New Designers 2013
Week 2 Part 1

All in all 18,265 visitors went along to New Designers 2013, making this year’s shows the busiest in its 28 year history. Having recently featured New Designer Week 1 we now turn our attentions to New Designers Week 2 for more wonderfully talented, newly qualified sustainable designers. The Week 2 show featured:

    • Furniture & Product Design
    • Graphic Design & Illustration
    • Spatial Design (inc. Architecture & Interior Design)
    • Motion Arts
    • One Year On



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Gelid is a new range of wall mounted refrigerators for city living, designed by Elliot Morgan, which recently shortlisted for the RSA Student Design Awards.

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The reduced depth ensures that no food is forgotten and front windows provide users with a view inside their fridge, without the unnecessary loss of cooled air.

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In Britain we waste up to a third of the food we buy, mostly from items we forget about. The Gelid range targets this phenomena in an aim to reduce this type of waste. Elliot is a recent graduate from Sheffield Hallam University.


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Tinker is a repairable washing machine concept designed for the RSA brief Change Makers and which was a winner of the coveted RSA Student Design Award.


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It incorporates a full service of repair and maintenance along with modular construction to ensure that the product remains functional for much longer than existing models. Chris was a student at Sheffield Hallam University.


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This patchwork low table, named Reincarnate, is beautifully crafted from various hardwood off-cuts, which would otherwise be wasted. It makes an aesthetic feature of its irregular character and even incorporates a secret compartment. Joe is a graduate from Sheffield Hallam University.


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This toaster and kettle have been designed by Samual to be repaired with only a coin and your hands. It’s a product range that encourages the user to repair & maintain by making it simple and non-intimidating. Samual is a masters graduate from Sheffield Hallam University.

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Chris’s rural upbringing, along with his artist background, has led to a fascination with sustainability and eco products.​ Cardboard Packaging specialists Welsh Boxes have embarked on a new product venture with Chris, to turn off-cut waste cardboard into furniture and other homewares. The cardboard, which obviously originated from wood, is essentially brought back full cycle by taking on a wood-like quality again. Chris graduated in 2012 from Swansea Metropolitan University.


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Michael, who graduated from The Cass, part of The London Metropolitan University, is inspired by coppicing, an ancient woodland management technique. The Coppice Stool is a domestic stool constructed of coppiced Hazel poles and Ash planks. The Ash seat and raw, unmachined Hazel poles are lashed together with cotton webbing.

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Michael says “This  process allows me to produce sustainable, socially responsible, attractive products that have a beneficial effect on the environment and the society that produces them”.


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A graduate from Aston University, Francis has incorporated the emerging theories of ‘Cradle to Cradle’ and ‘Emotionally Durable Design’ to effectively redesign the conventional steam iron.

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The design is simplified by minimising components – the entire iron is held together by a single bolt for ease of repairability and the potential to elongate the product’s life. It also enables fast disassembly at the end of its life to reclaim materials for recycling.

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Additional features, such as the illuminated water tank, feed back the amount of power being used in real time, allowing the user to modify their actions and iron more efficiently.


The battery charging experience of today is backward; only when you’re about to use a product do you notice that the battery is flat. This is the moment at which you most need a fully charged battery.

Photograph of Loop by Ross O'Brien

ʻLoopʼ asks what if there was a recharger that could always be ready with fully charged batteries – a recharger which subconsciously promotes reuse and has ways of rewarding sustainable consumption built into the concept?



Loop is always full of charged cells – by the act of pushing one flat rechargeable battery in you immediately dispense a fresh, fully charged battery; ready to use. As time passes, huge savings can be made and a great deal of landfill is reduced. Ross is a graduate from Aston University.



Hand hygiene within healthcare environments is, as always, a hot topic. HandGiene has been designed to promote behavioural change within this area. It’s a system that subtly reminds healthcare workers to practice good hand hygiene by recording each time they use hygiene gel dispensers. Nathan is a graduate from The University of Brighton Product Lab.


