Our 70 Ones to Watch have been selected from hundreds of entrants for their outstanding vision, ambition and potential to contribute to the UK’s reputation as a leading design nation.
We’re proud to showcase their designs as part of our 70th anniversary celebrations. For us, turning 70 isn’t about looking back at our history, it’s about looking ahead and thinking about designing our future.
Their showcase encompasses an array of disciplines – from architecture to textile design and most things in between – and they have taken on a range of relevant issues, pushing at the boundaries of what design should and could do.
The tile of the main showcase
Healthier and happier
Emily Tulloh's bespoke design enables four year-old Summer Stokley, who suffers from Rett Syndrome, to get out and about. Summer cannot talk or walk unaided and this tricycle, which will adjust as she grows, encourages mobility without the need for a wheelchair. The vehicle has been designed to be fun, familiar and comfortable for the little girl as well as being easy for her parents to assemble, fold up and adjust. Emily’s vision is for the Summerbug Trike to be used by all small children - a truly inclusive design.
Low Cost Prosthetic Hand
This design for low cost prostheses could make a significant difference to the lives of upper limb amputees in poorer parts of the world. Product designer Matthew Thompson tackles the high costs common to prosthetics by using only two motors instead of the usual six in his replacement hand design. The item is still highly functional, with a reduction not only in costs but also weight and noise.
More than just an alarm clock, the Good Morning app is a musical awakening. Targeted at 18 to 25 year olds, users select songs for friends or strangers to wake up to with the aim of giving them a positive start to the day. Lizzie and Olivia’s research showed that this age group is most prone to depression and particularly bad at mornings. Good Morning offers a simple but effective solution, with loads of potential to be distributed on a wider scale.
For many, the barrier to a ‘healthy commute’ is not the lack of sporting will or equipment but the absence of suitable showering and changing facilities at work. Soapbox solves this dilemma in an imaginative and sustainable fashion, using harvested water and photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. Old shipping containers are re-conditioned into modular shower, garden and seating hubs then placed in public spaces to serve multiple office locations. Chris is totally switched on to the great importance of a well-designed public realm in increasing people’s wellbeing.
Future Active Wear for Older Adults
Hyun Kyung Lee identifies deteriorating physical mobility as the key obstacle to people leading a healthy and active lifestyle long into their old age. Her Active Wear collection is principally aimed at increasing muscle strength and dexterity (as well as being very stylish to look at!). Gentle exercise functions are uniquely incorporated into such items as the Fall Prevention Exercise Trousers, the Hand and Finger Massage Jumper and the Social Activity Coat, so the wearer is encouraged to perform exercises during the day.
Osteoarthritis, most common in those between the ages of 45-64, causes joint pain and stiffness. Exercise is beneficial but many struggle to maintain physiotherapy alongside daily life. Simon Kinneir’s range of therapeutic kitchen utensils offers a simple way to improve joint health whilst knocking up a macaroni cheese or a Sunday roast. His ‘kitchen anchor’ concept supports peeling, grating and chopping, so that cooking becomes an easily achievable form of exercise.
Lift – Caring for Care Workers
Working in the care sector is demanding and stressful. The need for change in the system has never been more urgent. Sebastian Nause-Blueml's Lift is a service design that makes the jobs of carers more motivating and engaging. It boosts the autonomy of staff and gives them learning opportunities, increasing the quality of their care. In short, Lift cares for carers.
MyMed – Medication Dispensing Solution for the Elderly
Matthew Cardell-Williams’ MyMed solves medication management issues among the elderly. It is suitable for those with limited dexterity and sensory perception as well as people suffering from degenerative mental illnesses. MyMed is a personal dispensing machine that simply manages medication dosage and regimens straight from the pharmacy. This handy device can be loaded daily and compliance data tracked online by a carer or loved one.
Monkeyton is a toy designed to help children learn sign language. When researching teaching methods to identify speech and language problems in children, Louise Philo discovered there was a lack of suitable toys available for children with such needs. Cuddly monkey Monkeyton is intended for use within family homes, where it can help children communicate and therefore make a significant difference to their everyday lives.
