What to see at New Designers 'One Year On'

Jethro Macey picks his top ten talents from the New Designers ‘One Year On’ exhibition.

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The Independent Online

If you’re scouting for fresh design talent at this year’s New Designers exhibition, taking place between 27-30 June (Part 1) and 4-7 July (Part 2), be sure to pay a visit to the New Designers ‘One Year On’ showcase, where you'll find work from a group of 58 young designers, who have established businesses in the past 12 months. One Year On curator, JethroMacey picks out some of the highlights.

Jennifer Moules

Part 1 – Wallpaper

Studied: Textile Design at the Arts University College, Bournemouth

Jennifer Moules grew up in a village in Somerset and the countryside is an inspiration for the motifs in her work. She is currently developing her range of digital print, screenprint and hand-embroidered wallpapers, which will be launched at New Designers this year.

Jethro says:  “Her work is fresh and her colours are expressive and in line with contemporary interior trends. All her designs of fruit, vegetables and nature are invested with wit. The designs are perfect for feature walls in houses.”

Mirjana Smith

Part 1 - Intriguing ornamental teapots made from recycled tins

Studied: Contemporary Craft at Falmouth University

Mirjana Smith has been exhibiting in the UK at various events and galleries and also in Germany. Her work has been displayed in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and she has just had a commission from ASK restaurants to design and make some Italian-style coffee pots.

Jethro says: “The work speaks for itself. The visual reference to teapots is of course familiar and comforting, but she’s turned a domestic object into a work of art. There is a charm to her use of recycled materials – and they are affordable artworks.”

Bartek Mejor

Part 1 – Interesting vessels and tableware

Studied: Ceramic Art & Design at Bath School of Art & Design (BA) and RCA (MA)

Awards: Talente Design Award (2008) at the International Trades Fair in Munich

Bartek Mejor combines traditional craft skills with modern tools and technologies and is fascinated by the transition from digital to physical object. He has worked with Vista Alegre Atlantis, the largest porcelain and crystal manufacturer in Portugal and exhibited at trade fairs across Europe. He set up his own studio in 2011.

Jethro says:  “His work is on trend with its geometric features. There is a really cohesive sense to his collection which is already gaining popularity in Europe, so it will be great to see him break into the UK market.”

Emma Cowlam

Part 2 - Beautiful illustrations applied to wallpaper & paper products

Studied: Textiles at Chelsea College of Art

After graduating in 2011, Emma Cowlam interned with The Telegraph in the fashion section before going to New York to build her illustration portfolio. She was runner-up in the Country Homes & Interiors ‘start your own creative business’ competition, which gave her the confidence to do it full time and has worked with Living Etc and Elle Decoration.

Jethro says: “I love her work – its so cool. The way she draws and uses stitching. The subject matter is really interesting. There is something really expressive in her style of people and their personalities. She has a commercial outlook, and has already exhibited in the V&A and Liberty.”

Benny Magennis

Part 2 - Simple furniture

Studied: Contemporary Furniture Design at Bucks University

Awards: Shortlisted for the New Designer of the Year Award 2011

Benny Magennis has exhibited at Tent and was chosen by Dezeen to exhibit in Dezeen Space as part of the London Design Festival 2011. He set up Bebenny Design in November 2011 and designed a small café - Pink and Perky café - in his home town of Monaghan in Ireland.

Jethro says: “His designs are simple and elegant. They use interesting joinery – traditional Irish carpentry references. There is always a story behind the work which is inspired by Irish famine bodging carpenters.”

Tatsuya Akita

Part 2 - Concrete desk accessories and glass condiment sets

Studied: 3D Design (Furniture & Product) at Northumbria University

Awards: Runner-up in the Italian Pelle + competition (2011)

Originally from Japan, Tatsuya Akita came to the UK in 2007 to study. He is currently one of the designers in residence at Northumbria University where he is developing his products and his own business. He recently attended the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York where he had an excellent response.

Jethro says: “There is an industrial aesthetic that remains elegant and everything is beautifully finished. The collections of desk accessories and condiments are simple, functional and almost mesmerising. There is something very sophisticated about his work.”

Rachel Powell

Part 2 - Lasercut lampshades, wallpapers and homewares

Studied: Surface Design at the London College of Communications

Rachel Powell graduated as a mature student having had a career as a graphic designer. She exhibited at New Designers in 2011 and received a few orders for her lighting. She went on to launch a collection at Tent during the London Design Festival in September 2011. She is now focusing on printed homewares and is launching a collection of wallpaper at One Year On.

Jethro says: “She has picked up with a micro-trend that references the cool style of the 70’s. She is reworking existing items such as lamp bases and giving them a new life with her shades. They marry perfectly with her designs for wallpapers and homewares.”

Jessica Hogarth

Part 2 - Printed paper products and limited edition prints and tea towels

Studied: Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design at Leeds College of Art

Jessica Hogarth grew up in Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire – a tiny fishing village that has influenced all her work. She has worked commercially for a studio in Manchester after graduating and, in May 2011, left full-time employment to set up her own business selling a range of giftware and home accessories.

Jethro says: “She has a truly individual style, and her body of work is extensive. Coastal themes are perennially popular and she has a distinctive voice.”

Felix McCormack

Part 2 - Furniture and lighting

Studied: Contemporary Crafts at University College Falmouth

Felix McCormack grew up in Hackney but moved to Cornwall to study before setting up his workshop in 2012 on a local farm. At New Designers in 2011, the design retailer Aria in Islington spotted his work and commissioned him to make his collection of lighting and furniture from recycled materials. He is currently working on a couple of private commissions for domestic and garden furniture.

Jethro says: “His combination of lighting and furniture suggests industrial design meeting folksy furniture and is intriguing and really interesting. These are very different from your average floor and standard lamps.”


Emily Jenkinson is interiors writer for the mydeco marketplace, an online shopping experience where you can search hundreds of home furnishings and accessories all in one place.