When it's scorching outside, a part of me knows there's a group of very overheated design graduates setting up for yet another year of the New Designers exhibition. Whether it's purely down to the weather or just the 3,500 excited students in one building, the heat is cooled by the refreshing perspective on design that awaits inside.
For those who are new to New Designers, it's basically the biggest graduate show for designers from colleges and universities across the UK, all travelling down to the Business Design Centre in London. From jewellery to industrial, the exhibition caries over two weeks; week one being more textile/fashion and week two focusing on furniture/products.
Always packed to the brim with design, it can sometimes be a lot to take in, so if you're visiting I would suggest blocking out a good afternoon. That being said, I managed to make it along to week one and although mine was a rushed visit, here are some designers that grabbed my attention.
Natalia has really great presentation in the exhibition, taking up a whole wall with her part prints and part embroidery. With each of the works being framed in embroidery hoops, it gave a nice craft feeling to it. Most importantly the final result looked great, with wildlife sketches that are charming and I really like the hand drawn feel contrasting with the strictness of the fabric stripes.
We've all seen rather a bit of floral jewellery in our time, so I really liked Ciara's bold approach that took inspiration from patterns found in plants. The bold mix of colours and large scale really helped her stand out from the crowd in New Designers, being great show pieces for those who want to make an impact.
On the compete other end of the colour spectrum, I found this concrete jewellery very interesting, particularly the use of the right angle in the necklace. Generally in jewellery it's about adding sparkle as an accessory, so I think these give quite a different feel, almost weighing down the wearer.
Emma Louise Payne
Not strictly a new designer, but Emma was in fact invited back to be part of the One Year On exhibition curated by Jethro Macey. I know Emma through our current collaboration, so it was great to see what other projects she's been working on. The Tilt tea set is a lovely simple ceramic set that uses smooth curved shapes contrasted with straight lines in parts. The domed bases mean that the cups only stand upright when it's full, giving a fun interaction with the product.
New Designers runs until 7th July, more information at www.newdesigners.com
Follow Richard Brownlie-Marshall on Twitter: www.twitter.com/richardsbm