2013 RSA Student Design
Award Winners

The RSA Student Design Awards is an annual scheme now in its 89th year, which issues briefs to young designers to demonstrate how design can solve 21st century problems. The eight briefs this year covered social challenges ranging from tackling water pollution and waste reduction to improving working environments and commuting.


The winning entries received a year’s RSA Fellowship, which provides the students with access to the RSA’s Catalyst Fund and Skills Bank to further develop their projects. Worth over £30,000 in prize monies, that comprise cash awards and work placements, the RSA Student Design Awards provide financial and practical assistance to student designers starting out in their careers.

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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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Day 2:
The Responsible Business Summit

Ethical Corporation’s annual Responsible Business Summit London, May 7-8, brought together global experts to share their experience and discuss the latest sustainability challenges faced in 2013. Here’s more from that great gathering – the highlights from the sessions we joined on Day 2:


In this session we learned how companies are driving sustainability into product design.

Kimberly Clark Tom Berry

Kimberly-Clark Tom Berry – Head of Sustainability, EMEA

Kimberly-Clark make health and hygiene products, such as Kleenex, Andrex and Huggies. They operate in around 175 countries, so they have a big footprint. They essentially use wood fibre and oil to make products and, in their production, use a lot of energy and water. Also many of their products are disposable, so there’s a lot of waste associated with them.


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Day 1:
The Responsible Business Summit

Ethical Corporation’s annual Responsible Business Summit London, May 7-8, brought together global experts to share their experience and discuss the latest sustainability challenges faced in 2013. Talks were focused around how smart businesses can gain from being climate-conscious leaders, how to embed sustainability into company management and how to engage customers. Following are the highlights and insights from the sessions we joined on Day 1:

responsible business summit 2013


Greenpeace UK John Sauven – Executive Director
The Economist Daniel Franklin – Executive Editor
Janssen Pharmaceuticals Jane Griffiths – Company Group Chairman
RiiЯ Tom Vesey – Chief Executive Officer
London Business School Ioannis Ioannou – Assistant Professor of Strategy 

In this session the speakers were asked to consider what might society, governments and businesses working together be able to deliver for a greener sustainable recovery – and what are the challenges this idea throws up?


John Sauven (Greenpeace) talked about deforestation being the important issue; Jane Griffiths (Janssen) believes that, with an aging population, Alzheimers is one of the great focuses we have to have and that working with academic institutes will be important; Daniel Franklin (Economist) states collaborators must be clear what they are trying to achieve or problems may occur; and Tom Vesey (RiiЯ) says people should be thinking in the long-term, not just short-term.

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Sustainable Brands London 2012 Day 1

Sustainable Brands events are designed to educate and engage those in the sustainability, brand and design communities. For the first time in London, major brands, smaller companies, startups & thought-leaders converged over two days (27-28 Nov) to share ideas on sustainable innovation. Here’s just a snippet of the dialogue on Day 1, featuring fabulous projects to get us inspired.

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The Great Recovery:
Redesigning The Future

On Sept 17 we were lucky enough to attend the launch of “The Great Recovery: Redesigning the Future”, an exciting new venture, hosted and run by the RSA, London, in collaboration with the government’s Technology Strategies Board.

The project, which will run for 2 years, has been initiated due to the failings of our current linear model of industrial processes – “Take, Make, Dispose”, which deplete finite reserves to create products whose fate is, in the vast majority of cases, to end up in landfill or in incinerators.

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Ilsa Parry Wants Designers
To REthinkthings

We recently had the pleasure of meeting Ilsa Parry, a Liverpool based product designer, creativity consultant and founder of REthinkthings.

You may well recognise Ilsa as creator of the famous ‘Flo Stick’ – the winning product on BBC’s ‘Design for Life’ with Philippe Starck. Flo was recently launched at The Naidex Exhibition in Birmingham.

As an avid promoter of sustainability and un-blinkered thinking, she encourages designers to always produce concepts that push the boundaries of what exists. Through her company, she partners with designers and has configured a workshop community, providing workstations and backing for like-minded creatives.

This approach provides collaborative support and the sharing of ideas, which helps designers explore the boundaries of what’s possible and ensures only the best products are produced and licensed by the brand.

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More New Designers…


We had the enviable task of meeting as many of the exhibitors as possible during our visit to New Designers Part 2.  With so much talent and overwhelming enthusiasm from the designers it made it a jam-packed and exhilarating couple of days.

Having had an initial whizz round, so we didn’t miss anything, we went back to delve a little deeper and meet the exhibitors who stood out as having original sustainable solutions.

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