New Designers Exhibition

We really have got some great Followers on Twitter now? In fact, it often feels like a job in itself trying to keep them all on board. So imagine our delight when Bloomsbury Publishing also handed us free tickets to the New Designers Preview at the Business Design Centre.

Upon arrival, the 1st thing that struck me. (Other than the waves of attractive young women that is? 😉 Was how the whole central floor was given over to Product Design. Where was all the Graphics, Photography and Illustration. It seemed we would have to peel off to the margins for that.

Seriously enough, complimentary Gin & Tonic appeared – courtesy of Absolut, one of the main event sponsors – and I entered the fray. The place was packed! Full of life, anticipation, and of course the work. And what standards of work it was too. Soon after I’d settled in, it was time for the awards themselves. None other than Sir John Sorrell – who amongst other things champions emerging design and designers – proclaimed the significance, reputation and quality of a 150 year old design education system in the UK, and we were all reminded how much of a pivotal role creativity plays in our society, economy and culture. Or SHOuld do. Prizes ensued. Thousands of pounds up for grabs.

Actually, it’s difficult to know if things have moved on or not – since I was at college that is – but what happens in design education now certainly seems so much more sophisticated than it was back then. I think the main change is that education and industry appear much more closely linked today. We would be given ‘live briefs’ ourselves, but it seems the businesses and organisations behind student projects have not only written the brief, but are there to track progress, and provide placements too; sponsoring the colleges and students involved. I am not sure if this is entirely a good thing btw? But that’s another story.

Anyway. I could go on. It really was a top few hours. An evening that inspired and encouraged in equal measure, even if I did come away feeling just a tad envious.