After quite a few stressful weeks of searching, we can now confirm we've found a gallery space to showcase a range of fantastic new and emerging designers, including the newest additions from our New Talent Search, as well as officially launch our all singing, all dancing website!
We have already begun the exciting, although slightly daunting process of curating our newest crop, and hope to find a few more fresh faces at the upcoming New Designers and D&AD New Blood graduate shows over the coming weeks to add to the mix of illustrators, product, furniture and fashion designers you'll see on show in a few months time during London Design Festival, so, watch this space…
We first came across Tom Hutchinson's work during our annual scout of 'New Designers'. Sat quietly in the corner of the Islington's Business Design Centre, three simply crafted and beautifully minimal glass, timber and felt pieces were on show, and immediately caught our eye.
Tom of course made our shortlist, and having been in frequent contact about stocking his elegant wares, he told us about his Kickstarter project to take his first collection from the workshop to full scale production.
Based in the heart of York in the UK, Tom and his business partner JJ are passionate about beautiful materials, quality craftsmanship and thoughtful design. After graduating in November 2013 with a degree in Product Design and Business Management, he set about creating his first homeware range, Obtineo, combining contemporary design with traditional manufacturing methods, and all entirely crafted in the UK. The simplicity of the range gives it amazing versatility, from classic kitchen storage, to a place to keep your keys.
His Kickstarter project hit our inbox a little over a week ago accompanied by a short film and a selection of his pieces to pledge for. Instantly spoilt for choice we are keeping our fingers crossed that in a few months time, not only have Tom and JJ reached there goal, we also have our very own piece of the Obtineo range!
Tom's story is exactly why we do what we do. New design talent in the UK shouldn't be overlooked, dreams shouldn't be put to one side. Passion, persistence and the belief in an idea is all you need to do something that you love…
If you would like to support Tom's project, visit tomhutchinsondesign.co.uk and click Kickstarter to find out more...
Set to take over flagship store La Rinascente, Afrofuture is a showcase of how Africa, the world's second largest continent, is exploring new frontiers through media, events and performance.
'Afrofuture shines a modern, pan-African light on what can, is and could happen in design in and beyond Africa...and to think big about how the rapidly emerging future will see mould-breaking designers coming from radical underground to the global mainstream.' says showcase developer and writer, Nana Ocran.
During the week-long programme of events, on Wednesday 10th April, Yinka will be presenting, 'The Art of Storytelling' a live up-cycling session using vintage European furniture, and upholstering the pieces in Nigerian fabrics, a signature of his, and an appropriate clash of cultures for the exhibition itself. We caught up with him about his imminent trip...
How did you get selected as an exhibitor?
"Being part of Afrofuture at the the La Rinascente all came about when Beatrice Galilee, the curator, contacted me via email. She came across my work on-line with an interview that I did with writer Stephanie Baptist a few months ago on the blog Another Africa.
I invited Beatrice and her assistant to my studio, and she really liked my previous work, and workshop proposal for Afrofuture. The invitation to be part of the exhibition came soon after. It was unbelievable, I never thought that this opportunity would happen so soon! I am really excited, and at the same time nervous...more excited now it's so soon though..."
What are you most looking forward to?
"I am really looking forward to my workshop...it's the first time for doing a workshop, let alone in Milan! It's a great opportunity for me to push myself and try something totally different. If it's successful, maybe it will be something I will consider doing in the future. It would a good opportunity to give people an insight into my thoughts when up-cycling, and how I use Nigerian parables to tell meaningful stories through my work..."
"...All the action of the workshop will be curated with a special Nigerian playlist I created, including legendary artists like Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade. I grew up listening to this music, my parents always played it in the house...all of their music told stories and changed lives, and that's something that I've always wanted to emulate in my work. Being able to bring these two powerful elements together is going to be a phenomenal experience!"
Have you got any plans to visit any other shows?
"I will be there for three days so I will be trying my hardest to check out a lot of the designers and their shows/installations. I am most excited about seeing The Kane Kwei Carpentry Workshop, a studio established in Teshie, Ghana in the 1950s. It is known for its design coffins that became symbolic of African artistic creativity. It's also showcasing as part of Afrofuture, so something I am really looking forward to seeing..."
"...I also want to check out Lee Broom's crystal bulbs, I think they are amazing! And also Designersblock...so many exciting things to see, you should see my list, it's crazy!"
Blog & Buy Sale is a company with an ethos very much like our own. They offer a platform to support and promote independent designer/makers from all over the world, picking pieces and products that wouldn't necessarily be seen, and bringing them to the fore, in an on-line curated gallery of hand-made delicacies.
We have been following Blog & Buy Sale pretty much since we set-up, and they have been great supporters of ours over the past two years, so it seems only fitting to return the favour and highlight them, and the talented designers they support.
It may not feel very Spring-like right now, but on Sunday 17th March, Blog & Buy Sale launched their 'Spring Wish List' A showcase of hand-picked pieces made from submissions received over the last month or so. Along with many other talented designers, we are privileged to have pieces from our very own designers selected, namely Kayleigh Hadley, Natalie Hough and Ben Phe, and from the huge array of prints, gifts and home-ware, we thought we'd pick some of our favourites too...
With Cupid primed to shoot his arrow next week, we look ahead to the launch of the Valentine's pop-up, Love.Make Designs at Craft Central's Corner Shop in Farringdon, London.
Running from 11th-17th February Love.Make Designs is showcasing four fine independent designer/makers based in the U.K who are working together to turn the Corner Shop into a Valentine's inspired treasure trove, guaranteed to melt the coldest of hearts!
We are very excited to see these amazing, unique offerings from four truly talented creative, independent designer/makers next week, it's time to celebrate the best of new British design for 2013...
For more details visit: