The New Design Britain Awards 2015 at May Design Series - an opportunity for graduates to expose their work and themselves to the industry, gaining contacts and meeting lots of new people. We can definitely say it's been a worthwhile experience, and are truly thankful to Allie Little, the judges and UBM for being part of this exciting event.
Set up began Saturday 16th which gave us a chance to meet each other and the team, as well as organise and display our work. Our stand had been placed in a perfect location near the front of the exhibition, allowing visitors to acknowledge our work as soon as they arrive.
Highlights of the event consisted of meeting judges from the industry who were very supportive on the next steps of production, as well as heading off to the Lighting department where I spoke to various designers about technical aspects, and attending the seminar talks from John Bullock and Sally Storey from John Cullen Lighting - it was interesting to see their views on luxury interiors and lighting, and had shown an understanding of alternatives to downlighting, and why uplighting is used within spaces. Due to my work focusing on decorative lighting and heading down the route of luxury interiors, it was a great insight to know about this area, and how decorative lighting is not always the only source of light so it is possible to use low wattage bulbs for more of an installation piece, and be supported by uplighting to create the illusion of the main piece being the only source.
Advice from Edge Sculpture and The Light Yard were greatly appreciated, as well as from the Accessories category judges and competitors. The final announcement of the awards for each of the categories commenced at 4pm on Monday 18th where congratulations were in order for the winners. The exposure from this exhibition has been valuable for all of us, and has opened up more opportunities for the next year. Production for the Geometric Pendants will commence within the next few months, and means the range is able to expand with the knowledge given from meeting people from the industry.
I would highly recommend all graduates to enter the competition as it will give an insight in to exhibiting at major design events, allow you to present yourself and your work, and gain confidence in what you do. I think an issue we found within the event is the finalists lacked knowledge in the business side of design - showing that degree courses need to make students more aware of how retail, selling and profit works. Being at the awards and speaking to various professionals allows us to gain more of an idea of this, and all in all it was great to see that they were willing to give as much advice as they could in order for us to succeed. All the finalists from the 2015 awards are now part of the Alumni, meaning we are able to get the support we need and keep in contact.