How do you become an Award Winning Designer?

Where do they get their inspiration from? What are the steps in their creative process?

Get our exclusive inside scoop from all Week 2 Award winners as we asked them two important questions….


Click To View all 2019 Award Winners




New Designer of the Year, Rimal Bhatt, University of Hertfordshire, Industrial design

‘FEBA -Fire Evacuation Breathing Apparatus’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? The Grenfell Tower fire.

What’s your creative process? As soon as the accident happened it sparked an idea. I started talking to fire fighters and researched radio frequency companies. I created prototypes to get my head round how it would all look and used rapid prototyping to make my finished model.



New Designer of the Year Runner Up, Jenna Maudlin, DJCAD, Digital Interaction Design


What’s the inspiration behind your work? I knew I wanted to design for kids! – I just wasn’t sure what. I am really active and wanted to give the freedom that running gives me to other people. I spent lots of time observing families and realised that kids don’t differentiate between digital and physical play – they just want to play! I also found out that only 20% of UK kids meet daily guidelines for activity levels and that this impacts on lifespan. This product is me responding to my findings.

What’s your creative process? It’s experimental – I like to learn new things. I do lots of research, for example, I went to LEGO house, I visited some interactive playground designers in Holland (Yelp) and I went to the Video Games exhibition at the V&A. Making is lots of trial and error and a massive learning experience!



Hallmark, Sarah Batchelor, UWE, Interior design

‘Paper Denim Chair and Paper Milk Bottle Lid’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? We have a beautiful world and I want to preserve it rather than damage it.

What’s your creative process? I walk around and look at things, I am inspired by anything and everything! I want to produce things that no one has done before, things that are both innovative and sustainable.




John Lewis, Richad Blizzard, Nottingham Trent, Product Design


What’s the inspiration behind your work? For this piece; minimalist and simplistic pieces. I wanted to keep it English and traditional, but bring in quite a high-end Scandinavian and Japanese design influence.

What’s your creative process? I sketch out initial ideas using a post it note-ideas session, before moving on to sketch work. I start modelling early on because I’m 3D minded and like to get down to the workshop as early as possible to be in the creative process – getting the ergonomics right is key!




Sainsbury’s Argos, Will Hudson, Sheffield Hallam, Product Design: Furniture


What’s the inspiration behind your work? I am inspired by the Scandinavian trend of minimal furniture. I really like the idea of creating a big impact entwined with the minimal and knew I wanted to use Sheffield steel as part of my design.

What’s your creative process? I try and learn new processes and apply them to new products.




Kingfisher, James Parry, Liverpool John Moores University, Product Design and Engineering


What’s the inspiration behind your work? My girlfriend went for her smear test and it sounded horrible, this coincided with me deciding what to do for my degree.

What’s your creative process? Usual design thinking process: deep research into current solutions, literature and product findings. This product is very user-centred so a lot of the design work was done alongside other people and other women.



W’Innovate & Wilko, Joe Deakin, Birmingham City University, Product and Furniture


What’s the inspiration behind your work? This started out as a safety tool for a knife locking system and I was so happy with this design that I thought about how else to use wasted space in a kitchen or kitchen surface.

What’s your creative process? I’m not much of a sketcher, I’m very hands-on. I like making models and using CAD, I bought my own 3D printers so that I could produce my work and prototypes.


Pentland, Linda Scerpella, Brunel University, Visual effects and motion graphics

‘Invisible Plastics’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? Mainly environmental ideas! This project came about because I went on holiday to Peru and despite the beauty of the place there was plastic everywhere – I have never seen so much plastic in all my life.

What’s your creative process? I create lots of mood boards using Pinterest, looking at other videos out there and get an idea of what’s already been done. I also do lots of story boarding and pre-production, which is so important! Every scene has to work because of the transitions and so much careful planning is needed, I spend 70% of my time on pre-production and 30% on the animation itself.

Joseph Joseph, Ollie Mosley, Sheffield Hallam, Product Design

‘Omos volt stove’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? I found out how many gas cylinders are used each year and how many go into landfill. It’s a daunting figure – particularly as these cylinders can actually be recycled. I’m interested in finding more sustainable alternatives to combustible fuels.

What’s your creative process? I did lots of research in the field, testing existing stoves and any problems that arise. I then used this information to make a more stream-lined product that took into account how long people use stoves for, where they use their stoves and how they transport them.


