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Design competition unearths exciting graduate designers

Kingfisher sponsored the New Designers exhibition and competition in London this July – it is the UK’s foremost graduate design exhibition, showcasing 3,000 of the most promising talents from the UK’s leading design courses exhibiting their work.

Kingfisher began supporting the event in 2016 in the Product Design category. This year, we sponsored two awards, recognising up-and-coming young talent in both the Product Design and Textiles categories.

The entrants to this year’s competition were of a very high standard, and we are delighted to have found two exciting design talents:

Elizabeth Joyce, winner of the Product Design category, presented Orbit – a wall-mounted washing machine that compliments busy living and takes up less space in a flat. Her work was selected for her use of in-depth research into customer needs to shape her design.

Ellie Rose Smales won in the Textiles category with her work entitled Grace. The work was a series of hand-drawn and digital sketches on dyed fabrics, which were inspired by the Scottish Highlands and the rugged landscapes of Northern Europe. Her designs won over the judges for their uniqueness, versatility, and use of colour.

Elizabeth and Ellie both win a six-week work placement in our design team, and £1,000 cash prize.

Chuko Cribb, last year’s competition winner who now works in the Kingfisher Design team, gave a speech during New Designers 2017, about the springboard the competition gave his career, and some of the projects he is working on now.

Theo Williams, Design Director at Kingfisher said: “At Kingfisher, we want to be more than a retailer; we want to design leading-edge products that customers won’t find elsewhere. That requires the very best design talent, which is why we are excited to support New Designers and meet the new generation of designers about to enter the workplace. With the help of their fresh thinking we can create truly innovative ranges with a local feel and flavour.”

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