New Designer’s Part 2 – 2016

In a second whirlwind visit to the Business Design Centre last week, Part 2 of New Designer's brings together graduates from furniture, product, interior and digital, as well as a second helping of illustration. And as always, the array of work on offer, the quality and craftsmanship was of the highest standard.

When scouting for new talent and potential designers to work with, it's not simply about the end product, but the research, inspiration and detailing that catches my eye. On a personal level, I'm often drawn to sketch books, doodles and scribbles that a seed of an idea may have originated from, which then in turn leads to a final solution. Four designers in particular caught my eye this year, already showing huge promise and potential as up-and-coming designers with their commercially aware products, and interestingly, three of whom are graduates from the same university.

Francesca Moutafis, a product and furniture graduate from Kingston University, has comprised her final collection with a series of furniture and minimalist ceramics. Her sensitive touch with both mediums has given her the opportunity to create a cohesive, decorative and functional range of pieces.

Northumbria University, provided a well-rounded and professional collection of work that wouldn't be out of place on the shelves of Heal's or Habitat, and one of the stand-out areas of this year's part 2 exhibition. So unsurprisingly, I have chosen three graduates from Northumbria as my ones to watch.

Specialising in lighting design, Emma Graney has used architecture and geometry to influence her urban inspired pieces, with a mix of concrete and glass, combined with the fluidity of a traditional filament bulb. She intends to continue to grow her body of work, not only in lighting design, but would also like to experiment with furniture using timber. A hint of softness perhaps to compliment the brutalist lighting elements.

George Riding made the switch to the BA (Hons) Furniture & Product Design, after feeling limited in his creativity studying a BSc in Product Design and Engineering. Making the move has allowed him to look deeper into the emotional aspects of design, and creating a positive experience for the end user. His Indoor Watering Can was one of several pieces on show, focusing on functional and minimal aesthetic qualities.

Also graduating from Northumbria is product and furniture designer Olivia Post. Her Spin Lamp combines timber and copper and was designed to be functional and playful. Inspired by the child's toy, a spinning top, the interactive nature of the piece means it can act as a task or ambient light feature.

An impressive selection this year that not only motivates me as a designer, as well as a supporter of new talent, but inspires me too. The confidence with which new designers now promote themselves and their work is wonderful to see, setting up an online presence has become second nature with a plethora of self-titled studios and workshops already popping up across the country, it seems that creative endeavours won't be slowing down any time soon.

Designers from Left to Right...

Top - Emma Graney/ George Riding
Bottom - Francesca Moutafis/ Olivia Post

 

Design With A Story

Discovering like-minded and passionate people is always inspiring, whether a designer, advocator, educator or blogger, so it was lovely to be introduced to the Scandinavian version of Look Like Love, Nordic Design Collective. Having a received an invitation to their first pop-up shop based in Putney, South West London, it was an opportunity to share our approach, ethos and ideas on how we both support, nurture and promote our own native designers.

With a global appeal and popularity for Nordic design, (just add 'scandinavian style' into Pinterest and you'll see what mean,) founder Maria Richardsson spotted an opportunity to showcase a variety of designers from across the Nordics, and provide an online marketplace to sell their wares. With a strong emphasis on homeware and accessories, there is a beautiful freshness to the curated mix of independent designers on show, with simple materials, forms and colour combinations perfectly surmising the ever-popular Nordic style.

Designers from across the region can apply to be added to the site, but what links both Look Like Love and Nordic Design Collective is that there has to be story, a meaning behind each piece. This is not design for design sake, the layers of aesthetics have the ability to be peeled back to reveal something about them as a designer, their inspirations, their aspirations and ultimately their meaning.

Earlier in the year, the team sat down to try and outline their passion for what they offer and how this could influence and empower others. After several discussions and brainstorming sessions, the Nordic Design Collective Manifesto was launched, and now forms the basis for the company's approach and outlook not only on the business, but also as their own personal mantra.

