This year’s design graduates enter the jobs market at a very difficult time but we have to say the standard of work was so high at New Designers in London, we doubt these students have anything to worry about. Some will be snapped up as up-coming talent by the best home interior and furniture brands, others will shine as designers in their own right.
The key story this year was that designers addressed function, not decoration, responding to a wider social and cultural trend for simplicity and honesty in design (also seen across finances, food and technology). Designers quite literally laid bare their materials, showing us the nuts and bolts of construction and celebrated the art of manufacture.
Mixing different materials was a key trend; such as mixing leather with wood for tables, and mixing different types of wood within a single piece.
Despite the seriousness, there were more playful elements evident at the show counteracting the lingering effects of the recession. This trend was big for tableware and textiles.
Saving space was also high on the agenda, as designers battled with the modern problems of multi-generational habitats and redefining personal space in communal areas. Products that folded away, were multi-functional and allowed users personal space in increasingly cramped homes featured heavily. Furniture designer-maker, Eiry Rock also took inspiration from the growing kids furniture market, and showed space-saving kids furniture with an adult design aesthetic.
New Clean Lines
Angular shapes dominated the show as we saw increasing evidence of a cleaner linear form starting to infiltrate homeware. Multiplied patterns and intricate repeat prints sat alongside hard-edges, defined and geometric shapes, as predicted in our Autumn Winter 2010 forecast.
Objects that are humble, tactile and rustic reflect a bigger picture trend for hand-crafted and home made goods. This trend was particularly big for ceramics.