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How to find out about new product designers

The need for young designers with fresh, innovative ideas has never been greater.

Design shapes the human experience and, as we hurtle into the future, design is now playing a more important role than ever. Not only do we require innovation, but sustainability and ingenuity too.

However, over the past couple of years, restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic have meant that the usual design exhibitions and shows where the next generation of talent can be found have had to be cancelled.

In this article, we explore some of the best places you can look to in 2022 to discover new young product designers you’ll want to keep an eye on.

Digital Events

The current climate has led to the creation of new digital spaces the next generation of design talent can occupy.

One of the most notable over the past couple of years has been the New Designers website which has endeavoured to, in their words, ‘champion the future of design‘.

This website showcases the work of 3,000 handpicked graduate designers from across the UK and holds a range of digital events to connect designers in the industry.

If you are looking for a wealth of design talent that, to quote ND, is ‘full of disruptive thinking, ambitious ideas and fresh approaches‘, you should definitely visit during a two-week digital showcase in June and July.

Degree shows

Graduate design shows are held yearly from June to September, and provide some of the best opportunities to see the work of newly-graduated talent.

There are countless exhibitions across the country now being held, both in-person and online, which is why the best place to find out what’s on is Design Week’s Graduate Show Guide.

It is organised by region of the country, and details which design showcases are on at each university and for how long.

There is a range of creative design exhibitions on offer throughout the country, demonstrating everything young product designers have to offer.

Designer of The Future Award

The Designer of The Future Award was first established in 2020 by The Conran Shop, with the support of The Marandi Foundation, following the death of design legend Sir Terence Conran.

It provides a unique opportunity for newly-graduated design students to submit work from their degree course to a select panel of judges.

Graduates are encouraged to consider the key design principles that Conran believed were fundamental in good design; plain, simple and useful.

The latest winner, the ‘One Step Ladder’, came from Kingston School of Art design graduate Cameron Rowley and is the perfect example of the innovative and creative ideas coming from young designers. You can see more from the budding young designer and the other incredible shortlisted design entries here.

The Design Museum

London’s infamous Design Museum is known for its ongoing work with young and emerging designers.

It is passionate about supporting and uplifting the next generation of talent, which is why it has its very own ‘designer in residence’ programme.

This annual scheme has provided emerging designers with the time and resources to research, reflect and develop their creative practice.

Towards the end of their time at the museum, a Designers in Residence Showcase is open to the public in person and online.

For many young designers, this platform has been instrumental in elevating their careers, so it is definitely one to watch!

You can visit the museum in person or visit their website to learn more about the incredible residencies, exhibitions and workshops that budding product designers are involved in each year.  

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