Be Passionate. Life is too short to settle for less.
Create Great Things. Make stuff that makes you proud.
Share your Ideas. And give credit to the one who deserves it.
Be Kind. Compassion brings happiness.
Be Brave. Find your way and believe in it.

A simple set of rules, but powerful nonetheless, and with degree shows opening across the country as we speak, they feel even more important and relevant to to the next generation of new, independent designers.

Nordic Design Collective Popup Store in collaboration with Blåbär Nordic Living in Putney, London. Open from 20th June to 20th August.

Tamsin Arrowsmith-Brown

Made In Clerkenwell returns for Spring

Certain areas of London are renowned for their qualities and quirks be it cultural, aesthetic, architectural or demographic. One such area that stands out for its strong creative roots is Clerkenwell. Sandwiched in part by The Barbican, on the edge of the City, and also close to both Islington and Shoreditch, this small district has been a hub for designers of all disciplines for many years.

With Vitra plotting its London flagship here, as well as Clerkenwell Design Week growing in popularity yearon year, Craft Central have a relatively quiet spot in the heart of EC1. Perched on the corner of Clerkenwell Green, with a larger Victorian building on St. John’s Square just across the road, it offers not only short-term, (and affordable) gallery spaces for its members, but also a larger support network for new, emerging and established designers/makers.

One of it’s main events is Made In Clerkenwell, a bi-annual showcase that celebrates the 100 resident designers and members across its two spaces, opening their doors to the public for a ‘behind-the-scenes’ wander around the studios, and the opportunity to buy directly from designers before pieces reach stockists and retailers.

Forest + Found

This Spring the focus is on all things new, so expect to see pre-launch collections as well as work-in- progress prototypes, and a glimpse at designers’ processes and inspiration.

Tamsin Arrowsmith-Brown

‘We are extremely excited to offer visitors the chance to view new collections and prototypes by our designer makers, try out specialist crafts through Bezalel Workshops as well as learn more about the history of Clerkenwell through our guided walking tours. A particular highlight will be awarding one of our talented members £500 to develop their new collection’  says Louisa Pacifico, Chief Executive, Craft Central

Megan Collins

Expect to see an array of talented designers including our very own hand-picked jewellery designer Megan Collins, Forest and Found and Tamsin Arrowsmith-Brown.

Made In Clerkenwell: Spring 2016 is on from 18-21 May.
Further details can be found at: www.craftcentral.org.uk

Colours To Dye For

As a designer myself, it feels like there is a natural default when looking at concepts for a new project. Unless otherwise briefed of course, a moodboard can quickly emerge that includes sleek, minimal images. An abundance of monochrome details, and the mainstay, grey, whether warm or cool, will feature in some capacity. We are sometimes a little afraid of colour, there'll be an accent here, a detail there, but to fully embrace colour is often a rarity.

House of Arike, the independent British brand has tapped into this fear, and are asking us to fully immerse ourselves in not only colour, but pattern too. In 2013 Creative director Yemi Onibiyo decided to leave her career in Criminal Law behind and follow her dream to start a luxury interior design business.

Taking inspiration from traditional African fabrics, Yemi and her design team create prints with a contemporary edge. Using responsibly sourced, sustainable materials, everything is designed and produced in the UK.

I met up with Yemi a few weeks ago as she launched her new collection at Tent London, her first time there, as part of London Design Festival. Having spent time developing her brand, and launching her website, the latest collection shows a new level of confidence in her bold use of colour. Something that did not go unnoticed by interiors magazine Living Etc, picking House of Arike out as their 'one to watch'.

As well as continuing to produce soft furnishings, Yemi is also expanding her brand with small homeware pieces, namely coasters and oven gloves, to appeal to a wider audience, as well as spill colour across every room.

House of Arike's mission is clear, even if you remove just one bland piece from your home, replace with a hit of colour. Whether a coaster or a cushion, it's time to not be afraid of bold patterns and clashing prints, and you'll be safe in the knowledge that it'll always look good next to a grey backdrop.

