Video feature: New Designers 2013

The annual New Designers show features some of the best work by graduates across the country. We take a look at the highlights from this year's event, including levitating lights and unusual toilet seats.
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The work of more than 3,000 of the UK’s most talented design graduates from across the UK, was showcased at the recent New Designers 2013 show, held at the Islington Business Design Centre.

The event, which takes place in two parts, exhibits work in textiles and accessories, fashion, applied art, ceramics and glass, jewellery and precious metalwork as well as furniture and product design, visual communications, spatial design and motion arts.


The show is an opportunity for students to showcase their work to people in the design industry, while also competing to win coveted awards that are sponsored by companies such as John Lewis, Goldsmiths’ Company and Hallmark.

Many of the country’s top designers have exhibited at the show in the past, including world-famous Thomas Heatherwick, who designed the 2012 Olympic cauldron and redesigned London’s iconic red double-decker bus.

This year’s highlights included a levitating light by Milo Spisz ( which allows you to change the brightness and height of the lamp by holding your hand over it, a multiple usage side-table with a steel framework that can support books, magazines, lap-tops and headphones by Gil Muller (, a chair covered in newspaper print by Dobromila Kruszynska ( and a family of bird lamps by Jungmin Lee (

Watch our video to see some of the highlights from this year's show

New Designers 2013
Nicolette de Waart featured in the One Year On section of New Designers with her leaf chairs
As well as new design graduates, the show also featured past exhibitors in its One Year On section. Designers included Hugh Leader-Williams, with his spin stools now available on, Katharina Eienkoeck with her Nomadic Lights, leaf chairs by Nicolette de Waart and colourful cushions by Sian Elin. This show has launched the careers of designers and many of their items are now on sale in shops, while others, such as Sian Elin, have set up successful online stores ( and have received worldwide interest in their creations.

Top new designers to watch
Product design: Henry Franks
Northumbria University graduate Henry Franks won the coveted New Designer of the Year Award during the second part of the show for his reimagined designs of everyday objects that were inspired by his dyslexia. His design range features fun brass penguin door stops, double-hooked coat hangers and small, quirky pen pots.

Franks also designed an oak toilet seat with the loo roll holder on the front in an experiment to see how humour can be used to improve everyday objects. The loo roll at the front of the seat provides a clean handle for people to pick the seat up with and, Franks says, is arguably where you want the loo roll to be in the first place. Visit

Henry Franks
Henry Franks designed an oak toilet seat with the loo roll holder at the front (

Furniture design: Sam Baldry
Sam Baldry’s simple nest of tables are created from solid ash. The attention is in the detail of these tables which feature continuous wood grain, allowing the timber to expand and contract naturally. The unusual shape allows them to fit into the corner of a room or be arranged into an array of shapes.

Baldry has also designed a bold wooden lamp, called Charlie Browns Friend, and its head pivots and fully rotates. The chunky aeroply shade glows a peachy pink when it’s lit. Visit

New Designers 2013
Solid ash nest of tables my Sam Baldry (

New Designers: Natalie Ratcliffe
Natalie Ratcliffe's uses her pattern and print work to make attractive handcrafted homewares (
Textile design: Natalie Ratcliffe
Leeds College of Art graduate Natalie Ratcliffe won two awards for her work at this year’s show. The surface pattern designer and printmaker uses traditional and contemporary printmaking techniques to create eye-catching wallpaper, homeware and furnishings with a hand-finished quality. Visit

Furniture design: Andrew Lancashire
Andrew Lancashire’s furniture designs incorporate fine cabinetry through to glass and ceramics. His unique showpiece work involves exposing 1,100 degree Celsius molten glass to timber to create stylishly scorched pieces. Andrew’s work also features elegant handmade glass vases and slumped glass tealight holders. Visit

Watch our video interview with Andrew Lancashire

This year’s award winners include:
* Business Design Centre New Designer of the Year (Part 1): Kate Turton (Textiles)
* Business Design Centre New Designer of the Year (Part 2): Henry Franks (Furniture & Product Design)
* New Designer of the Year Runner Up (Part 1): Georgian Leung (Contemporary Applied Arts)
*New Designer of the Year Runner Up (Part 2): Colin O’Dowd (Furniture & Product Design)
*New Designers Goldsmiths' Company Award for Silversmithing: Florence Carter (Jewellery & Precious Metalwork)
*New Designers John Lewis Award for Design Excellence & Innovation (Part 1): Natalie Ratcliffe (Textiles)
*New Designers John Lewis Award for Design Excellence & Innovation (Part 2): Mihaela Ogarca (Furniture & Product Design)
* New Designers 100% Design Award: Leala Dymond (Furniture & Product Design)

To discover more designers from this year's show and for a full list of award winners visit

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