Looking to be inspired by the best new creative talent in the UK right now? It'd be near-impossible to attend all the individual grad shows at each college and university – but don't worry, you don't need to because New Designers is back!
Founded in 1985, New Designers is the largest graduate showcase in the UK and brings together the best of the best from around the country so that you can find all the latest top talent in one place.
Full of disruptive thinking, ambitious ideas and fresh approaches, the show features 3,000 young creatives practising disciplines including art, ceramics, fashion, furniture design, graphic design, jewellery design, product design, textiles and woodwork.
This carnival of creativity gives design graduates a chance to showcase their work, find buyers, and connect with businesses to obtain career guidance and attend portfolio reviews.
So anyone looking to hire new staff or freelance talent – or just keeping an eye on who's coming up the ranks and what they have to offer – can't miss this show.
At the other end of the spectrum, if you're thinking about becoming a creative student but haven't started your education yet, this is a great place to visit and investigate a wide range of design courses to potentially pursue.
And that's not all! There's also an exciting programme of talks and workshops under the banner ND Educates, allowing new graduates to participate in live, in-person chats with leading brands and designers. It's a great way to build relationships and practise networking skills to kickstart your professional career.
2022 also sees the return of the New Designers Awards Programme, which recognises the most creative and forward-thinking exhibitors by leading design brands such as John Lewis, Hallmark, The Conran Shop and Habitat. This year, 35 awards will be handed out to help graduates transition into the profession.
What's on and when?
New Designers runs at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, from 29 June to 9 July and divides neatly into two weeks.
During Week 1 (29 June-2 July 2022), the focus is on textiles, fashion, costume design, jewellery and precious metalwork, ceramics and glass and contemporary design. Then Week 2 (6-9 July 2022) centres on furniture design, product design, industrial design, spatial design, graphic design, illustration, animation, motion design and digital arts.
Day tickets, multi-week tickets, family tickets and school tickets for the event can be purchased here.
Work on show
One of the main focal points of the show is One Year In, a carefully curated space featuring a handpicked selection of work by some of the most innovative and pioneering design entrepreneurs. Participants have been selected by a jury of industry experts and professionals, including leading trend consultant and design writer Sally Angharad.
This year's collection sees creatives address and reflects on topical subjects from the pandemic and mental health to sustainability issues and celebrations of traditions and handcrafted techniques.
Highlights include 3D designer Giles Fearon's conceptual glass art project on natural inspiration with a mindful approach; Jenny Chan's reflective figurative sculptures, inspired by the loneliness of lockdown; mixed-media designer Lily Jacobs' celebration of the Jurassic coast with innovative handcrafted techniques; and ceramicist Nicola Martin's ethereal pottery pieces, inspired by aerial views of land and sea.
Elsewhere, Kristiina Ploom's handcrafted jewellery using recycled metals is characterised by minimal aesthetics and bold sculptural shares; Yeoju Lee celebrates exquisite craft embroidery, and MESEME Studio creates mesmerising and intuitively designed lighting and objects with a mindful approach to responsible design. Porter and Trundle present the perfect fusion of colour, form and craftsmanship in their handcrafted furniture pieces. And Huw Edwards accentuates the making method through his practical approach to product design.
In short, whether you're an aspiring or current student, a recent graduate or someone scouting for fresh design talent, you can't miss this show. For more information and to buy tickets, head to the New Designers 2022 website at newdesigners.com.