First Aid Fred
Simple first aid skills can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation, yet the vast majority of people lack them. Claire's Smartphone app First Aid Fred teaches the basics of first aid to 8-14 year olds in an engaging, fun and interactive way. The design incorporates problem-solving, games and humour. The immersive experience works to embed knowledge early on so children can reach adulthood confident of their first aid skills.
As part of an ongoing conversation with material science, young designers are setting new boundaries, unlocking the potential of advances in one field and cross-pollinating from another. Designers are getting excited about the possibilities of materials and processes, using them to break new ground. Here we see designers exploring relationships with nature, thinking differently about waste and discovering materials at an atomic level.
PLAG is a unique up-cycling process in which plastic bags are used to create attractive art pieces reminiscent of ceramics and glass crafts. Plastic bags are considered to be some of the most wasteful products of modern society. Seaiby melts down and moulds the plastic of valueless plastic bags before powdering and reforming them. The resulting beautiful hand-worked vessels, evocative of the crinkly plastic bags they came from, make a clever eco statement.
EXTRACT Edible Painting and Printing Products
Concerns over both health and safety and sustainability have driven product designer and keen artist Effie Koukia to change the composition of graffiti paints. With EXTRACT, she has replaced petroleum-based ingredients with biodegradable ones from natural and sustainable sources. All the products are permanent and odourless, and there is no need to wear a mask or any other forms of protection when using them. The paint is safe for everyone to use, including children and those with respiratory problems.
In From Insects Marlene Huissoud uses the common honeybee and the Indian silkworm as co-partners in the design process, crafting an extraordinary series of vessels and furniture from their by-products. The bee produces propolis, a natural bio-degradable resin, which Marlene finds has similar properties to glass. The Indian silkworm discards its hard silk cocoon when it reaches maturity and from this Marlene has developed ‘wooden leather.’ As more people consider whether insects will become our future food source, ‘From Insects’ goes that one step further.
NAuNO and NAgNO Beads
Alchemical jeweller Sofie Boons is totally compelled by the magic that can come from collaboration between science and jewellery making. She spotted the potential of the colour changing properties of nanoparticles when she started experimenting with scientist Jodie Melbourne. Together they’ve created a whole new material to work with: a range of different coloured beads displaying remarkable optical properties.
Architecture for the Flooded City/Adaptive Bio-systems
Architect Thomas Glover advocates an organic solution to the problem of flooding caused by climate change. His practical design takes inspiration from the incredible bio-engineering of India’s ‘root bridges’, structures made from the living roots of the Indian rubber tree. His masterplan proposes a biodegradable scaffold on which to cultivate a living architecture. As sea levels rise, this city will grow above the waters.
Dust Matters proposes that the fine grey particles commonly found around the home are not ‘dirt’. Lucie Libotte has designed a method for re-using the substance. Working with her discovery that some of dust’s components chemically react like glazes, she has designed bespoke ceramic pieces with a decorative ‘dust coating’. Each piece is linked to a different London neighbourhood: the unusual glazes tell a story of their original environments.
The Narcissus Project
Christos Diplas has created a striking and sustainable landscape for London’s Royal Docks, the world’s largest enclosed docks. The design features a series of sunken walkways, floating islands and greenhouses for growing vegetables. These islands remove pollutants from the water. Meanwhile, pods of algae and transparent photovoltaic cells on the glass of the greenhouses provide energy for lighting and heating. Green thinking is in Christos’s blood, but it’s the dramatic beauty of his design that makes it so arresting.
Screwless, super-elastic glasses
Neethu Mathew has taken a fresh look at today’s specs which are, all too often, fragile and ill-fitting. The designer has worked with the shape memory alloy Nitinol. As well as being strong and durable, shape metal alloys possess a springy, rubberlike elasticity which makes them perfect for spectacles. Spectacles keep their shape and position without the need for the fiddly, easy to lose screws used to make traditional glasses. The screw-less, super-elastic glasses bow and bend, but always return to form.
When sugar is dissolved in water and heated to high temperatures it mimics glass. Fernando Laposse Madero works in the intersection between design and gastronomy, treating sugar as if were molten glass and transforming the foodstuff into edible vessels. Bitter cocktails served in these ephemeral glasses become sweeter as time passes.
The Sequence of Making
Design does not necessarily have to be planned, argues Rebecca Skelton with her furniture kit design, The Sequence of Making. The work explores the human instinct for making, and gives users the freedom to react to texture, shape and colour in the process. A series of wooden and fabric components are provided that can be slotted and woven together in multiple ways, according to the preferences of the individual.