House of Arike's new collection will be available to buy at The London Artisan at Truman Brewery, on the 22nd November at the Look Like Love stall.

 

New Designer’s 2015 – Part One; Surface Pattern & Textiles

After a few technical issues with the blog this week, I can finally bring you my favourite Surface Pattern and Textiles graduates from New Designers...All my top finds from Part 2 are coming soon...

Harriet Mackie
Leeds School of Art
Printed Textiles & Surface Pattern Design

I had the pleasure of meeting Harriet when I visited, and she took me through her extensive portfolio of colourful, clashing, bright prints. Each design starts with a simple hand-drawn study which is then converted into a repeat pattern to eventually be used on wallpaper, gift wrap and accessories. Harriet is intending to use the facilities available at Leeds School of Art to further develop her collection, and in the meantime, I’ll be seeing how many rooms I can re-decorate to include her designs.
http://www.artsthread.com/portfolios/tropicalefflorescence/

 

Siobhan Louise
Carmarthen School of Art
Textiles; Knit, Weave, Mixed Media

Siobhan’s collection of cushions, plates and mugs with her geometric influences really stood-out. Inspiration comes in many forms, so it was surprising and refreshing that her final pieces were based around her love of football, and the abstracted patterns have created a strong collection of simple monochrome magic.
www.facebook.com/SiobhanLouiseTextiles

Pop-Up+ Campaign Design

With 4 weeks to go until the launch of our next pop-up, I wanted to turn the attention to the events calendar we’ve put in place, an exciting new addition to Look Like Love.

It seems like a pop-up, well, pops up every week in London, and with Clerkenwell Design Week happening a stones throw away, we wanted to present a pop-up+ so an opportunity to meet the designers taking part, working in the space, creating their one-off and limited editions live in store. We wanted to showcase their work, as well as their story and unique point of view as an emerging talent jostling for position in an ever-competitive creative industry.

Sitting alongside these fresh faces, we have invited creatives with over 20 years industry experience to talk about their approach and how they have made their mark on the creative landscape, as well as offering guidance and advice to the next generation.

On Wednesday 20th May, creative director Philip Handford of London-based agency Campaign Design, will talk about the Future of Retail Design and how the experiential elements of design are carving out a new shopping experience for consumers.

 

Burberry, London

 

Philip has worked for some of the most successful global design agencies, including Imagination and Universal Design Studio before setting-up Campaign, securing Burberry as his first client.

The last five years have seen the agency grow with clients including 3.1 Philip Lim, Dunhill and Selfridges to name a few, with each having a unique point of view, there is definitely no ‘house style’ when you look at the portfolio of projects on Campaign’s website.

 

 3.1 Philip Lim | Pelham Street, London

 

With The Fragrance Lab taking over the entire corner of Selfridges late last year, and the first time customers could walk through the window, it was a unique sensory experiential journey to create a bespoke fragrance, the ultimate personal service without a pushy spraying sale assistant in sight.

This approach to retail design that envelopes the customer gives an interesting insight into consumer behaviours, something that Philip continues to explore at varying levels depending on the client and environment.

 

The Fragrance Lab | Selfridges, London

 

Come and meet Philip on Wednesday 20th May from 2-3pm as he talks about his approach and point of view when it comes to design that engages all the senses.

Spaces are limited, so book your free ticket here.

See what else is on offer during the week on our Up-coming Events page

Coming Up…

LLL-Event Image

The last few weeks have been a little bit of a whirlwind for us. We've secured our gallery space just of Brick Lane in East London, confirmed the designers taking part, and been accepted to be part of Shoreditch Design Triangle for a second year running!

With a mere 6 weeks to go until London Design Festival kicks off, (we cannot believe how fast the time is flying by) here's a snapshot of a few of the designers you can expect to see on the 16th September to celebrate the launch of our new online shop.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be telling you a bit more about each designer, the new website and what to expect on the night itself...

Beneath the Surface

This week we introduce the second new designer who'll be joining us from September, Printed Textile Designer, Holly Eden.

