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Skin Communications is delighted to be promoting the highly anticipated New Designers which is returning in June. It is showcasing 3,000 breakthrough designers, makers & disruptors once again. Creatives will gather at the Islington Business Design Centre to share their visions for the future of design, tackling sustainability, innovation and topical issues such as mental health and the cost-of-living crisis.

Visitors who attend New Designers ready to find the hottest design trends can expect to see products that have just made it to market at ND Selects – the New Designers’ section dedicated to shining a light on new businesses in the design industry including Bangkok based ceramics studio Lamunlamai, Martina Kocianova fantastical jewellery inspired by her childhood memories spent mushroom foraging, and Make Relief design studio that combines traditional and contemporary manufacturing techniques including CNC machining, plaster & resin casting, and mould-making. This year’s ND Selects has been curated by Louisa Pacifico, founder of Future Icons.

New Designers’ much-look-forward-to talks and workshops programme ND Educates returns for 2023, giving visitors the opportunity to hear from leading brands, designers, and industry experts as they offer unique insights into the latest design trends and discuss key themes. Ceramic Review hosts a conversation with contemporary ceramicist Francis Lloyd-Jones. Tom Banks; Editor of Design Week will lead a panel discussion with design-led businesses which are adopting circular design principles, including Adam Wade, MD, Anglepoise; The ND official legal partners CMS CMNO will host discussions on Intellectual Property in Design joined by Helen Newman from Stella McCartney, and James Wood, Studio Wood; Work In Design Podcast host, Kieron Bakewell, will be in conversation with fashion designer Zoe de Pass about making it in her design career; London Glassblowing will be leading a panel with three artists including Tim Rawlinson ‘A decade on since graduating’. The full ND Educates programme will be accessible for booking here.

Sustainability in Design

Designers are increasingly incorporating sustainable ideals, ethical processes, and circular design principles into their creations. Many of this year’s designs are made with recycled, or ‘waste’ materials. Erica Earle-Robertson’s (Edinburgh College of Art) jewellery collection named ‘Kuruka,’ meaning ‘to weave’ in Shona, is centred around the traditional craft of Zimbabwean weaving which uses indigenous materials and sustainable methods in its process.

Meanwhile, Peter Warrington (Birmingham City University) has sought to reinvent the kettle – one of the most discarded pieces of domestic technology. Among other modifications, Peter’s design includes an entirely user replaceable heating element – the most common point of failure in the current commercially available design. Bournemouth University students will showcase products responding to water shortages, including Tundra – the world’s first water bottle that can melt, store and filter snow and a rainwater collector which can pressurise water to a similar pressure to a mains supply respectively.

On Thursday 29 June Crafts Council will host a panel that brings together makers from different craft disciplines who will discuss the motivations, barriers and changes that could be made around sustainability. There will be an opportunity to meet and network with Crafts Council and the makers after the talk as part of New Designers Thursday Late session. The Design Council will also host a sustainability focused talk at New Designers, discussing the story of their sustainable graphic design discoveries from their recent brand refresh process.

Innovation in sustainable design is also recognised at New Designers through the highly anticipated Awards Programme. This years’ stand out awards celebrate sustainability models including upcycling and repurposing materials and works that raise awareness and call people to action to change things that are not serving us and our planet. Creative Conscience Ethical Makers’ Award judges are looking for designs that will improve society for the better and joint MD’s of Anglepoise are looking for designers who are answering the question ‘will the planet thank you?’ through their products for their Anglepoise Abandon Darkness Award, alongside the Decorex International Sustainability Award which will provide winners with the opportunity to exhibit at Decorex design fair in the autumn.

Innovative use of materials

Birmingham University’s Emily Cross will present ‘Sculpt’ which uses felt as an alternative to typical shelves and entryway bowls for handbag essentials. Inspired by gallery exhibitions, it uses the adaptable nature of felt to create an attractive and easy-to-use piece of furniture which allows people to store their pocket items close to the door in a new way.

Ceramic Review Initiative Award will be given to a ceramic artist who is taking traditional processes and style into a new and exciting direction. Diana porter Jewellery Associate Prize will be awarded to a designer who creates unique crafts and clearly considers their use of materials and design integrity.

Inclusivity and social mobility

University of Northampton student Natalie Sherlock will be showcasing their project ‘Tattwo Stories’, a campaign designed to eliminate tattoo discrimination within the workplace. New Designer’s talks and workshops programme also responds to these increasingly prevalent themes, Cockpit will host a panel on their efforts towards Diversity & Inclusion in the craft sector, in Week 1 and AOI is scheduled to run a mini business masterclass at the show. In this masterclass, they will cover the transition from student to freelance illustrator with practical tips on how to set yourself up, manage your finances, promote yourself, reach out to clients, and draft watertight contracts.

The Creative Motivation with Make it in Design Award will offer the winner online Creative Coaching Sessions with Rachael Taylor an award-winning Creative Director and bestselling author to help provide young designers with support to step up into the design industry. The Joseph Stannah Award will provide £1,000 to support the development of a designer’s career who is incorporating designs that promote independent living and addresses real life problems.

Health and Wellbeing

Carrie Slinn University of Northampton Graphic Communication Design student, will unveil ‘Unpack’ at New Designers – a campaign created in response to the mental health and wellbeing crisis at university. Additionally, Harvey Mckellar’s (Sheffield Hallam) will present a 25-degree park bench that uses its unique angles to encourage positive human interaction between strangers and aims to combat loneliness.

Artist and Graphic Designer, June Minyama-Smithson, will be participating in a talk along with Typographer, Alison Molyneux on how to manage creative jealousy in order to preserve your mental wellbeing. As part of ND Awards, the NHS Royal Free Trust will present the Innovation in Healthcare Prize which offers a winning student a one month placement exposing them to the creative side of working within the NHS. The placement gives students the chance to see how healthcare transforms and implements medical products, services, and platforms.

For Tickets:

Justin Mallinson

Justin Mallinson

Co-founder and Director of Skin Communications