In Praise Of Nests & Other Things
Architect Thomas Savage has designed a group of towering structures to sit on the shoreline outside the town of Blyth, Northumberland. The nine-storey hostel towers comprise steel scaffolding and concrete cabins, offering habitats for wild birds in the winter and water sports enthusiasts during the summer. The scheme responds to two local interests: ornithology and water sports, giving both birds and people the chance to temporarily ‘roost’ during different seasons.
Arts & Business Awards
These beautiful glass vessels, each with a unique colour spectrum, embody the Arts & Business Awards’ ethos. While the creative and the corporate sectors are fundamentally different in ideology, they also benefit from working together: in other words, they attract and repel one another simultaneously. In Jack’s design, iron filings are attracted to a magnet, creating endless internal sculptures. The design powerfully symbolises how an ongoing interaction between business and the arts allows for exciting new developments to evolve within the two fields.
Yue Rao has taken London’s riverbank from Blackfriars to Lambeth Bridge and transformed it into a linear park: a monolithic, tilting landscape. The busy road is moved underground and replaced with float-board gardens that change angle in response to the rise and fall of the River Thames. The park full of aquatic plants adds to the capital’s green infrastructure and connects several historic gardens along the north bank of the river.
Mary Locke's surface pattern design is vibrant and tactile. She explores colour and texture with a fresh sensibility, making use of less conventional materials such as hand dyed plastic. Wall Jewellery is created with dyed plastic and wrapped metal. Mary has taken the microscopic imagery of the science laboratory as a fertile starting point for her precise contemporary work.
Design has its part to play in a vision for a better society - one that challenges inequality, champions education and works for a superior quality of life for all. The political and social goals embodied in the following designs may be wide-ranging, but all ultimately share the same aim: to improve the lives of a large number of people.
The Potty Project
Architect Julia King never would have expected to be travelling around India designing and building toilets, but she is - and she loves it. Her design for Savda Ghevra, the largest planned resettlement colony in New Delhi, takes on the sanitation challenges faced by some of the world’s poorest people. The project uses technologies that can be built, managed and maintained by the local community. The Potty Project is also adaptable to the rapid, unplanned development of the urban fringe.
Inspired by the letter Gandhi wrote Hitler urging him to stop the upcoming war, Adam Radi and Mathias Trads’ social campaign raises awareness of global political issues by using the Moonpig.com platform. The greetings card brand is leveraged to fund a message-writing service to government leaders in the hope of affecting real change. The cards focus on areas and advocacy campaigns where self-expression is restricted - for example, the issue of gay rights in Russia.
4SANITATION is a hygiene pack for use in refugee camps. It combines a special soap with educational infographics promoting better hygiene and a sense of dignity. Simple icons and colours communicate four different uses: hand washing, bathing, clothes washing and cleaning utensils for food preparation. The long-life soap blocks are infused with titanium dioxide, which destroys bacteria and odour and leaves behind a shield of sun protection.
Architect Neil Michels’s Civic School redefines the function of a school, reaching out to the local population as a whole. By combining governmental education and regeneration budgets, and by using a city centre location, Michels imagines a 24-hour school that can be used by the public and pupils alike. This re-imagination of public space results in a place where adults and children can enjoy the city while learning together.
Landmines lie scattered in some 78 countries throughout the world. They are most commonly cleared by local people manually. The focus of Blastproof is to reduce the many serious injuries mine removal teams will typically sustain. Chris Natt’s focus is on tools that are easy and safe to use. Blastproof provides artificial mines to use as training aids and ergonomic hand tools keep the worker further away from a potential blast.
Felix Bell's Brick Bottle is an everyday drinks container with a potentially life-changing second use. This empty container, when filled with sand or soil, transforms into a robust construction material. It is specifically designed to build fire, flood and earthquake-resistant shelters for refugees in disaster and conflict zones across the developing world. The clever interlocking design changes the way we think about waste and recycling, from the ground up.
Detroit: The City of Forests
Benjamin-Murray Allan proposes adapting deprived post-industrial Detroit into the ‘City of Forests.’ Timber is the new economic focus, creating a greener and more sustainable future. As Detroit continues to struggle with the effects of massive industrial wastelands, this more positive image of public space opens new discussions about the future post-industrial city.