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The Suber fridge allows the user to check fridge contents using a smart phone, from any location, encouraging better meal planning and reducing domestic food waste.

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It uses renewably resourced cork as insulation and has rotating shelves with a built in  camera to enable smart phone integration. James is a graduate from the University of  Brighton.



This Journeywoman’s Boat is a documentation of the many stopping points Xenia has experienced this year. Inspired by the European tradition of Journeymen, she’s been travelling down the River Ouse in East Sussex, in search of the traditional skills, crafts and materials still being practiced in Britain today. Testing various crafts-people’s patience and willingness to share, Xenia turned up on their doorsteps asking for insights into their practices.

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So far she’s visited and studied the skills of a wool-spinnercobblerboat builderbasket-weaver and upholsterer. She’s made a useful object that combines and celebrates these crafts – a manifestation of the materials and craft methods encountered. It’s a metaphor of collaboration and learning – symbolising an on-going journey and an alternative to our entrenched modern ways.

See the boat building process in the video below:

Xenia is a designer/maker from Brighton University.


When children stay for long periods of time in hospital they can feel very lonely and isolated. The Augmented Quilt opens up an additional line of communication between the child and their loved ones. Each animal illustration on the quilt can be linked to a friend or family member, who can in turn leave digital messages for the child to read using a smart device.quilt1

This form of communication is more meaningful to the child than, for instance, a Facebook message. Also the tactile nature of the quilt serves as a physical source of comfort and, combined with the personal messages, provides a greater sense of security to the child in potentially distressing times. Joshua is a graduate from Brighton University.



James Dart from Brighton University has created Duo Lin, a composite cycle helmet which aims to provide a technically proficient and environmentally friendly alternative to modern helmets. Ordinarily helmets can be made of a cocktail of plastics – this new helmet uses a linseed oil based bioresin and flax fibre.



More than 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide every year and these don’t degrade, they just slowly break down into smaller and smaller pieces, which damage wildlife and eventually enter the food chain. Only a small percentage of plastic bags are recycled.


Elea, a graduate from Brighton University, has been collecting local plastic bags and recycling them into a stronger material, through heat pressing and vacuum forming.


The process is versatile; Elea has fabricated a range of tough and durable homewares. The recycled plastic is complemented by accent materials, such as sustainable cork, which adds functional benefits and enhances the perceived value of the products.


The idea behind the Frugal Table is to minimise material use. The images below show the finished table and the amount of wood that was used to construct the 2.75 meter object.


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To make the most from the wood Will studied industrial construction techniques on a large scale. His aim was to get the maximum strength with the least amount of material. He had to be extremely careful with his cuts and consider details such as the saw blade width.

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All the wood is cut to the same thickness, which meant using only one machine for almost the entire construction, making production easier. An exciting technique to explore for developing more products!



Holly McNicol, a graduate of Brighton Universityhas been investigating how the introduction of a service providing plants and “edible” herbs for offices could benefit employees. The various properties of plants can have positive effects, such as staving off colds and flu and reducing stress and anxiety levels, thus reducing the amount of sick days taken. Holly also designed a lavender filled mouse mat, for added calming effect.



Plastics are derived from oil, a finite resource with an ever-increasing price tag, yet plastics are not highly valued, many are even ‘disposable’, such as Expanded Polystyrene (EPS). Through various experimental processes Pippa has developed a way to reduce and process EPS that creates a new, aesthetically pleasing Polystyrene sheet material, ready for use here in the UK in ‘valuable’ consumer products. The video below shows the process while hinting at its potential to be applied at an industrial level, using the existing recycling infrastructure.

By diverting Polystyrene destined for landfill and processing it differently Pippa has created a range of sample objects that display the potential applications of this new material. Pippa is a graduate from Brighton University.



And there are more New Designers with inspired sustainable solutions – too many to feature all in one go! So look out for our next post, where we’ll be continuing, coming soon…