Zizzi, Phoebe Gale, Manchester School of Art, Illustration with Animation

‘City in motion’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? My move from rural Kent to urban Manchester. My work is intended to convey the heartbeat of Manchester and its dense and diverse infrastructure and people! I am fascinated by cranes and the ever-changing city landscape, things are always moving and I try to convey this in my work through my use of colour and form.

What’s your creative process? Lots of initial quick sketches when out and about in town – I also take photos to do tighter drawings. I create multiple layers to build up imagery and make it exciting using lots of random brush strokes. I play around and experiment before taking everything to photoshop and playing with layers, collaging, colours etc., Tristan Hibberd, Kingston University, Product and Furniture Design

‘Clip Shelving’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? This product is developed on from my second year project called, ‘Intelligent Making,’ where we were given a material and eight weeks to experiment with it. I was given plywood and then developed this further for my third year project.

What’s your creative process? I’m a workshop designer. I love modelling with my hands in the workshop and learning from the material as I go – I find this influences the design, develops it and moves the process along!



Belmond, Laila Laurel, Brighton University, 3D Design and Craft

‘A Solution for Manspreading’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? It is a project contextually grounded in feminism. As a young female designer, I wanted to explore how I could engage with sexism issues. The work is inspired by a viewpoint for feminism.

What’s your creative process? I discuss an idea first, draw a lot, take photographs, make models and maquettes – For this I made lots of seats for people to test to get the proportions right.






Stannah, James Seal, University of Huddersfield, Product design


What’s the inspiration behind your work? My grandfather had a colostomy bag and my aunt has just had one taken off. I saw how members of my family struggled and wanted to find a solution.

What’s your creative process? I explored the idea, everything about the product has been tested so that I know it works.





One Year In, Katie Putt

‘A Collection of Wall Hangings’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? I am mainly inspired by the original explorers and people who went on journeys of discovery, found species and brought them back to the UK to show people.

What’s your creative process? It starts with research – reading into whatever the subject, for example, mushrooms, dinosaurs, wild flowers…. I then do pencil sketches, line drawings and apply layers of watercolour before printing my images onto the canvas.



GES, Anika Chowdhury, Coventry University, Interior Architecture and Design

‘Creative Co-working Economy’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? I’m inspired at how employment prospects for art and design grads are so low compared to opportunities for STEM graduates. Hopefully this design will help to equip graduates with skills, confidence and experience needed for employment, and I’m also hoping it will help to inspire the government to fund design again!

What’s your creative process? Lots of sketching, model making and concept models. For this one, I had to look into spatial diversity, with the flexibility of open plan spaces. I had to consider orientation and view, for example, art studios needing light.




Kenwood, Jack Williams, Sheffield Hallam, Product Design

‘Compact Food Processor’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? Muji products and simplicity.

What’s your creative process? Very pragmatic and hands-on, a lot of this was developed through testing!





The Conran Shop, Huw Evans, University of Plymouth, 3D Design

‘Concertina Collection’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? I’m a designer-maker so it’s all about the aesthetic! I like to make designs that are a bit more accessible and I like to be able to tailor or understand a process well enough so that I can apply it to more than just a one-off. I prefer production to bespoke making.

What’s your creative process? Something I’ve tried to emphasize and highlight in my work are the band saw marks. I’ve left the inside traces in their more raw and natural form.


100% Design, Benjamin Stanton, Sheffield Hallam, Product Design and Furniture

‘Corrugated Denim Board’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? I was originally going to design a chair, but then I watched a documentary about fast fashion and how much fashion goes into landfill. I wanted to try and create awareness that we are doing this.

What’s your creative process? Trial and error. I got the material, refined the adhesive amounts, did lots of little samples and little tests. Once I’d refined amounts, everything fell into place! Denim shelves designed alongside oak frame.



Lego, Katy Thomas, Nottingham Trent, Product design


What’s the inspiration behind your work? I wanted to create a design that had a positive impact on society. I’ve had some experience with Walt Disney on toy design and wanted to use that to tackle a problem in paediatric wards. There is a stand-out problem around stress and anxiety in paediatric wards, which has a detrimental impact on recovery and children’s ability to co-operate.

What’s your creative process? Really research-driven. I love reading on topics I’m working on, testing and trialling a lot during the design process. I created lots of prototypes that I tested with children and hospital children. I wanted my design to have a universal child appeal.


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