Design-Nation launches NEW Graduate membershipDesign-Nation launches NEW Graduate membership

Design-Nation launches NEW Graduate membership

In the week of the opening of New Designers 2018, the annual graduate showcase at London’s Business Design Centre, Design-Nation launched a new level of membership to support the next generation of designer-makers.

New Designers was founded in the 1980s by design champion and journalist Peta Levi who also set up Design-Nation and The Design Trust to support and promote British designers and makers. Now over three decades on, her legacy remains strong and through the three organisations Peta founded today’s graduates have a wealth of opportunities and support to encourage them to take their first steps into the professional craft and design world. 

Design-Nation’s Graduate membership offers a stepping stone to full DN membership with benefits that include portfolio review sessions and application clinics to advise on how to prepare a submission for the Design-Nation panel, including guidance on product development, photography and writing an artist statement. Other benefits on offer to Graduate members include access to free and subsidised CPD - study days, training, artist talks, peer mentoring and R&D trips. Networking opportunities with DN’s portfolio of 200+ designer maker members and access to contacts, news and opportunities is also available. 

Graduate membership costs just £40 (+vat) for an annual subscription. There is no selection process, membership is open to graduates of craft and design courses who have completed their studies within the past 2 years and are based in the UK.

Hayley Banks, Design-Nation's Membership & Programme Manager explains:

“We realise how daunting it can be for graduates in the early days after finishing their course, once they no longer have the support of tutors and other students around them. When the high of finishing their studies has worn off and graduates are tasked with issues such as finding studio space, developing a range of work and then seeking places to exhibit and sell their work, this can be overwhelming and lead to a sense of isolation. This in turn can lead in some cases to graduates giving up their creative journey and we don’t want that to happen! Through Design-Nation we can provide a cushion, a sounding board and a network of members that are renowned for supporting and championing each other. We’re really excited about welcoming the next generation of designer makers into our family!”

For more information on Graduate Membership please email or telephone 01529 414532

images; Hannah Staniford and Lauren Taylor

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Design-Nation’s latest news: New members announced and major showcases in London and Germany.Design-Nation’s latest news: New members announced and major showcases in London and Germany.Design-Nation’s latest news: New members announced and major showcases in London and Germany.Design-Nation’s latest news: New members announced and major showcases in London and Germany.

Design-Nation’s latest news: New members announced and major showcases in London and Germany.

As Design-Nation’s network grows to include new members, we present designer makers to new audiences at London Craft Week and Eunique in Germany.

Leading craft and design portfolio Design-Nation continues to grow with the addition of great new talent from across the country. In May we welcomed nine more members to our network, joining twelve others selected in January 2018.

New Members
The latest selection announced in May took place in London with nine applicants selected by our independent panel of craft and design industry professionals. Our panel assess excellence and ensure that our membership continues to raise the standard of contemporary craft and design produced in the UK, across quality, creativity and innovation.

The new members include designer makers in textiles, ceramics, jewellery and silverware. They are Atlantic Design Studio - Lou Gillet (jewellery) , Georgia Bosson (textiles) , HCLS Ceramics - Hannah Staniforth, Inner Finn Ceramics - Julie Fewster, Laura Smith (glass) , Lauren Taylor (jewellery) , Lucy Elisabeth (wirework) , Shona Marsh (silverware) and Dominika Kupcova (jewellery).

London Craft Week
Design-Nation took part in London Craft Week for the second year running, with a presentation of work entitled ‘ Head, Hand and Heart ’. The exhibiting craftspeople were selected for their ability to inspire, delight and inform through their contemporary craft works, beautifully illustrating John Ruskin’s statement, “ Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together ”. Working in partnership with leading rug designer Helen Yardley and Barbara Chandler, design champion, writer and photographer, Design-Nation developed this exhibition to explore the makers’ moments of inspiration; the intricacies of their handmade work; and most importantly posing the question, what is it about the making process which makes their hearts happy? The exhibition was a critical success at London Craft Week, showcasing these talents: rugmakers Angie Parker and Helen Yardley ; textile artists Anna Gravelle, Gizella K Warburton, Jacky Puzey and Ruth Singer ; furniture and marquetry designers Christine Meyer-Eaglestone and Hugh Miller Furniture ; glassblower Clare L Wilson ; and ceramicists Harriet Elkerton and Linda Bloomfield.

We are delighted to now be taking ‘Head, Hand and Heart’ to Germany, as one element of a rich showcase of exhibitors and works devised in the UK at Eunique , Germany’s premier exhibition of contemporary craft and design. The Design-Nation showcase has three distinct and unique elements; promoting the exquisite designs of a total of 28 members of Design-Nation.

Eunique, Germany
Eight makers are showing their work in Design-Nation’s main selling showcase at Eunique, with individual stands at the fair. The eight exhibitors travelling to Karlsruhe are, artist-engineer Dan Morrison of Blott Works, jeweller Eleanor Kerr-Parton , furniture maker Hugh Miller , lace designer Jayne Childs of J C Middlebrook , ceramicists Katie Lowe and Paula Briggs , glass maker Stuart Akroyd and leather accessory designer Wolfram Lohr . Jayne and Paula are returning to the fair as previous exhibitors but this is a new venture for the rest of the group, including Wolfram who was born and grew up in Karlsruhe but has not previously exhibited in his hometown. From this participation of the Design-Nation group at the fair and to cement our new partnership with the organisers, Design-Nation is proud to be the 2018 international partner of Eunique, and will celebrate this prestigious invitation by bringing the exhibition ‘Head, Hand and Heart’ or ‘ Design-Nation: Herz, Hand und Verstand’ in a central special exhibition area at Eunique.

The final aspect of the Design-Nation presentation is a special exhibition of work by our members to celebrate the long connection between great UK design and craftsmanship and the city of Nottingham, which has been creatively twinned with Karlsruhe. A cultural arrangement is in place to explore links between Nottinghamshire based designer makers and their counterparts in Karlsruhe. Design-Nation presents work inspired by or connected to Nottingham by JC Middlebrook*, Janie Knitted Textiles (Jane Withers), Jennie McCall, Jillian Riley Designs, Julie Vernon Mosaics, Kate Bajic Jewellery,
Foto Ceramica (Kit Anderson), MOMOKA53 Ltd (Momoka Gomi), Rare Notions by Phiona Richards, Sarah Burton and Stuart Akroyd Contemporary Glass* . (* These makers will be present at Eunique.)

Images Top to Bottom: Georgia Bosson, Julie Fewster, ‘Head, Hand and Heart’ at London Craft Week (Credit: Dan Weill Photography), Harriet Elkerton (Credit: Dan Weill Photography)

Notes to Editors:

For press enquiries:
David Gorrod or Trina Wickenden at Seen PR | @seen_pr | Tel +44 (0)1273 722 469

About Design-Nation
Design-Nation incorporating Design Factory, is a leading portfolio for designer-makers based in the UK who create craft, design and product. Our mission is to bring together partners, champions and investment, to strengthen business and creative development in the contemporary design and crafts sector. Our online portfolio was launched as a resource for designers, architects, interior decorators, retailers, manufacturers and the general public, in fact for anyone interested in the best on contemporary craft and design. Design-Nation was founded in 1999 by the late Peta Levi MBE, who previously
established prestigious talent-spotting showcase New Designers. Peta’s ambition created a resource to Collaborate, Consult, Commission, Trade, Buy, Collect, Source, Research and Innovate. In 2017 we merged with sister network Design Factory to create the strongest and most ambitious network of design and craft talent in the UK.

Design-Nation: future thinking for design and craft.

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