ISB: Inflatable Spinal Board
James Christopher Woolsey’s inflatable spinal board design introduces drop stitch PVC (a high-tech material comprising hundreds of fine threads) to a key piece of coastal rescue equipment, the inflatable spinal board. Incredibly supportive, a board made of this fabric can hold the weight of a person without flexing. When deflated, it is thin and flexible, allowing for easy storage.
100 years after the 'Great War', the world pauses to reflect on what happened between 1914 and 1918. Ed Harrison's REMEMBRANCE is a web campaign that connects young people today with the events of the First World War. Bold design, animation and interactive infographics create an engaging and inspiring four-year-long centenary campaign, sensitively recalling both the horror and the resilient spirit of the times.
Making Space for Autism
Emma Thomas’s private and public space design encourages community spirit and helps autistic people interact. Located in a deprived area of Stroud, the project comprises 24-hour-care housing, supported living housing and social housing. The design puts a focus on circulation spaces, giving autistic people the opportunity to observe social situations without having to engage. The plan develops threshold spaces, places for chance meetings and overall social development.
ASAP rescue water craft
Speed is everything in an emergency situation and water rescue is no exception. When a person starts to drown, there are just a few minutes of leeway. Ross Kemp’s electric waterboard improves efficiency for both beach and inland rescue, helping rescuers blast through surf and quickly reach people who are drowning. Informed by but significantly cheaper than a jet ski, the design also benefits from having zero emissions.
Alec Machin’s stackable, pourable, recyclable paint containers reduce both paint and packaging waste. Decorate has a one-way pouring valve that prevents paint drying out and an inner bag made from a metallised PET, which maintains its temperature. As well as limiting the need to discard paint, Decorate’s cardboard outer, plastic lid and valve can all be recycled.
Education progression pack
Hannah Pellatt's printed information package is aimed at secondary school pupils looking to progress in arts-based further education. Her design is a fresh typographic take on the standard course brochure. It skilfully deconstructs core information about arts education and available career pathways, presenting this both clearly and attractively. The attention to typographic detail and disciplined simplicity of the pack means it speaks directly to its audience as well as being visually inspiring.
Living in the city
Living in the city
We are increasingly becoming an urban world. Experts predict that by 2050 three quarters of the world will live in cities. This presents a range of new challenges such as overcrowding, pollution and social discord. Smart and thoughtful designs aimed at tackling these issues seek to bring the human scale back into the complex organism of the city.
National Trust - More Space
Space is at a premium for the 8 million people living in the densely populated neighbourhoods of London, spending their working lives in tightly packed offices, buses and trains. Conversely, the National Trust owns over 600,000 acres, more land than anyone else in the UK. Jack Beveridge's creative campaign shows urbanites what it would feel like to have a little more space to move.
The Community Rail
Lee has designed a system for leasing bulky household items which are installed in communal areas of limited space accommodation, such as single room flats or student halls. Space is at a premium, particularly in cities, so sharing bulky items makes perfect sense. If we can share cars via similar schemes, then the same could apply for ironing boards and vacuum cleaners.
Patch|Bristol is a social impact project that links allotment holders in Bristol with local food banks, reducing food waste and increasing awareness of food poverty. Over 1 million people have used food banks in the last year. Grace addressed the problem by creating a branding system that encourages local growers to make donations. The project includes plans for Pop-Up Patches around the city centre to get the general public donating and distributing. ‘Patch Teepee’ is the same concept brought to festivals and events.
PEMY (Pre-Ecopoiesis Mars Yard)
PEMY is an architectural modelling of Mars on Earth. Sonila Kadillari uses science as the backbone to her imaginative exploration of the red planet. Her design encompasses a complex collection of planetary simulations - light, temperature, gravity and topography - in which she attempts to lay the groundwork for the beginning of a new (Martian) architecture. This isn't science fiction either: the application of design for extreme environmental conditions is very much an earthly matter.
The Ladder promotes employability within deprived communities while boosting the local economy. The service has been designed in response to frustration with mainstream employment services. Crucially, it regards local people as valuable assets and helps them start relevant micro-enterprises by matching their skills and aspirations to the needs of their community. They are given tools and training that help them with the complexities of both starting and running a successful business.
