With students making the leap up to the level of Graduate across the country, June is always a prosperous time for design here in the UK. Many will have already completed their studies, handed in portfolios, hung shows and had their work marked by this stage of the month. All of their hard work, research and new discoveries coming to a climatic end after 3 or 4 years of under graduate study.
But it’s not the final part in the chapter. June also signals the opening of one of our leading graduate exhibitions, with universities from across the British Isles coming together under the roof of the Islington Business Design Centre for New Designers. Split across two consecutive weeks, the show is the best place to seek out new talent and hot designer prospects.
As well as offering a window on our young design hopefuls work, the show allow plays host to a number of integral design awards and this year a rather special award returns for it’s third incarnation. The Colour In Design Award has been founded by long standing Creative Director at Dulux UK, Marianne Shillingford and has a fairly simple but powerful remit, as she explains:
“The awards seek to celebrate the very simple subject of colour that binds multiple disciplines of design together. We seek out those who use colour as a medium that goes beyond the way something looks to the way that we respond to it. We’re looking for work whose transformative power is revealed and real creative magic happens.”
There are winners and ones to watch whom all benefit from the recognition given by the judges. Winners receive useful cash and invaluable mentoring from top industry experts throughout their career. Ones to watch receive practical help and mentoring too, plus they get a chance to design and make unique awards for the next generation of winners.
All get featured on the CIDA website with a gallery of their own work which provides them with a fanfare within the industry and helps them to build a profile.
Previous winners include Diane Bresson from Central Saint Martins, who creates sumptuous colour combinations within her screen printed wallpaper collections and Laurent Peacock, who makes furniture with surfaces created from materials such as peppercorns and salt, which generate natural but unexpected colour palettes.
One of last years One’s to Watch, Toni Packham from Brighton University, will be designing and making this years award with her luxurious surface materials made from waste materials washed ashore such as polypropylene rope. Whilst this years judging panel will consist of leading names from the world of design including, Journalist, Broadcaster and curator Corinne Julius, Laura Perryman of Colour of Saying and Designer Clarissa Hulse to name but a few.
Marianne explains the significance of this rich mix of graduate and design professionals:
“Judges, winners and ones to watch combine to make a thriving community who prove that the kindness and generosity of creativity is one of its most powerful forces for good.”
Indeed, the award itself has grown from a philanthropic seedling, lay down by Marianne and embraced by those who offer their time and support. The reasoning behind this is clear and pertinent, as Marianne describes best:
“In an era where creativity is suffocated by lack of funding or a real appreciation of the richness it brings to society, charities like CIDA have an important role to play. We face a real threat to the design industries that contributes £31b to the UK economy unless we actively encourage a new generation of talent – and whilst AI is proving it can replace so many traditional roles we continue to push our young people to study (creating a future obsolescence) it will never be able to replace human creativity.”
Judges will be doing the rounds at both New Designers Part 1 and Part 2 which take place June 26-29 and July 3-6 with tickets now on sale at their website.