New Designers in the making

The Business Design Centre in Islington is a great venue for designers to show their flair, with 65,000 square feet, a graceful iron arch originally designed as the Royal Agricultural Hall, opened in 1862. Now a thriving conference centre, the venue has, for the last couple of weeks, been jammed with creative young people, just hoping to embark on their careers as illustrators, product, graphic, furniture and textile designers. This is the best place to go and review budding designers you will get all year. Each university picks the cream of this year’s graduates and it is those students whose work is on show. If you need ideas, this is the place to visit.

I was interested to see the range of textiles work produced by other HE institutions. There was far more digitally produced work than our students typically produce, I guess because of the sort of equipment you need to do this kind of work. But on the positive side, the quality of ideas among our best students, and their execution, is certainly in line with the best of the textiles work in the show.

For graphic design and illustration I was struck by the number of artworks presented on A1 boards: very bold. Also a real delight was the amount of mixed media work on show, lots of invention: collage, integration of photos with paint and print and digital manipulation.

Bucks New University, our accrediting university, won two awards at the event, for the best furniture design and the best stand overall. Not surprising, since Bucks has an international reputation for its furniture designs.

Next up, Its all about Art at the Business Design Centre from 20 July. And OCA will be there.


  1. Becky 8 July 2011 at 5:01 pm

    If you take a course with the OCA is it possible (especially textiles) to exhibit at New Designers?

  2. Paul 12 July 2011 at 12:23 pm

    not currently no, but in the longer term we hope to find exhibition space for OCA students.


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