Bright Young Things: Designer Picks for 2011

Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed the festivities wherever you are. I thought I’d hit two resolutions with one stone (1. blog more, 2. don’t leave bags of exhibition flyers and literature hanging around the desk area for months whilst ‘getting round’ to going through them) to bring you my top picks for new design talent to watch for 2011 (aka my review of London Design Festival, repackaged in a more time-appropriate posting). Just to spread out the joy, I’ve themed my reviews into sections: Ceramics and Glass, Illustration, Print and Pattern, Interactive Design, Furniture, Quirky Finds and Upcycled – which is first up:

Zoe Murphy – not sure how appropriate it is to call someone the matriarch of a trend when they’re still in their twenties and are barely into their third year of business, but Ms Murphy certainly did help kick this trend into the mainstream and get everyone talking about upcycling. Inspired by her seaside hometown or Margate, she screenprints her unique designs onto tired old furniture and discarded lengths of Formica to create original homewares and artwork

Wycliffe Stutchbury – creates art compositions from discarded wood such as old roofing joists (in images), cow sheds and holly branches

Claire Brewster – uses old and out of date maps to create achingly pretty, ethereal 3D papercut birds

Katie Bonham – reclaimed London bricks form the canvas for Katie’s illustrations of iconic London landmarks, re-fired in the kilns of the London Brick factory where their ‘lives’ began

Betty Pepper – original artworks and jewellery created by Betty’s ‘book orphans’ – books she finds in charity shops, awaiting a new lease of life

Furniture Magpies – by reworking the shapes and structures of everyday pieces, this design house has managed to make the old seem super-spanky new. Bonus eco points for their furniture range constructed from discarded drawers, reformed into funky upholstered storage stools

Lucy Turner – updates retro pieces with her bespoke, customised laminate designs

20 Age – by redesigning classic furniture pieces by the likes of Ercol, mid-century and Victorian seating is given a modern twist with quirky reupholstering

Quirico – Beautiful range of pouffes, cushions and seating upholstered using old hand-embroidered Suzani fabric.

Stay tuned for the remaining reviews, to follow shortly!


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About Joanna Thornhill

Freelance Interior Stylist, Author, Writer and Crafter working for a range of magazine titles and commercial clients. Author of Home for Now (CICO Books 2014)

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