It’s a bright young future for New Design Britain

May Design Series is back with a revitalised ethos, bringing talented new designers to the forefront of the international design industry with the announcement of two new categories and a brand new judging line-up for the 2015 New Design Britain Awards.

Today, two new categories have been introduced to the 2015 edition of the Awards: Interior Design and Architecture. These additions will sit alongside the four existing categories: Furniture, Furnishing Accessories, Fabric and Surface Coverings. The new categories have been introduced in order to celebrate young design talent in all forms – whether a designer has a passion for designing products or spaces, New Design Britain is the vehicle to help bring the end result to market.

The bill of judges includes a selection of the best-known names in the interiors and furniture industry through a cross-section of disciplines, all suitable candidates to guide entrants through the awards process. For the first time, each category will be overseen by four judges each. Some of the 24 judges taking part include:

  • Barbara Chandler, Journalist at the London Evening Standard
  • Kate Mitchell, Timorous Beasties
  • Rob Scarlett, Scarlett Designs
  • Elaine Boyle, Buyer at Heals
  • Ged Couser, BDP Architects
  • Tom Hewitt, BDP Architects
  • Dids Macdonald, ACID
  • Dan Ziglam, DeadGood
  • Naomi Cleaver, British Design Consultant
  • Anna Rigby, Homeware Buyer at John Lewis
  • Staffan Tollgard, Staffan Tollgard Design Group
  • Phil Coffey, Coffey Architects
  • Sara Cosgrove, Luxury Resident & Commercial Interior Designer
  • Katherine Pooley, Luxury Interior Designer
  • Dan Hopwood, Architectural Interior Designer

The New Design Britain Awards will be overseen by Andy Bishop, Creative Director at the May Design Series. Speaking about the launch of the new-look format for 2015, Andy said:

“The May Design Series is an event that celebrates all aspects of the interiors, furniture and design industries, and we wanted the New Design Britain Awards to reflect this. Introducing the Interior Design and Architecture categories ensures that we are able to offer something to young creative talent from all design disciplines. With the help of our expert judging line-up I know we can discover some true talent.”

Judge Tom Hewitt, International Retail Director at BDP Architects, spoke of his excitement about taking part:

“I am delighted to be involved in judging the awards next year as the innovation and originality of thought which characterises the submissions, is both inspirational and refreshing to fellow design professionals. To see how consideration of a material, established or experimental, can be adapted through intuition and analysis to produce unique products is at the heart of the design process. In the UK we have fostered these principles to our significant benefit and BDP recognises the value of such a reputation for innovation from national and international perspectives.”

Speaking at the retrospective exhibition held at this year’s May Design Series, longstanding judge Barbara Chandler commented on the impact that winning a New Design Britain Award can have on a the career of a young designer:

“I was so impressed with what all our winners have achieved in the 10 years since we started the competition – so much enthusiasm, application, talent and above all professionalism. Christiana Ionescu stood out as she has only been designing for a year but has packed so much in – including a work placement with John Lewis, a best-selling light sold on, and the chairs that originally won her the prize have been designed for Davison Highley and manufactured in High Wycombe.”

Christiana Ionescu, winner in 2013 as well as winner of the ‘Best in Show’ award at the retrospective exhibition held at this year’s May Design Series, urged students to get involved with the initiative:

“Apart from gaining a lot of confidence, winning New Design Britain has also made gave me the opportunity to carry out a work placement in the design studios at John Lewis. This proved an invaluable experience, gave me an insight into the world of the retail industry, and definitely helped me to break into the design world. I would advise design students to get involved with New Design Britain as it’s a great way to get some additional experience and gain important contacts.”

Andy Vaughan, Brand Director for May Design Series said:

“We pride ourselves on supporting up and coming designers and providing a platform to the industry, both within the UK and internationally. With the revamp of the awards at May Design Series we are committed now more than ever to providing the industry with young design talent, new trends and inspirational business advice.”

Entries to the 2015 New Design Britain Awards will open later this year. For more information and to register your interest in next year’s May Design Series, visit