MADE.com, who are offering an award at New Designers this year, tell us about their new platform TalentLAB, and how it helps up-and-coming designers break in to the industry.
→ Why do you find working with New Designers so important?
New Designers is a valuable and unique opportunity to meet with emerging talent from leading design institutions across the UK. Collaborating with designers is an important part of what we do at MADE.com. Through our recently launched TalentLAB platform, we give students and graduate’s the chance to gain exposure, as well as the opportunity to potentially see their pieces made by us, promoted and sold to our international customer base.
→ Tell us about TalentLAB
It’s where bright ideas get MADE. TalentLAB is about smart, new designs – whether that’s furniture, home accessories, textiles, lighting or gifting pieces. Anyone with a creative design idea can submit their designs through our online platform. We curate regular collections from the entries, work with our suppliers to create prototypes of the selected designs, then photograph and style them ready to be launched to the public on our TalentLAB platform. At that point the public decide which of these designs go on to be produced and sold on MADE.com, by backing the ones they like with a small refundable deposit. The most popular pieces get MADE.
→ What do you look for in graduates and their work?
For TalentLAB, we’re looking for designs showcasing originality, creativity and bravery. We then have to think about the kind of pieces our design-savvy customers will fall for. And we love designs that tell a story too – where did the designer take inspiration from? How did they develop their idea?
→ What advice would you give to graduates?
Seize every single opportunity that comes your way – like submitting a design to TalentLAB. You never know what door might open next, and you’ll undoubtedly learn a lot along the way. Persistence is key too – try, try and try again. When people are busy it’s easy for them to overlook you, but tenacity is a valuable skill in those situations.