Tag Archives: product design

A treasure trove of design gems at New Designers 2011

Well I’ve made it back from the New Designers Show 2011 part 2 which is being held in London’s Business  Design Centre, feeling shattered after two whole days of intense interviews and general press duties – but well worth it! I’ve come away totally inspired and have huge admiration for design students everywhere.

The level of work was exceptional, from furniture to textiles and product designs to Interiors, if I was a robot I’d definitely have a design overload!

Firstly I’d like to say CONGRATULATIONS to all the New Designers 2011 winners, they’ve worked so hard to gain recognition from the UK’s freshest student design event and of course their peers.

Here are some of my favourites and the names of the other winners can be found on the New Designers Website.

Luke Diaz Habitat Innovation Winner - Bucks New University

Judges thoughts: “We admired his innovative construction and use of material. We enjoyed his overall charm, warmth and character. The low storage with woven sliding doors is a product with soul.”

Oksana Akishyna - Interior Design Association Winner AIU London

Judges thoughts: “Oksana’s portfolio showed refreshing clarity and at times mesmerising presentation that was refined and at a professional standard.”

Northumbria University - Best Stand Award

Judges thoughts: “Northumbria have a huge variety of inspirational products on display. The graduates have made clever use of recycled materials-creating a highly polished and professional presentation.”

Brinley Clark - Business Designer of the Year winner University of Hertfordshire

Judges thoughts: “Brinley has got design in his bones. Passionate, inspiring and intelligent, with a wicked  streak of humour. His pigeon project is ‘shit’ – go and find out more!”

The event was split into three floors and then sub divided into specific design sections so it was easy to make your way around. Although, it wasn’t easy walking around each section without stopping to look every few steps and swooning over another fantastic design.

The One Year On section, curated by award winning designer Jethro Macey, showcased 50 specially selected designers who’ve set up a business in the last 12 months. In this wonderful room, I came across Imogen Heath who launched her first ever collection at the show. Her mid-century patterned wallpaper and fabrics instantly dragged me in. Imogen was just as colourful and sweet as her designs which are inspired by her love of geometric composition, art deco and contemporary art.

If you’re just as head over heals in love with Imogen’s designs as I am, you can bag a cushion from £48 – £55 and wallpaper for £100

As I  was interviewing Imogen, just opposite us a group of talented artists and illustrators under the name of Secret Wars, were doing a live graffiti demonstration on their white stand. Their creative flair attracted the attention of lots of visitors who stared in amazement at how effortlessly they drew – I couldn’t take my eyes off them!

After, finally pulling myself away from the One Year On section, I had a good gander on the first floor and came across a product which The Design Hub had already featured as a Design of the Day – the Tweetingseat. Created by Product Designer Chris McNicholl, who’s recently graduated from the University of Dundee in Product Design, the Tweetingseat has caused a huge stir.

The seat takes reality and combines it with the virtual world by taking pictures of anyone sat on the seat and uploading the image to a live Twitter feed. This is done by one camera in the shape of the blue Twitter bird which can be mounted above the seat and another camera inside the seat that takes an image of anyone standing in front. So in the end you get two images uploaded to Twitter – genius!

Chris McNicholl speaking to Kellie Hill

As well as the tweeting seat causing a buzz with social media lovers, some feel this idea of sharing images on Twitter of people unaware they have been papped is unethical. When asked, Chris told me he welcomes the debate and encourages it. Listen to Chris’ interview!

Innovative furniture makers

The level of talent and skill shown by the students at New Designers was breathtaking and one designer rom Plymouth University certainly took the biscuit. Michael Carroll had created a chair without using glue or nails.

Named “Tankard“, this chair is held together with…. well you’ll have to watch his interview to find out!

The young furniture maker also made a table using metal bars which resemble the shape of a mouse trap.

Another talented chap, Luke Diaz from Bucks New University, won the New Designers 2011 Habitat Innovation Award for his Eco cabinet that he bound together with hemp twine. Like Micheal Carroll above,  he didn’t use a single nail or drop of glue. I see a trend developing here!

Diaz taught himself how to weave the twine and create the doors of the cabinet, which I think make it look beautifully organic and earthly. He also designed two stools, a smaller cabinet and hanging stand to complete his sustainable furniture range.

Interiors

We’ve all had to live in a boxy apartment or a ground floor flat that resembles a dungeon (like myself) when starting out on the career ladder.  Having to cook, sleep and shower in the same room is something which the majority of yuppie’s (young professionals) put up with until the day comes and a promotion lands on the table.

And if you’re like me and LOVE to decorate but also rent, it’s fair to say that the landlord wouldn’t be too happy at the next inspection to find two walls knocked out and the living room changed into a bedroom. Renting makes it near impossible to flex those creative fingers.

