New Designers One Year In presents breakthrough talent | Ones to watch

*In partnership with New Designers*

Making its return, New Designers ‘One Year In’ is a carefully curated space at the UK’s largest graduate showcase New Designers 2022, featuring breakthrough design entrepreneurs. 

The One Year In initiative represents every corner of design and each participant has been selected by a jury of industry experts and professionals, including leading trend consultant and design writer, Sally Angharad.

“One Year In is an enticing space, bursting with creativity and excitement and after a two-year hiatus, this is especially significant for young designers,” Sally Angharad, curator of the One Year In initiative commented. “It always generated significant interest from both the industry and consumers. This year feels exception as we celebrate the future of design in a fast-paced, evolving world.” 

We caught up with a few of the not-to-be-missed designers who will be presenting their work at this year’s One Year In showcase. Read on to find out more… 

Sam Pettersen, founder and principal designer at Not Another Chair

‘By Ourselves’ by Sam Pettersen is an adaptable structure designed to provide privacy and divide working spaces. Photo by Tom Bird

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your work?

I am a seasoned furniture designer having gained over a decade of experience in design and manufacture. Driven by a passion for how things are made, I place functionality at the heart of my designs tempered with creative innovation and the needs of our industrial reality. 

Inspired by the workplace’s changing needs, Not Another Chair focuses on inventing and renewing furniture typologies.  We work closely with a team of skilled suppliers to develop, prototype and manufacture products the majority of which are produced here in the UK with several components being manufactured in Europe. It’s our mission to help people, businesses and our planet thrive through the creation of socially responsible furniture for today’s workplace.

What platform has New Designers given you?

As a new business still in its infancy and having established immediately prior to lockdown, New Designers has provided an invaluable opportunity to gain exposure by showcasing who we are and what we do to a diverse array of visitors from a multitude of backgrounds. 

This year, in addition to showcasing several pieces from our debut collection, we are also excited to launch our latest design, In The Fold, variants of which include a chair, bar and counter stool. Conceived pre-pandemic, New Designers provided the perfect platform to launch our new collection having waited patiently for the right opportunity.

Nicola Martin, founder of Nicola Martin Ceramics

Nicola Martin’s Earth bowls use glaze like a free form of painting, capturing patterns of the Earth’s strata. Photo by Lizzie Patterson

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your work?

I was inspired to pick up a piece of clay by my primary school art teacher. Still to this day, every time I pick up a ball of clay I feel like I am back in that classroom. Since then pottery has become the place where I lose myself completely. I find I am my most expressive with clay. I love the tactile nature of this material. I could honestly say I enjoy every moment of this age-old process of making a pot. 

During the global pandemic, when we could not escape the immediate surroundings or our ordinary lives, I came up with my signature Earth Bowls. With an interest in ecology, experience with turtle conservation, and in light of more recent news about climate change, my Earth Bowl concept has evolved into new work which I am pleased to be showing at the New Designers exhibition this year.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Yann Arthus-Bertrand, a French photographer, environmentalist, activist, and journalist, who has also directed films about the impact of humans on the planet, was an early source of inspiration to me. He is well known for his book ‘Earth From Above’ with incredible aerial shots of the Earth; photographs that were central to the creation of my first set of ‘Earth Bowls’.

I have created a triptych of ‘Earth Bowls’ which show the worsening effects of the climate on our precious earth: ‘Earth Warming’, ‘Scorched Earth’ and ‘Earth Burning’.  ‘Blackened Earth’ and ‘Hope’ follow on from the triptych. This series of pottery pieces is meant to provoke debate about the climate crisis in a visual way. 

Huw Evans, furniture and product designer

Iris Lounge Chair, designed by Huw Evans for The Conran Shop

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your work?

I have an appreciation of making and a well-rounded knowledge of both materials and processes. My practical design process naturally accentuates the making method within my work. A recent project I’ve been working on is the Iris Lounge Chair, a development with The Conran Shop. It began from initial research into processing timber for flexibility and understanding the limitations of the natural material. 

The chair is constructed from solid hardwood, and features a conical-shaped seat constructed from adjoined flat slats of hardwood. The process unlike steambending requires no heat or steam to form the slats, it also doesn’t require the mould cost investment for steam bending or laminated production. It was initially prototyped in Italy and later developed in Portugal. The construction has been refined through development to enable batch production, ensuring efficient use of material and energy. 

What’s next for you?

My experience with The Conran Shop has led me to become their product developer in which I work on own-brand furniture and lighting. This includes our own brand collaborations with our network of established designers. My Iris Lounge Chair will launch as part of the AW22 collection at The Conran Shop, and I look toward the next design project I can apply myself to. 

Huw Evans (pictured sitting in his Concertina chair) won the inaugural The Conran Shop Design Award

Photography courtesy of New Designers.

Find out more information on the graduate design show New Designers 2022 via their website, and book tickets to visit the event. It will take place from 29th June – July 2nd and 6th – 9th July 2022.

Read all of the latest design news and discover our Meet the Maker series of interviews.

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