Acting as a mediator between people and place, Space Replay, a project created in collaboration between RCA students Francesco Tacchini, Will Yates-Johnson and Julinka Ebhardt, manipulates sounds in transitional public spaces like lifts, stairwells and hallways. A hovering black orb which moves through space on air currents, it responds sonically to people and its surroundings by means of hacked electronics, recording and playing back sounds. Space Replay produces a delayed echo of human activity and prompts listeners to think more deeply about their environments.
Robots of Brixton
Kibwe Tavares’s powerful film Robots of Brixton explores the relationship between architecture, class and race. Its imagined future follows the trials and tribulations of young robots surviving at the sharp end of inner city life. Poverty, disillusionment and mass unemployment are entrenched in the residents’ lives. The film underlines the need to use architecture to serve people’s needs and counter this spectre of despair.
Wind Turbine Diffuser
Wind power is seen as a dynamic solution to rising CO2 levels but there have been significant issues with the performance of turbines. Krishan Meetoo's Wind Turbine Diffuser challenges existing designs. It is an aerodynamic device that greater harnesses the power of wind. Based on aeroplane wing construction, it was developed using a number of revolutionary timesaving technologies, from computational fluid dynamics to 3D printing.
Hampstead Garden Suburb
As a pioneering community of high quality housing and green spaces built for ordinary people, Hampstead Garden Suburb is a town planning landmark. Today, however, its radical socialist origins are obscured by a rigid exclusivity. Amy Perkins attempts to address an urgent need for new housing in the North London borough of Barnet while paying heed to the humanitarian Henrietta Barnett’s vision of a green, spacious suburb.
Everyday Athlete Interactive Billboard
Sarah Weigold has created a crowd of cheering spectators. Her motion sensitive billboard targets pedestrians, cyclists and joggers as they move down the street. It aims to encourage impromptu exercise and make everyone feel like a sports star. The faster someone moves, the bigger the crowd’s reaction. As the passerby picks up their pace for just a few seconds, they are made to feel that their efforts are significant and worth celebrating.
Hong Kong Waterfront
Hong Kong is in the process of a major urban regeneration scheme centred on its iconic Victoria Harbour district. Linking in with this major project, Laura Mazzeo has designed a tramway to connect hotspots from East to West. The ‘Dragon Tram’ offers a coherent framework for all of the 22 cultural, business and residential ‘Action Areas’ within the harbour, encouraging greener ways of moving around and better access to open spaces.
CityLive is an immersive campaign designed to change people’s perceptions of homelessness in Manchester. Challenging an ‘Us and Them’ mentality, Lukas Valiauga delves into the emotional aspects of homelessness through the deceptively simple device of storytelling. Passersby are first attracted to voices emerging from digital touchscreens in the city centre. These touchscreens then come to life with an image of a local homeless person telling their story. As the storyteller offers their hand, the spectator extends theirs to meet it.
Havana Construction School
In densely inhabited Havana, Cuba, money is tight and so is domestic space. Many homes are occupied by expanding multigenerational families and adapted and extended unsafely. Claire Beard has designed a school to nurture construction skills. The building also invites locals to understand and engage with basic building principles. The appealing design celebrates new and experimental construction techniques as well as the use of eco materials, such as lime pozzolana cement and engineered bamboo.
The Depository of Forgotten Monuments
The attempt to balance local identity with new global influences sets the tone for urban development all over the city of Moscow. In response to this, Vidhya's Depository of Forgotten Monuments acts as a flexible and dynamic architectural framework – a scaffold if you like – that connects forgotten with popular parts of the city.
As designers take leaps within and across disciplines, they unlock the potential of advances in science and technology. Here we see designers finding ways to play with the real and the virtual - altering perceptions and capabilities as well as blending senses to educate, inspire and provide therapeutic support. In an era when people are immersed in digital worlds, yet still want a connection with a tangible one, pushing these boundaries couldn’t be more relevant.
Music Memory Box
Chloe's Music Memory Box gives much needed familiarity and comfort to people with dementia, at a disarming time in their lives. The design makes use of the profound effect music can have on people with this type of illness. The box contains objects chosen by the owner to represent friends, family and key memories. As each object is picked up and held, a specific piece of music is played, encouraging the owner to recall memories from their life. This multi-sensory way of triggering reminiscences helps those with dementia to retain a sense of identity, emotional wellbeing and communication skills.
