Following on from Inspired Festival 2022, dozens of creative students flocked to New Designers, a two-week long exhibition hosted in London. The event also includes an awards programme in which notable projects are recognised.
Aamana Nawaz, Product and Furniture Design graduate, managed to pick up the MADE.com award for her unique lamp design. She told us about her experience of exhibiting and winning.
What is New Designers?
New Designers is a two week-long exhibition that showcases graduate work. Displayed are not only the works of fashion and textiles students, but also graphic design, jewellery, product, woodwork and many other design disciplines.
35 awards are given out via the New Designers Awards Programme to students and brands. The event is also a great opportunity for graduates to newtwork with businesses, buyers and recruiters from their industry.
Tell us about your project
Vlamp is a unique combination of a vase and a lamp that brings a playful element of light and nature into the home. 3D printed from plant-based polymers, the lamp can be tilted up to create ambient lighting or down for focussed lighting through a magnetic connection. The project was also shortlisted by Design London, Habitat and the Conran Design Award Prize, meaning the light will now feature in the Conran showcase at London Design Week in September.
I am interested in design that improves people’s lives and is pleasing to the eye. The balance of aesthetics and functionality within Scandinavian design is what I try to emulate in my own work. The entire process of developing an idea to a resolved physical product is what truly fascinates me.
How was your experience exhibiting at New Designers?
New Designers was definitely the highlight of university for me. Being surrounded by so many talented students and professional designers was so inspiring. There were several big companies present and it felt amazing to have so much exposure so early in my career. I'm so grateful that New Designers was in-person this year, it meant that I could speak to people and network throughout the week, which has really boosted my confidence.
During and after the exhibition, I was approached by several design studios who were hiring and asking to see my portfolio. I was also fortunate enough to receive the Made.com award as well as a shortlist award from The Conran Shop, Habitat and Design London. I know I couldn't have received this much recognition without New Designers.
How did it feel winning the MADE.com award?
It felt surreal. I can't quite put it into words, but it really was a dream come true, as cliche as that sounds. I still don't think it has sunk in! Made.com is such an inspiring and fun company, I feel truly honoured to have been selected by them. The award gives me the opportunity to work with Made.com to develop and produce my lamp to sell on their website. It really is an incredible opportunity, having my design available to buy from such a renowned company is something I never thought I could achieve at this age.
What are your future aspirations?
I'm currently working with MADE.com on the lamp design, so I plan to continue with that until it's ready for sale, which is very exciting! I am also now working as a Junior Product Designer at an incredible company called Foresso. I absolutely love my job and I feel like I've already learnt so much! But I plan to continue designing for myself as well, and to embrace any opportunities that might come from that.
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