Furniture designer Ben Perkins, founder of Studio Perki, sums up his time at New Designers 2017.
If I were to sum up my experience at New Designers 2017, the three words that spring to mind are insightful, mesmerising and grateful. At the moment I’m not planning to collaborate with anyone from the show but thus could change within the year if the right project comes along. For me One Year On was incredibly valuable on a networking level. I got to meet some incredibly talented creative professionals, and to be on the same stage as them is truly a privilege. One Year On is all about being good with people on a personal level; I found the conversations I was having were the key focal point of my experience. It’s these vital one to one talks you have with people which can make all the difference.
I would say to anyone who is looking to apply for One Year On in the future to be really prepared with your work; specifically your imagery and to work to your strengths within your field. I personally would have spent a lot more time on my lifestyle images, as you have to remember not everyone you invite will be able to make the show. Most tradespeople are going to go to one place and that’s your website. This is where you get your recognition through your works; perception is key here.
However, if your photos are edgy and crisp you stand every chance of being successful within your industry. The importance of good imagery was heavily emphasised throughout the experience, and I firmly believe that it’s key to building start up businesses to an international level. As for my own business, I am looking to expand on the Perki Furniture range and build upon my designs. There are a few developments within my product range and I am currently working out the details in order to improve my pieces, like creating thicker fixings to ensure my products are twice as durable as before.
I will be exhibiting at Design Junction in September and at a show in Ventura Lambrate, Milan next year in April; which is also rather exciting. I am currently approaching companies within the hospitality market as well as end users from a domesticated background, as I feel the products I create would be best suited in these areas. Overall, I highly recommend applying to New Designers One Year on as it changed many aspects of my business for the better.