In conversation with 6 leading Industrial Designers

As the UK’s most established Design Fair, New Designers has been a launching pad for thousands of influential members of the design industry. The ND Community is a collective of previous exhibitors, professionals and alums who have all impacted the fair over the 38 years of its history and who continue to thrive in the design industry.

Each week on our blog, we will be bringing you face to face with the ND alum who define the design world. To kick off the series, we’ve spoken to several outstanding individuals in the Industrial Design space who have told us how New Designers has impacted their career and offered their brilliant advice for students and graduates.

Photograph of a smiling lady wearing grey t shirt seated in an office setting


Head of Design, Cambridge Consultants (ND 06)

How has ND helped you progress in your creative career?

‘Exhibiting at ND allowed me to showcase my work to prospective recruiters, to socialise with other students, to see the standard of work of my peers, and to stay connected with the design world after graduating.

Through ND, I was offered several creative job opportunities, one of which I took on and am still working at now! I now head up a team of designers and regularly attend ND to search for the best new talents to join my own team.

ND continues to be a source of creative inspiration for me and offers me a view into the latest trends from the next generation of designers.’

What are you looking for in a designer?

Someone who can visualise and articulate their ideas, is highly creative, is a team player, is willing to learn, and is energetic and passionate about creating the best designs and experiences.’

What advice would you give to a designer embarking on their creative career?

‘Consider doing a design internship. Build an excellent portfolio. Participate in exhibitions to showcase your work to wider audiences and network with other designers.’


Furniture Designer, John Lewis (ND 09)

‘New designers for me was indeed a great experience. A great opportunity to see what the emerging designers entering the industry were doing. My product was selected by Dezeen to feature on their website covering some of the design talent of New Designers 2009. This led to interest from a manufacturer with which I was able to develop the product. I have often attended since with various companies that I have worked for to spot talent.’


Principal Designer, Cambridge Consultants

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How has ND helped you progress in your creative career?

‘ND has been a source of inspiration through much of my career.

As a young designer it was great seeing the standard of work at universities across the UK and sometimes globally […]. As I’ve become more experienced, I still enjoyed going back to ND, whether for networking, trend spotting, hiring graduates or just generally being inspired by the quality of the work on show.’

What advice would you give to students preparing for ND?

‘The rule of 3rd from Loughborough’s design course still echoes in my head and is often a good proxy – that is 1/3rd research, 1/3rd design, 1/3rd presentation + story.’



Consumer Sector Manager, DCA Design

What advice would you give to a designer embarking on their creative career?

‘Don’t be shy and talk to everyone. The design industry is a small world where chance encounters can lead to big opportunities and you never know when your paths might cross in the future.’

What are you looking for in a designer?

‘Curiosity, open mindedness and empathy.’


Junior Product Designer, Kin Ltd (ND 18)

‘New Designers was a pivotal moment for me at the start of my career. It provided a space for meeting people in industry and fellow graduates, as well as offering opportunities and invaluable experience. The award I received led me to the job I have today.’


Senior Industrial Designer, DCA Design

anna jaanus 2

‘I’ve been visiting New Designers since I was studying for my A-Levels (over 10 years ago now) and seeing graduates showcase their work helped make my decision to study Industrial Design. I have attended New Designers to seek inspiration for my own work as a student, and now that I work in industry, I’m lucky enough to see the show from a different perspective. Now my focus is primarily identifying new talent to recruit at DCA. The show continues to be the place where you’re guaranteed to see a range of quality students with a mixed skillset.’

How can designers stand out to you in the judging process for ND AWARDS?

Be enthusiastic about your work and tell us why you love design.

What advice would you give to students preparing for ND?

‘Ensure that you can easily tell the story of how and why you developed your project. Have lots of supporting material that isn’t necessarily displayed but can help you talk through your process. Practise talking through your project.

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