New Designers is a showcase for this year’s graduates in many design-based degree schemes. It is an opportunity for them to showcase their work to potential employers, clients etc. I’ve been meaning to go for several years and last week finally arrived at the London Business Design Centre for the exhibition of students from degrees including textiles and surface decoration.
It was a slightly overwhelming experience as there was just so much to look at. There were three floors and I think I managed to see about two thirds of everything there; by the end I’m not sure much was sinking in! The sheer range of individuality was impressive, certainly universities aren’t turning out clones where design is concerned. I enjoyed some of the non-textile exhibits the most as they were so different to the normal exhibited work I go to see.
Hamish Dobbie, a silversmith, had some really covetable items and one of his themes was small fragments, almost hexagonal, applied in layers and sparked thoughts of using this concept in patchwork.
Another metalworker, Sophie Naylor, had some almost elvish adornments – I particularly liked her crown.
Of course I did spend time with textiles, though I can’t find available images of some of my favourites. Mia Louise had a wonderful way with colour. I’m not sure I’d go every year to this but it’s certainly worth a least one visit just to see what work is being done at our art and design colleges. I must admit to feeling more than slightly envious of those able to spend three whole years in such stimulating environments.