Through CONTACT, any physical interaction with a table or hard surface generates vibrations that are simultaneously manipulated and transformed into a stunning acoustic and optical performance. Felix Faire originally studied architecture, but as a lifelong musician he became more fascinated with experiences that seamlessly move between our perceptions of space, music and visuals. In CONTACT, the technology remains hidden so that the user can focus purely on sensations.
Essence in Space
Have you ever wondered what Beethoven’s "Moonlight Sonata” or Mozart’s “Requiem” smell like? Industrial designer Chang Hee Lee is interested in the way the senses interact. With a modern twist on alchemy, he set out to turn music into perfume. He harmonises this synaesthetic connection through the use of a custom built musical keyboard linked to a range of perfume notes. When certain keys are pressed, a specific fragrance is released.
James Molkenthin’s design gives blind and partially sighted people assurance, control and normalcy in the home. Its stylish look also helps to remove the stigma around specially manufactured ‘blind products’. The Iungo Kettle communicates via Bluetooth with a smartphone app, which measures the temperature and volume of water in the kettle, and sends push-notifications to the user when it has boiled. The app turns the device on and off and displays usage statistics.
The Exquisite Cabinet
Caroline Claisse’s experimental exhibition designs are inspired by the work of prominent surrealist artists including Andre Breton and Man Ray. The cabinet features four intriguing objects designed using 3D printing and 3D scanning. Visitors are invited to embed a snippet of a story inspired by the objects into the cabinet. As they move the objects around, a digital interface is triggered and a few words from the previous visitor's story are seen. This story can be added to, carrying on a narrative chain.
An Acoustic Lyrical Mechanism
This building not only gives mine workers in an Indian quarry respite from the pounding noise but also the opportunity to tune in to something therapeutic. Taking inspiration from an Aeolian harp, An Acoustic Lyrical Mechanism harnesses wind currents to create calming acoustics. Located above the quarry floor alongside a temple, this mechanism ‘plays’ the building’s instrumental spaces. It engages workers with sonic workshops, offering treatment and hope to their community.
Trumps Top Ten: Augmented Reality
Rory McLaren has created a sort of corporate Top Trumps. His educational game embraces the relatively new technology of augmented reality, allowing people to access digital information, including pictures and video, through objects - in his case, Top Trumps playing cards. The game design seeks to develop brand and corporate awareness in young people, inspiring better informed choices.
Everyday living is about simple and functional, yet often beautiful, design that offers solutions to the daily challenges that arise from fast-paced lifestyles. The following smart and resourceful designs - among them a solar-powered table, a modular and adaptable furniture set, a folding scooter and a device to bake artisan quality bread in the oven - meet today’s routine needs.
Store and Pour
Rebecca's Store and Pour storage jars are designed to fit neatly into small kitchen spaces and make it easy to measure out correct portions of rice. The pour jar is designed specifically to pour into the lid, which holds one portion of uncooked rice. The storage jar shape is mirrored in the lid and therefore easy to pick up and pour into the cooking pan. The jars are not just useful and compact, but also help to promote a culture of healthy eating.
The A4 scooter
George Mabey's engineering triumph takes its inspiration from the ubiquitous children's scooter. He has overcome obstacles concerning folding mechanisms and steering methods on his journey to design a scooter that weighs less than five kilos and, incredibly, rolls up to the size of an A4 box file. In short, this 'micro scooter' really is micro.
Finn Lounge Chair
With the Finn Lounge Chair, Oliver Hrubiak challenges contemporary ‘disposable’ furniture. He has been inspired by the enduring aesthetic appeal of mid-century Scandinavian design. Incorporating top quality British steel, the chair is compact and elegant as well as being supportive, warm and tactile. Crucially, the Finn Lounge Chair is designed to rise above fashion trends. Central to its appeal is its good proportions, simple shapes, soft lines and natural finishes.
Spring Oven has been designed to produce high quality bread from any kind of oven. Responding to the scientific process behind artisan bread baking, Kendal's device allows a high concentration of steam to circulate the dough, getting the most out of the rise whilst lightly glazing the crust. This process of cooking, which can be applied to any type of food, combines the health advantages of steaming with the superior taste benefits of roasting or baking.