A 2013 graduate from De Montford University, Holly came to see us last weekend with one of the largest collections of printed silks we've seen to date!

Holly's final collection entitled, 'Beneath the Surface', was inspired by an old mansion house with layers and layers of decaying and contrasting patterns lining its walls, each of her printed silks representing these layers as if they had been peeled away.

Hues of aquamarine, lemon yellow and accents of pink and grey give the collection a soft, fresh feel, with a whimsical hand-drawn aesthetic she has screen-printed onto each scarf. There is also a certain romanticism with each piece, as if you'd stumbled across an old hatbox filled with vintage silks.

She is currently working full-time as a designer-maker, and has recently added silk headbands to her graduate collection, a selection of which, along with her scarves will be available in the next few months.

 

And the Nominees Are…

 
At this Summer's New Designers event we came across a great range of talent, and ear-marked a few designers to get in touch with. One of which, some of you may remember that caught our eye was Clea Jentsch from Kingston University, with her simple, clean lines and pastel shades of her Desk Tidy series.
 
We just had to sign her up for our online shop, and a month or so later, after catching up with Clea in Shoreditch, we launched her limited edition collection.
 
Sitting pride of place on our home page, the pieces showcase the simplicity and creativity of working with honest materials and we are pleased to be representing Clea and her collection as she forges her path as a new designer.
 
 
Last week we heard from Clea to let us know that she has been shortlisted for the New Design Britain Awards which run in conjunction with INTERIORS UK.
 
The judges revealed which entrants have made it through to the final, and will be displaying their designs at the UK's definitive trade interiors event where the winners will be announced.
 
 
Now in its 10th year, the New Design Britain awards celebrate young design talent, uniquely giving them a platform to industry, like no other trade show. The awards are judged according to four categories: Furniture, Furnishing Accessories, Fabrics and Surfaces. Shortlisted from 150 entries, a list of all the finalists including Clea can be found here.
 
On the INTERIORS UK facebook page you can vote by liking your favourite designer. You can vote for any of the nominees but of course we would love your support for Clea! Vote here.

 

And not to give a sales pitch, you can find Clea's shortlisted collection online to buy now, a design classic in the making, we think so!

It Started With…

Nine months ago in our daily search for new and interesting design talent, we came across furniture designer and up-cycler Yinka Ilori. His approach to recycled design was something a bit different, and not your average shabby chic styling.
As a relatively new designer, (he graduated in 2008) he has been slowly building a following and portfolio of work. His strong design ethos of incorporating story-telling or Nigerian parables from his childhood gave a fresh perspective on furniture design, and the use of unloved pieces as a starting point added that extra depth to each piece.

We met Yinka in the depths of Winter with the intention of presenting his work through our on-line shop, when he pitched the idea of wanting to have his first solo show, and would we be interested in helping him achieve his goal...

 
Fast-forward to the evening of Thursday 12th September, and The Old Shoreditch Station on Kingsland Road in London is bustling with friends, family and press to celebrate the launch of 'It Started With A Parable' Yinka Ilori's first solo show, and a chance to celebrate our collaboration, and more importantly to showcase Yinka's unique furniture designs.
Set against the back-drop of the ultimate recycled building, The Old Shoreditch Station was brought back to life by its owners JaguarShoes Collective using a mish-mash of re-used furniture and fittings, and is now a thriving bar, cafe and shop in the heart of East London.
Yinka's pieces now adorn the windows, ceilings and walls in an explosion of colour and sculptural shapes.

Staying true to our company ethos of supporting, promoting and nurturing new designers, we feel we have achieved our goal, and in his speech on Thursday evening, Yinka feels he has achieved his too, our job here is done!

'It Started With A Parable' runs from 12th September to 24th November 
at The Old Shoreditch Station, 1 Kingsland Rd  London, E2 8AA

See the full photo album via our Facebook Page
All pieces are available to buy from
The Old Shoreditch Station now
and via Look Like Love in the next few weeks...