The first week of July is quite a milestone across the UK in the design world – New Designers, the largest and most prestigious exhibition of graduate designers opens at the Business Design Centre in London. Showing their work to both industry and public, this is often the first opportunity the designers have to show their work to such a wide audience. Sussex Product Design has a large stand at New Designers, with around twelve students being selected to exhibit at the event. created by US asked designer Anna Lemos, who recently graduated with a First class BSc in Product Design from Sussex to give a run down of the New Designers event and experience…
‘ For 4 days, the top UK design graduates put out their best work to leave industry and the general public in awe. Furniture, illustration, graphics, set design, product design… They had it all! Companies such as John Lewis, The Mars Company, Wilko and Tigerprint – to name a few, all attended and awarded fantastic prizes throughout the event. It is not just a show where each graduate stands a little too eagerly by their stand, trying to rope someone from industry to talk to and hoping, above all else, to be employed there on the spot, but rather an intense opportunity to listen to fantastic talks, meet people from industry and, most importantly, meet fellow students from the different Universities. Whether you are making friends or your competitive side gets the better of you, it is a real eye opener to see what people in the same position as you can really do. It also makes you realise that networking is the key. Let me show you a glimpse of what the week had in store.
Each of the universities have their own stand space within the huge open area of the Business Design Centre and are able to inject their own personality and individuality into the stand. It was really interesting to see how the designs varied, and the trends that ran through a lot of the stands.
The Sussex stand featured elements that had come from the Degree Show at Sussex, altered to suit the 35sqm space limitations of the New Designers space.
The talks were simply fantastic. These seminars included Business Know-How and IP, materials, illustrations, commercial viability and the fusion between digital and physical design – really interesting and insightful stuff from industry experts.
It was fantastic to see the range of products that were being exhibited by all the graduate designers from the different universities and speak to them about their work, as well as explaining our own designs and products to others. It was really interesting to see that our own stand had one of the largest varieties of products on show, which we were really proud to see.
The product that stole my heart was definitely Sussex product designer Maxim Grew’s Intrepid Camera. If traditional forms of photography, such as large format photography die out we would surely be losing an art form. Maxim simply modernised the manufacturing process creating an open source project that allows anyone to download the CAD files and boom! Add a laser cutter or 3D printer and you’ve got yourself a fully functional camera. The bellows are made of card and fabric and, according to Camera Man Maxim Grew, the lenses are easy to come by in camera shops. More over, the film used is exactly the same as that featured in an instant Polaroid so have no fear! You’ll always be able to get your hands on some film. Keep an eye out for this one – I hear he might be setting this up on Kick-starter! (Ed – cheers Anna – check out Maxim’s Intrepid Camera website here – I’m first in line for one of these!)
It was wonderful to be able to talk to everyone about our work, and although it was incredibly exhausting, it was a fantastic experience to set us off into the big, wide world of design…’
Thank you to Anna for her excellent review of New Designers for created by US – we can’t wait to see how the products and designs will be developed from here and we will of course keep you all updated of any news on production, Kick Starters etc…
(photos by Anna Lemos)