On the 26 June 2013, New Designers, which brings together over 3,000 of the UK’s best emerging designers in two instalments, opened its doors to 1,867 visitors, a record number in the show’s 28 year history.
Acclaimed author, journalist and design critic Alice Rawsthorn officially opened Part 1 of the show, which features textiles, fashion, ceramics, glass and metalwork. She presented the coveted New Designers Awards to this year’s most talented design graduates and said: “For anyone graduating now, this is a daunting time thanks to the economic recession. But the good news for anyone who wants to make their career in design and craft is that there has never been a better time to do so.”
These awards recognise the design world’s rising stars, offering winners and runners-up vital support as they embark on professional careers.
New Designers John Lewis Award for Design Excellence and Innovation
Prize: £1000. John Lewis will also be inviting exceptional graduates to interview for a one year placement with the John Lewis design studio.
Winner: Natalie Ratcliffe
Title of work: Paper Bouquet (collection of wild flower prints)
University / College: Leeds College of Art
Judges’ citation: “Stand out collection, good scale and composition, directional approach to colour. It strikes the balance of making a real statement and having commercial appeal. The stories behind the collection and the interesting approach to techniques all add to the depth of the work.”
Winner’s comment: “Being selected as the prize winner of the John Lewis Award is a great honour as I have always admired the way that the company champions design and quality. New Designers has been a great opportunity to show my work to a wide audience and I hope to take the experience that I have gained here and use it to begin my career within the design industry.”
also winner of
The New Designers Wilkinson Award for Commercial Surface Design
Prize: £500 and a paid placement with Wilkinson’s Trend and Product Development teams.
Judges’ citation: “We very much admired Natalie’s innovative technique and experimental processes, and the way her work is supported by an interesting narrative. Her portfolio revealed various inventive methods which have translated into a current collection with great commercial potential.”
Winner’s comment: “Winning the Wilkinson Award for Commercial Surface Design is an overwhelming achievement. I am very much looking forward to gaining experience with the Wilkinson team in the near future.”
The BCD New Designer of the Year Award – Part 1, winner
Prize: £1,000 cash prize, advice from intellectual property lawyers Briffa including membership to their DesignProtect insurance service, accounting and taxation advice from Rhodes & Rhodes and a marketing and PR workshop.
Winner: Kate Turton
University / College: De Montfort University
Title of work: Anonymous (range of fabrics)
Judges’ citation: “Kate was a clear winner. Her use of colour, shape, mark and negative space is sophisticated and well considered. Her breadth of experimentation on a wide range of fabrics show she has a vision for its uses.”
Winner’s comment: “Winning this award is a total surprise. Through winning I have been given an incredible opportunity to begin a career in the industry I am passionate about. I have now been given the confidence that I am good enough to achieve it.”
New Designers BCFA Scottish Leather Group Award
Prize: £1000 and a visit to BCFA Scottish Leather Group in Scotland.
Winner: Judy Scott
Title of work: Cocooned in Colour (printed textiles)
University / College: Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design
Judges’ citation: “A natural pattern maker and truly professional. Her spontaneous design skill is very distinctive. Her work is creative and highly commercial.”
Winner’s comment: “I am extremely honoured and happy to have been chosen for this award, thank you.”
The New Designers Sanderson Award
Prize: £1000 and a paid placement at the Sanderson studio.
Winner: Tara Osborough
Title of work: Irish Landscapes “In Search of British Wool” (hand-painted woven wool warps)
University / College: University for the Creative Arts, Farnham
Judges’ citation: “The judging team unanimously chose Tara’s work for its beautifully considered use of colour to create saturated and painterly cloths that display maturity of design and craftsmanship.”
Winner’s comment: “I feel so honoured to have won the New Designers Sanderson Award. Over my past three years of studying at UCA Farnham I have found a passion for colour and I will use the prize money to further my research into colours in textiles whilst I study my Masters. I look forward to starting my placement.”
The New Designers Tigerprint Award
Prize: £500 and a paid placement across the two design studios.
Winner: Katie Whitton
Title of work: Abstract Colour (prints)
University / College: Norwich University of the Arts
Judges’ citation: “A contrast of scale and detail, Katie’s work expresses a true gift and shows confidence on combining marks, gestures and colour. She will be a great addition to our studios”
Winner’s comment: “I am really pleased to have won this award, there is so much brilliant work here. Tigerprint is a company I have admired for a while so I can’t wait for my time in the studios.”