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The making of a New Era

The Great British portfolio for Craft, Design and Product unveils a bright new future in collaboration with Design Factory and The National Centre for Craft & Design, with North Kesteven District Council.

Prestigious creative agency and membership organisation Design-Nation is joining Design Factory and The National Centre for Craft & Design to create a NEW and stronger alliance of organisations that lead across the UK and international craft and design sectors.
This new alliance of brands will unite all three organisations in a joint mission to deliver new opportunities to develop and grow the UK’s creative community. By bringing together new partners, champions and investment, the alliance will strengthen business and creative development in the contemporary design and crafts sector across the UK.  It was a little over 10 years ago when North Kesteven District Council’s vision to bring an arts and culture facility to the district was realised through The National Centre for Craft & Design.  The news of this collaboration will undoubtedly enhance that, said Cllr Lindsey Cawrey, Executive Board Member with responsibility for arts and culture.

“North Kesteven District Council has a long-established commitment to the provision of cultural services for its people as part of our diverse economic mix which is reflected in our corporate ambitions.

“As a council, we are immensely proud of our arts services which do so much to enhance the creative sector, visitor economy and the emotional wellbeing of our residents.  The district council is especially proud to have secured further Arts Council National Portfolio funding which supports The National Centre for Craft & Design, Design Factory and artsNK – the district’s visual and performing arts team” she says.

Existing membership and activities through Design-Nation will be enhanced; and wider scope will be given for launching new initiatives over the next four years, expanding operations and creating a strong portfolio of organisations that will become Britain’s leading resource for the celebration, support and promotion of craft and design.”Doors will open for Design Factory’s top-level members to widen their aspirations and new opportunities will arise for those strongly curated exhibitions that will present the cream of British contemporary craft and innovative design.

Clare Edwards from The National Centre for Craft & Design and Design Factory says, “To be approached and offered this opportunity was a great honour and working together we can now address the present whilst taking on the future challenges for British craft and design through a new framework of support across the East Midlands and the UK.
This marriage will offer innovative and fresh opportunities for a new generation that builds on the complementary activities and values across our work and will be built to become Britain’s leading resource for the celebration, support and promotion of craft and design.”

Notes to Editors
About Design-Nation

Design-Nation was founded in 1997 by the late Peta Levi MBE, a writer, design champion and curator, who previously founded the prestigious talent-spotting showcase New Designers in 1993.  In 2012 the baton was passed to leading British designer Andrew Tanner who will continue as voluntary Brand Ambassador for Design-Nation.

Design-Nation offers a one stop destination for retailers, manufacturers and press together with industry professionals who want to commission, invest and source Great British design.

Design-Nation is positioned as the premier level of membership network for designer-makers in the UK, with both a national and international profile and activity programme.

Membership is selected by peers and industry professionals and is open to all practices of Craft, Product and Design from across the United Kingdom.   Once selected through a twice yearly open selection submission process, Members have access to benefits, subsidised exhibition opportunities and group networking within Design-Nation.  Friends of the organisation include The Southbank Centre, New Designers Exhibition, London and Decorex International.

Coming Up for 2014:

Design-Nation Presents brings together Design-Nation members and Southbank retail shops for an annual one-month showcase.   Promoting new works in British Craft and Design, this year’s event runs from Wednesday 1st October to Friday 31st October 2014.

Design-Nation will be taking a stand and exhibiting select members at Decorex International from Sunday 21st to Wednesday 24th September 2014.

The Eureka! project, which ran from 2004 to 2009, will be re-launched in 2015, to encourage British retailers and manufacturers to commission British designers in the creation of new and exciting products and services.

About Design Factory

Design Factory is the UK’s leading creative agency for the support and development of craft and design practice and was founded in 2005.

With over 200 members Design Factory promotes artistic integrity, raises the standard of craft and design and commercially supports designer-makers through a renowned programme of development opportunities, including: one-to-one advice; critical reviews; events; group exhibition opportunities here and overseas; peer support; training and CPD; mentoring; pop-up shop opportunities; marketing, and international development.

Design Factory’s renowned and selected membership nurtures business and creative talent and provides a ladder of support targeted at all emerging, mid-career and established creative practice.  Membership to Design-Nation will represent the apex of aspiration for both Design Factory members and other craft & design professionals.

About The National Centre for Craft & Design

The National Centre for Craft & Design is a world-class centre and resource dedicated to the celebration, support and promotion of national and international contemporary craft and design.  The Centre, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013, aims to stimulate greater understanding of contemporary craft and design and provide enriching arts and cultural experiences for everyone through a dynamic programme of high quality exhibitions, participatory learning, events and retail.

About Andrew Tanner

Andrew Tanner has been an industry consultant, designer, mentor and author in a career that stems across nearly two decades. He owned his own successful design practice which sold collections both nationally and internationally whilst working with retailers and traditional manufacturers.

Described as ‘The William Morris of his generation’ by IPC Media,  Andrew has collected many accolades in design throughout his journey including Young Designer of the Year award in 2005 and the Young Entrepreneur in Design Award by the British Council in 2010. Today he remains the voluntary brand ambassador for Design-Nation.

About North Kesteven District Council

The tri-partnership is managed on behalf of North Kesteven District Council, by 1life Management Solutions Ltd. The District Council has a long-standing commitment to arts and culture and has successfully operated exemplary creative and cultural services for over 23 years.

In 2011, NKDC brought together Design Factory and The National Centre for Craft & Design to create a distinctive partnership that successfully secured National Portfolio funding through Arts Council England in 2012, and has since delivered national and international opportunities to support, develop and champion British craft and design.

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Laura Jacometti



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