative and skilled graduate in each of the week's shows. Look out for award certificates pinned proudly on the best stands or pick your own favourites.

So, we’ll certainly be raising a glass or two to celebrate 30 years of New Designers, but before we do here's a sneak preview from Part 1…
New Designers 2015 Part 1, 24-27 June; Part 2, 1-4 July. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1

Five Fizzpicks at New Designers Part 1

ANNA TRAINOR Ulster University
Anna Trainor's bold geometric prints simply fizz with energy. Inspired by architectural structures and optical illusions, these vibrant colour fields are digitally translated from hand-dyed and hand-cut paper designs on to silky cotton sateen. Not for the faint-hearted and all the better for it.

These delicate looking crumpled vessels are tougher than they seem. Emily Patricia Wiles has converted the soft folds of fabric into elegiac porcelain sculptures that yearn to be allowed to collapse in on themselves. The sophisticated colour palette of off-white and grey reveals every subtle ripple and crease. Understated and extremely beautiful, we predict they'll be popping up in chichi galleries very soon.

DANIELA EVANS Arts University Bournemouth
There's something of the theatrical about Daniela Evans' work. Her intricate textile designs are inspired by the circus and as such are show-stopping pieces in their own right. Evans uses complex structures and patterns to create striking and elegant pieces that demand attention. We think Gaga should get in touch pronto...

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Sofia Dawe's high-octane, pattern-tastic accessories fuse the richness of Persian rugs with the energy of urban street art and graphics. It's a culture clash that works particularly well here as Dawe's keen eye for contrast and colour manages to pull these disparate elements together to create a distinctive range of digitally printed cushions and scarves.

Abbie Chilton, Bath Spa University, '180', 2014, Low Res - ND 2015.jpeg

ABBIE CHILTON Bath Spa University
We love this triangular jigsaw/sculpture by Abbie Chilton. The use of different woods creates a dynamic rhythm across an ordered grid which also employs 3D pyramid shapes to halt the eye and create subtle drama. Angles and triangles hold a particular fascination for Chilton who also channels them into elegant hanging sculptures made from thin steel rods.

New Designers exhibition picture by James Champion