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– Written by Yana Lesyk, Ellen McConnell – July 12, 2023

New Designers: Showcasing the UK’s rising talent in creativity, innovation, and sustainability

New Designers, the annual showcase of the UK's most innovative emerging design talent, recently concluded its exhibition with over 3,000 graduates presenting their visionary ideas to industry professionals and the public.

Written by Yana Lesyk and Ellen McConnell

Each year New Designers hosts a series of awards inviting key industry leaders to reward graduate works in response to particular themes – week one showcasing textiles & fashion, ceramics & glass, jewellery & precious metalwork, and week two highlighting product & industrial design, spatial design and visual communications. With a focus on creativity, innovation, and sustainability, New Designers is a must-attend event for anyone interested in the future of design. Whether you’re a design enthusiast, a student, or a professional in the industry, there’s something for everyone at New Designers.

The Business Design Centre New Designer of the Year is a highly prestigious award rewarding passion, innovativeness, quality and inspiration which gives the winning graduate the highest adulation at the event. 

Beth Somerville, who will graduate from Falmouth University’s Textile Design degree this summer, has been announced as this year’s week one winner of New Designer of the Year Award. 

Beth’s collections, Stigma Stamen and Mountain Fold, explored the space where new technologies and old craft processes meet. This series included two textile collections – a trimmings and textiles collection which is digitally embroidered and a second, process-led, innovative, fabric collection inspired by mountains. Beth’s collection combined experimentation with modern techniques and showed bravery, juxtaposition, and beauty.

The week two New Designer of the Year Award was awarded to Tabitha Dudley – a graduate from Northampton University – for her project Frisson.

Frisson, translated from French as “aesthetic chills”, is a 220 page art book focussed on promoting the notion of self-soothing to 18-24 year-olds. Each of the six chapters of the book is dedicated to a sense, allowing the readers to understand how they can articulate themselves through every one of them when times get tough.

The Seymourpowell Design Award recognises projects which solve a real-world problem, demonstrating innovative thinking and an excellence in design execution. This year the winner is a Loughborough University graduate, Leia Milburn, who presented her project called Warmi – a wearable heating device with a closed water tubing system. The safer heating alternative provides direct, portable warmth to the wearer enabling them to turn down the heating at home and lower their energy bills.

Please see New Designers for a complete list of this year’s winners.