An industrial design graduate who has created a fire evacuation breathing apparatus in response to tower block fire safety concerns has been awarded the £1,500 New Designer of the Year Award. The award was announced at the launch of Week Two of New Designers in London last night.
Rimal Bhatt, a graduate from the University of Hertfordshire and one of the 1,500 emerging talents currently showing their work at the New Designers exhibition, started developing his design following the Grenfell fire in 2017. His respirator mask design is coupled with radio frequency technology that tracks when people enter and exit a building and can also log the number of people still inside. The premise of the design is for it to be low-cost and easy to use, and the Award judges described it as ‘a very simple solution to a very current issue.’
Jenna Maudlin, New Designer of the Year: Runner Up
The New Designer of the Year Award is the top accolade at New Designers, which runs an Awards programme in partnership with leading design brands and organisations. Other 2019 winners include the New Designer of the Year Runner Up, Jenna Maudlin, a University of Dundee graduate whose Play.world interactive playsuit has been designed to try and get kids to be more active by transforming screen time into a full-body experience; Belmond Award-winner Laila Laurel from Brighton University, whose ‘a solution for man spreading’ chairs reverse the typical seating positions of a man and a woman; and Linda Scerpella from Brunel University, who won the Pentland Brands Award for her motion-graphics plastic pollution awareness campaign.
New Designers is a two-week celebration of the future of design, bringing together emerging talents from over 170 creative courses. Week Two, which runs until Saturday 6 July, brings together 1,500 graduate design talents working in Furniture, Product, Industrial, Spatial Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Animation, Motion & Digital Arts. The New Designers Awards reward the most creative and forward-thinking talents and in Week Two are presented in partnership with 20 design brands and organisations including John Lewis, The Conran Shop, 100% Design and LEGO. The prizes, which include cash, professional advice and paid work placements, offer graduates vital support as they embark on their creative careers.
Laila Laurel, Winner of the Belmond New Designers Award.
New Designers Part Two was officially opened by celebrated homeware and furniture designer, Bethan Gray who commented: ‘It is an honour to be asked to open New Designers Part Two. Twenty-one years ago – almost to the day – I won an Innovation Award at New Designers and it launched my career. It is a show that is very close to my heart.’
Week 2 ends Saturday 6th of July.
New Designers takes place at the Business Design Centre, London N1, in two, four-day parts, each devoted to a different set of creative disciplines:
– Week One (which this year ran from 26 to 29 June) covering: Textiles & Fashion, Costume Design, Jewellery & Precious Metalwork, Ceramics & Glass, Contemporary Design Crafts, One Year In.
– Week Two takes place until Saturday 6 July covering: Furniture, Product & Industrial Design, Spacial Design and Interiors, Graphic Design, Illustration & Animation, Motion and Digital Arts, One Year In.
Head over to our Awards Page to read more about our awards and winners.