New Designers 2019: A New Standard of Ethically-Conscious Design


Set across two weeks, the New Designers show brings together 3000 hand-picked graduate designers – giving them a chance to show off their work, discuss potential collaborations and get valuable industry advice.

We visited the show last Friday, where it became clear that the future of product design is looking bright - as an army of new age, ethically-conscious graduates set a new standard for what we will be buying in the near future. 

Looking collectively at the product designs displayed at the show, a new approach appears to be emerging towards consumerism – where the focus shifts from how much we are buying, to what we are buying. Soon, much of what we consume will be expected to offer sustainable solutions to the topics and concerns that matter most to us as both individuals, and as a society, today. 

Sustainability, for example, is now beginning to form an inherent, seamless part of the majority of design, as opposed to being presented as one of many USPs. And mental health is another primary consideration in many new design concepts, whether that’s as a feature or as the sole purpose.   

From a mirror that improves wellbeing, to a cutlery combo designed to evoke a sense of harmony, here are some interior-related examples from the show that encapsulate this ethically-minded, progressive approach to product design.



RE-CD by Kieran Devlin 

Using a thermo-forming technique, Kieran reduces the amount of CDs going to landfill by using them to create this unique material. Durable and versatile, Kieran is considering selling it to kitchen companies. And the most innovative element to this material is that it’s recyclable – meaning it can be re-moulded as many times as needed for different purposes without compromising its qualities.



REFLECTION by Kane Fernandes

REFLECTION is a smart mirror that ‘reflects the user and their home environment’. Practically speaking this is an interesting product – the mirror will present with you information such as date, time, calendar events, tailored news and live air quality updates. But the most unique element of this design is its focus on wellbeing - teaching the user mindfulness, self-reflection and ‘mirror meditation’.




Sustainable homewares by Catarina Abend

With plastic debris she collects from Brighton beach, Catarina uses a technique involving tree sap instead of less environmentally-friendly resins, to form a beautiful material that she uses to create one-off, statement pieces for the home.


Recess Sofa by Siyi Gu

The Recess Sofa is a ‘multiple personality sofa designed to inspire people’s lifestyle’. The design explores the interaction between the sofa and the person through personalities, shape, colour and posture. Made up of three ergonomic surfaces, the Recess Sofa is built to adapt to multiple users sitting positions whilst simultaneously providing plenty of space and a feeling of security.



Ingrede Set - Matthew Dorabiala

This fork, knife and spoon set slots together using magnets and has been designed to ‘express the need for perfection in everyday life’ and bring a sense of ‘mathematical harmony’ to the user. This is an insightful take on how interconnected we are with the seemingly mundane products that serve us every day, and how they can have a subtle impact on our mood.

hplus by Matt Canham

With ‘hplus’, Matt draws upon the belief that functional devices should be intuitive and beautiful. His collection forms a range of six devices that monitor nine major medical conditions. The devices are accompanied by a mobile app that monitors and analyses the users medical data – even sending alerts to the user and their clinician if the data reaches dangerously high levels. These pieces not only have the potential to save lives, but serve as beautiful, minimalist art sculptures for the home.

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