The glass top of Marjan van Aubel's Current Table incorporates a dye sensitised solar cell. Unlike classic solar cells, these coloured cells do not require direct sunlight to work and are able to function under diffused light. Current Table effectively uses the process of photosynthesis to gather and harvest energy from daylight. This power is then applied directly to the domestic environment, where it can be used to charge up household appliances.
Bringing Fairytales into the 21st Century
Aimee Joy Jones has re-told the stories of iconic fairytale characters as infographics. She skilfully depicts 16 narratives, making them accessible to those who might not normally pick up a book, encouraging children to become more intrigued and excited about the prospect of reading. As well as the universal messages communicated here, the design provides a welcome alternative to standard visual interpretations of age-old stories. By transposing an age old format – the book – into quick and easily digestible infographics, Aimee shows an awareness of the fast-paced nature of the modern age and highlights the continuing relevance of these tales.
The Designer's Desk
The Designer's Desk is the work of our youngest One to Watch, schoolgirl Rachel Yinlan Chung. She set out to design and make a desk that meets functional needs but also some environmental ones too: it is high quality, good to look at and sustainable to produce. The design features an inbuilt light-box and a rotating top with a pin-and-hole locking mechanism, allowing it to be tilted to the desired angle.
Shapes and patterns from everyday life inspire Hannah Lois Sangwin’s bold and brave printed textiles. The simplicity of shape intertwined with the intricacy of pattern make for a playful design. The monochromatic element of her hand-drawn designs leaves the viewer entranced.
Handmade in silver, the Conversational Vessels series includes containers for milk and cream, water and wine. Silversmith Juliette Bigley is principally interested in human relationships with objects. Both sculptural and functional, her witty designs also attempt to bring out the character of the objects themselves. She is inspired by the body language we use when interacting with others and interested in how this can be applied to objects. She places objects in such a way that they ‘converse’ on a table.
With Petal Pegs, Ralph Raposas has tackled everyday frustrations around the use of clothes pegs. His storage unit takes the form of a neat, hangable container for thirty-two pegs. These are made from polypropylene with an integrated hinge and an elastomer grip to prevent clothes from falling. The aim is to turn a mundane task into something more pleasing and rewarding.
Dan Hoolahan's Freeform is a playful and multifunctional furniture range. These pieces, designed in ash timber, can take on varying roles, including as seating, tables and shelving. Screw threads cut into the wood allow for quick and easy construction that is intuitive, tactile and doesn’t even require tools to assemble. Freeform has a limited impact on the environment and can be easily moved from home to home, taking on different forms or functions to fit the requirements of each living space.
NOOOK, a strong yet light cardboard disc, is a construction toy for architectural play. Made from corrugated cardboard, Torsten's NOOOK has the virtue of being both cheap to produce and green. Taking inspiration from the iconic Lego building block, it offers children an engaging modular building component. The hinged shape forms both edges and flat surfaces. It encourages instinctive experimentation as it can be used to produce an almost infinite array of structures.
Our selection process had two parts. We asked leading designers to select 24 designers from other top shows and awards, and we selected a further 46 from an open online call for entries.
All the designers were assessed on how innovative, visionary and ambitious they are based on their submitted design, as well as how much potential they have to contribute to the UK's creative economy and reputation.
The following judges scouted at these top events:
We would like to thank our stellar line-up of judges for helping choose our 70 Ones to Watch:
- Andy Altmann, Why Not Associates
- Annie Warburton, Creative Programmes Director, Crafts Council
- Assa Ashuach, Assa Ashuach Studio
- Ben Terrett, Director of Design, Government Digital Service
- Ben Wright, Design Studio
- Bethany Koby, Technology Will Save Us
- Chloe Macintosh, Co-Founder of Made.Com
- George Clarke, Architect
- John Mathers, Design Council
- Martha Lane Fox, co-founder of Lastminute.com
- Mat Hunter, Design Council
- Rachel Coldicutt, Planning Director at a service design agency called Friday
- Rama Gheerawo, Helen Hamlyn Centre
- Rohan Gunatillake, maker of Buddhify app, Mindfulness and Technology
- Rory Dodd, Designersblock