Well, I met young innovative Interior Designer, Henry Parker at New Designers 2011 and he has come to the rescue with a city apartment perfect for the hard-working yuppie’s, that want to make their flat into a home.

Adaptaflat is an apartment which is flexible, moveable and totally brilliant! These living spaces are the same size as a two bedroom flat but have maneuverable walls. Yes, you heard right, you can move the walls  in the apartment to suit your needs, lifestyle or make space for Saturday night’s party. Somebody PLEASE commission this!

How does it work? There are a series of custom made tracks on the ceiling of the apartment which the walls are connected to and this allows them to be moved in the desired place and clamped down when positioned. Want one? Then listen to Henry Parker’s interview with The Design Hub and learn more about this clever design or click HERE to go to his website.

 
 
 
 
 
Images: New Designers 2011, Imogen Heath, Kellie Hill

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Design of the Day – Anthropomorphic furniture from John Reeves

John Reeves specialises in contemporary furniture and product design. Born in Burnley, Lancashire and now living in Vietnam designing, developing and teaching, his off the wall 2010 “Sketch” collection has stopped me in my tracks.

The pieces are based on the “poised anthropomorphic tension between the stationary and the moving, the living and the inanimate, the man made and the natural; rather like a 3 dimensional petrification of anamorphic evolution.” John created the designs by using Auto CAD (computer aided design) using a drawing tablet.  Cast in recycled aluminium, the curves and shape of the collection reminds me, some how of worms which I find absolutely fascinating, I particularly like the dresser with the oddly shaped mirror.

I can’t find a price for the designs, I assume they will be priced to order and could set you back quite a bit.

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Design of the Day – A Virtual TweetingSeat

Today I bring you a wonderful invention called the TweetingSeat. Every time someone sits on this seat, pictures of them are uploaded to a live twitter feed via two cameras; one located on the actual bench looking outward to the surrounding space and the other from a distance looking at the person sitting on the bench!

Created by innovative Northern Ireland product designer Chris McNicholl, the  TweetingSeat was designed to combine our digital and physical worlds and introduce people into a virtual environment. I believe the seat is based in the grounds of the University of Dundee, but I’m not 100% sure if it’s moved around to various places. You can follow the live TweetingSeat on twitter and you never know you might see someone you know!

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Image source: Flickr

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Be quick submit your entry for the Design Awards 2011 before June

It’s your time to shine and show off that creative flair you’ve got! Entries for The Design Awards are flowing thick and fast so if you fancy your chances and want your design to be crowned Design of the Year, get those creative juices flowing and submit before it’s too late!

Organised by the publishers of  Designer magazine, the award scheme is supported by over 30 UK suppliers (including Siemens, SMEG and Candy) and celebrates innovative design across the home.  The competition categories include:

  1. Kitchen Design of the Year
  2. Bathroom Design of the Year
  3. Living Space Design of the Year
  4. Sustainable Design accolade Award for the best environmentally friendly design

The 2010 winner for Kitchen Design of the Year (over 25k) was  Ainhoa Bilbao, Bulthaup Mayfair and for under 25k Kieron Bell, Kitchens International. Joe Burns & Geraldine Maurice, Oliver Burns Interiors were the winners of the bathroom of the Year Design and Paul McAneary, Paul McAneary Architects scooped Living Space Design of the Year.

As well as the above, an additional category opens tomorrow (1st April), Product Innovation Awards which champions real innovative design and highlights the importance of driving creativity and forward thinking.

To enter the Design Awards you need to download and entry form PDF from the Designer magazine website and send your submission before 1st June 2011.

Good Luck!

Image By Joanna Ford – www.joannafordinteriors.au

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Design of the Day – Bottoms Up door bell

The “Bottoms Up” doorbell is a quirky re-invention of the boring old one toned ringer we usually associate with a doorbell. Freelance designer Peter Van Der Jagt, has worked for a number of huge design companies such as Karlsson, Pressentime, Authentics and  KesselsKramer. He’s won a number of awards including the Red Dot Award in 2007 for his “Tile Kitchen”.

 I bet you’re wondering how on earth this door bell works! When the bell is pressed an electromagnet mechanism in the centre hits the crystal wineglasses to create a sharp tone – a symbolic toast to guests. You can pick up this design from Droog.com for £110.

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Design of the day

Da Bomb!

This fantastic chair is certainly a stunner and would be a perfect piece to get everybody talking. Designed by Italian company Adrenalina, “The Bomb” chair is made from thick foam and the red fabric is meant to represent the concept of “challenge”.

98 cm high by 150 cm wide and concealing pointy spikes, it may look uncomfortable but the piece is made to give the derrier extra comfort. Although it does remind me of the female temperament, beautiful and stunning like the colour red but can turn spiky and sharp in a moment! It’s so true…

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