It has been a whole year since 100% Design judges chose Benjamin Stanton as their award winner for his ambitious and sustainable designs. We wanted to catch up with him to see what projects he has been creating since New Designers 2019 and find out what his plans for 2021 are. Checkout the latest interview in our award alumni series below.

Last year you were crowned the winner of the New Designers 100% Design Award, can you tell us what projects you have been working on in the past year?

Since winning the 100% Design Award at New Designers I have been busy setting up my own studio based in Sheffield. I am now working with a number of different brands on a freelance basis such as; Benchmark and Sainsbury’s Argos Home.

Looking back on New Designers last year, were there any highlight moments for you?

The highlight, for me personally, has to be winning the award with three of my fellow class mates.

Winning the New Designers 100% Design Award is such a huge accolade, what did winning mean to you?

Winning the award was amazing for me! The award offered a great support to my practice and has led to other opportunities which have given me a strong foothold in the design industry and I will continue to build on – it is just the start of things to come.

We have seen lots of designers share their processes and approaches during lockdown, what is your creative process? Where do you start?

My process is experimental and exploratory. I sometimes start with research. It is with researching and understanding of who we are as human beings that certain parts of our world and issues within our society are highlighted. I then start the process of finding solutions to these issues and that is where the real work is done. The final product tends to come quickly soon after the research has been carried out. I don’t always stick to that process however, sometimes I just have an idea, say…..a chair! Sketching then comes first and I tend to sketch though the idea. I get my hands on the materials I’m designing with and begin building in the CAD software from this information.

What or who is your biggest inspiration?

People, my family, other designers, artists and music. Music is very present while I work.

You mentioned that you have been busy setting your own studio, tell us a little more about your workspace?

I have two rooms. A studio space with my computer and materials and then a second room with a wood working bench for modelling my concepts.

A world without product and furniture design, where do you think you would be?

I’d be in music, music production. Probably in a dingy recording studio working late in to the night.

So, what are the next steps? Can you share with us some of your ideas for the year ahead?

Next, I’ll be prototyping a selection of my industrial furniture designs ready for any shows next year. I am currently wanting to explore furniture design in an abstract way, sculptural pieces of furniture that utilise sustainable materials and hand-crafted techniques. It will be much more experimental in form. I intend to create one offs, or small collections.

Do you have any advice and tips to the graduating class of 2020?

Be confident in your ideas, hold your nerve if you feel a concept is right. Always play to your strengths but don’t be afraid to venture outside your comfort zone. 

The 2020 New Designers Award’s Programme deadline is: 14 August (23.59PM)

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