New Designers 2017: Our Picks

New Designers is the annual event for discovering and nurturing new talent in the design industry. The exhibition brings together design education, design consumers and the design industry to celebrate and recognise and the next generation of graduate designers. 

We had the chance to visit Week 1 and Week 2 this year, and here are some of our favourite new designers from ceramics to product to print. 

New Designers: Week 1

Emma Johnson Ceramics

Exhibiting in One Year On, Emma Johnson reinterprets brutalist aesthetics in her minimalist multi-media designs. Slip-cast forms are combined with beech wood accents which mirror the heavy forms and asymmetrical proportions of Brutalist architecture.  The collection aims to show the recent shift in opinion of Brutalism, portraying it in a fresh and modern light. 

Cisca Jane Ceramics

Cisca Jane's crystalline ceramics caught our eye right away. Crystalline glazes are known for being extremely temperamental, so many curious and interesting effects are simply 'gifts of the fire'. Was a treat to see the fabulous depth of these crystals in the flesh at New Designers. 

Bethany Stafford Designs

We also loved Bethany Stafford's interpretation of Brutalism (seeing a Brutalist trend yet?). These Brutalist inspired ceramics use on-trend colour palettes to modernise the pieces and the elastic bound shapes fit together to create various compositions depending on the surrounding ambience. 

New Designers: Week 2

Mark Laban

Mark Laban's digitally crafted furniture is made using the unusual material Valchromat. Valchromat combines the natural properties of wood while also having a unique flexibility which allows it to be 'built' digitally. Mark won the coveted London Design Fair associate prize for his works at the New Designers, winning a complementary 6sqm stand at this years London Design Fair.  

Abbey Costello Design

Abbey Costello is a surface pattern and textile designer based in Staffordshire, UK. She blends traditional techniques and digital imagery, playfully exploring hand drawn, collaged and mark making. We especially loved Abbey's use of colour which runs across all her prints and homewares.

Winter and Kurth

Winter and Kurth is the design duo of David Winter and Natasha Kurth. The studio is based in Manchester UK, where they create experiential surfaces which fuse graphic application with simple 3D form. Winter and Kurth were the Week 2 winners of the coveted One Year On prize at New Designers, granting them a 1 year membership with portfolio organisation Design Nation.

We so enjoyed seeing all the fresh new designs on show this year, and these are just a few of the designers which stood out to us. We look forward to keeping up them over the year and seeing how the designs develop. For more info on next years New Designers visit

Banner Image: Valchromat Furniture by Mark Laban