What a celebration of talent the ‘New Designers 2013 Exhibition’ was at the Business Design Centre in London this week. I spent hours absorbing traditionally designed and technologically advanced products leaving me inspired and full of excitement for these young graduates starting their careers. The imagination and craftsmanship which went into some of the work was outstanding and I felt proud of a new generation of British designers who will (I’m sure) battle their way through the commercial challenges they now face to succeed. Here are some of my favourites.
Jackie Brett-Holt, designer/maker console table. Reminiscent of an Art Deco era this wooden and perspex design has all the ingredients of a high end bespoke piece.

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Josie Morris, product designer www.josiemorris.com ‘Handle Pendants’ are an industrial and commercial designers dream in ‘on trend’ copper.

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Cube by Andrew McKinney, product designer coroflot.com/amckinney This minimalist design is functional and simple in either brass, aluminium or steel.

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Two pieces which stood out were by Leala Dymond, furniture designer and upholsterer http://ldymond.weebly.com The Bungy self adjusting sofa, which has a yellow elastic cord, allows the user to rearrange the cushions to their own personal liking. Very clever. But the design that encouraged me to run away and skip into a yurt was ‘Furniture Rolls’ which was made from up-cycled fabric such as old unwanted clothes and upholsterers off cuts. The rolls can be adjusted to the users preference. Glamping, sitting in the garden, or in front of the fire will have a whole new level of comfort. This designer got a gold on so many levels for me.

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Poppy Wilson St James, designer, cook, gourmand www.poppywilsonstjames.com has designed ‘tools’ as I affectionately call them for eating insects. I kid you not. With the worlds population growing she is preparing us for the change towards eating insects as a source of protein as water supplies dwindle and space comes at a premium. As a vegetarian I can recommend some other protein options, before consuming crickets, but if you really want to give it go, Poppy’s utensils are going to make it easier and a prettier scene altogether. Good luck!

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Ever wanted to break up polystyrene as a kid and then regretted it as the little plastic balls attach themselves statically to your entire life and everything you own? Well Pippa Smart (she is) www.pippasmart.co.uk has done something rather wonderful. She has turned those disposable materials into beautiful products that look like marble.
Sarah Dorr, designer, www.sarahdorrdesigns.com was showcasing ‘Duplica’ a stool incorporating weave around a skeletal base. It had a modern ethnic feel and was quite intriguing.

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Emilia Turczyn’s Hedera footstool was beautiful in wood and leather and had a familiar feel about it. Almost pet like.

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Joe Mason’s www.facebook.com/joemasondesign coffee table ‘Reincarnate’ will almost certainly find its place in the retail chain fairly quickly as it was aesthetically pleasing and practical with hidden storage. Perfect for squirrelling away any mess with a swift scoop if guests arrive unannounced. How very dare they!

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Benjamin Ellis’s low table ‘Touch of nature’ www.bjamine.wix.com/elegance-by-design inspired by sculptural landscapes flows beautifully and has a calm aesthetic quality.
Jane Crisp, furniture designer, maker showcased the ‘Boardroom Clipper Chair’. Not what I would normally associate with a boardroom, but bring it on I say! It looked very comfortable and the back was designed brilliantly but I would have had to literally mow people down to get a photo of it, so apologies.

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Katharina Eisenkock www.katharinaeisenkoeck.com has used a combination of my favourite materials cement, leather and brass to produce friendly, stylish homely lighting. The ‘Icon’ lamps invite you to pick them up. The leather is boiled and shaped and the concrete and fibre mix base is surprisingly light

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Alexander Pyers low table had a bespoke tactile feel inspired by Berlin in winter. It’s the kind of table I would have loved as a child. Running my finger along the grooves it reminded me of those long childhood hours (or was it minutes?) spent as a child looking for interesting things around me while the adults pottered about doing chores.

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Some live exhibits in the form of gold fish in a cabinet tank by Dobromila Kruszynska were a fun alternative to a conventional tank though I’m not sure how the practicality of cleaning it would work. Having said that, I still want it.

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A few chairs I liked the look of…

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20130705-211157.jpg A few more interesting items worth mentioning

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Another favourite was this desk by Alexander White from ‘a white workshop’ www.awhiteworkshop.comThe construction was outstanding.

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Textile designer Alexandra Roberts www.allieroberts.wordpress.com has one of those talents that just hits the right spot. From the feminine and contemporary colours to the charming illustrations, what is not to fall in love with.

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Rachel Rainsbury, surface pattern designer had some pretty designs on plates and cups which would be adorable for tea in the garden.

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Hannah Myers prints had some interesting reflective work and I love the dark Victorian imagery. br />
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Mitchell Nelson www.mjnarts.com who is a very talented illustrator and graphic designer and one of the nicest people I met at the show. He had some fantastic work and he was selling his prints for £90 – a bargain!

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Madame Louvaine’s wew.madamelouvaine.com prints and textiles were beautiful. They reminded me of pressed flowers and Alexander McQueen AW13, the colours and patterns oozed loveliness.

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What a show. British design is flourishing and I am excited about the future. Congratulations to all the exhibitors and I wish them luck with their new journey. Thank you!