Here are some of our favourite trends from Part 2 of #ND17!
Furniture for the ‘Nomad Generation’
With a generation facing escalating housing prices and steep rents, emerging designers have embraced and responded to changing living requirements with space efficient furniture. A good example of this was Bethany Luscombe, winner of the New Designers 100% Design Award, who created a multi-purpose sofa, dining table and desk-space. By combining these functions of the home, the product reduced the amount of space needed.
In addition to multi-purpose, modular furniture was also a popular trademark of New Designers 2017, with a need for furniture that is easy to assemble, store and move. One Year On exhibitor Matthew Pope presented his Addax sofa, pictured below, a modular piece that can be set up and taken apart quickly.
Design for children
There were several examples of sensitive design for children to explain or improve a difficult experience. Sophie Copley, winner of the New Designers Mars Chocolate Design Thinking Award created a range of alternative hospital gowns designed like superhero costumes for children. The garments were constructed with advice from medical staff to ensure they fulfilled all necessary practical requirements while also helping to create a more positive emotional experience for young patients.
Similarly Lauren Tegg, from the University of Havering, wrote and illustrated a book to explain dyslexia to children. Relying on its illustrations to navigate the message, the book is easier for a dyslexic child to read, while also including purposeful spelling mistakes to show how certain words or letters would appear to someone with the condition, as seen below, for a more relatable and empathetic message.
Socially responsive – healthcare
Another standout piece of design was ‘This Nature Nurturer’ by Annalise Hughes from the University of Leeds. Her invention was a plant watering reminder device to help those suffering from dementia to keep their houseplants alive, clearly responding to a select target audience.
Meanwhile Abidur Chowdhury from Loughborough University won the New Designers Kenwood Appliances Award for his asthma management system. His design aims to help people manage their asthma better in a convenient, discreet and aesthetically pleasing way; combatting stigma with smart accessible design.
Sam Lander, winner of the New Designers Material Lab Associate Prize, presented a striking collection of work made from concrete. His brightly coloured designs contradicted the overriding idea we have of concrete as a solely cold and lifeless material used in construction, and points out the possibilities of the material – also embodying the brutalism’s revival in design.
Illustration inspired by science fiction on screen
Lastly popular culture was brought to life in varying interpretations through the illustrators of the visual communications zone at the show. Some favourites included this tribute to HBO’S ‘Westworld’ by Kieran Stewart entitled ‘Turn The Other Cheek.’
And Ollie St Clair Terry’s lino ‘Stranger Things’ print from One Year On.