Design graduates show their work to the world at major industry event

Hollie Owen - Loop Hanger

Graduating students from the University’s BA (Hons) 3D Design programme are showcasing what they can offer employers at an influential event in London this week.

New Designers takes place at the Business Design Centre, Islington from June 26–29 and July 3–6. Each year, the show gathers more than 3000 newly qualified designers and over 100 new creative businesses under one roof together with design educators, professionals and consumers, making it a key opportunity for graduates to network with future colleagues and employers.

The University’s 3D Design programme is unique in that it offers students three possible pathways to choose from. The course takes two stands for the second week of New Designers, one showcasing the work of graduates from the Product Designer and Designer Maker strands, and one with a focus on those coming out of the Spatial and Interior discipline.

For recruiters from design consultancies and manufacturers such as Dyson and Lego, the event is a hunting ground for new talent. It is also a chance for new graduates to meet University alumni who have already established themselves in the design profession – opening up new networks and employment opportunities.

Polly Macpherson is Associate Professor of Design and Award Leader for the Designer Maker pathway. She said:

“As they come to the end of their undergraduate studies, New Designers is a key stepping stone on our students’ career journeys. To travel to London and get the chance to mingle with their peers, employers and practising designers takes our graduates out of their University comfort zone and gives them a fantastic introduction to the industry, building on the links they have already made during the course.

“The event is also a chance for students to benefit from our networks as design professionals, and to take inspiration from University alumni who have gone before them in forging successful careers in the field.”

Roy Tam is Associate Head of School and Lecturer on the BA (Hons) 3D Design course, and leads the University delegation to New Designers. He added:

“New Designers is the must-go event for graduates to show off their three years’ of design work in front of employers and design media. The press loves discovering new talent there, helping our graduates build credibility and stand out from the crowd. Many of our graduates then get selected to exhibit in major shows like the London Design Festival.

“One highlight is the chance to meet renowned designers who comb the exhibition as judges, searching for future star designers and handing out many awards – our students gain experience presenting their work to these professionals, and are consistently shortlisted or winners.

“The event is a success for our students every year, and above all shows the course’s unique selling points: that each student stands out as an individual, thanks to the multidisciplinary nature of the programme, and the wide range of skills it equips them with.”

Polly named as judge on C4’s new show

Polly Macpherson is one of two judges on Kirstie’s Celebrity Craft Masters. Due to air from 1 July, each day will see celebrities go head to head to win Kirstie’s craft trophy after a day with a professional craftsperson who will teach them to make three items. Polly said:

“People enjoy the physical process of making things. The excitement of being able to take a lump of clay, for example, and make a pot out of it – and to say, ‘I did that!’ With life being very digitalised now, physically making something is great for mental health and that feeling of achievement whatever the level of craftsmanship.”

Learn more about Polly's role on the show