Design-Nation has a long history of collaborative working, creating new links and new relationships across the creative community with exciting outcomes: showcases, exhibitions, events and products. In fact, partnerships are at the core of our business model and exemplify how we operate. We connect with many businesses and networks, small and large, across the contemporary design and craft sector: event producers, manufacturers, retailers, press, maker networks, advisory agencies, as well as other arts organisations, to deliver our mission: future thinking for design and craft.
Our key partners change from time to time as new initiatives are created. Read about some of our earlier partnership work on the Eureka initiative here. Current and recent partners include:
For the past 45 years BCTF has showcased the best of British artisan crafts, including ceramics, glassware, metalwork, jewellery, textiles, fashion accessories, greetings cards, stationery, home accessories, tableware and more. As the demand for quality British-made product becomes a priority for UK shoppers, BCTF offers the ideal sourcing environment for discerning retailers and Design-Nation is a long standing exhibitor.
Established in 1995, Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design, the largest selling exhibition of designer-maker furniture in the UK, runs annually from its stunning neoclassical location in Cheltenham. The newest work of around seventy designer-makers comes together to form a unique and fascinating collection of pieces that and are undoubtedly set to become the antiques of the future. The emphasis is on furniture, but each year this is complemented by work from several other disciplines such as jewellery, sculpture, art and glass.
In 2019 Design-Nation joined forces with the COCD team to create the New Talent Award for outstanding work by a recent graduate.
Coin Street Community Builders is a social enterprise established by local residents whose aim is to make their environment a great place to live, work in and visit.
Since the 1980s they have transformed a largely derelict 13 acre site into a thriving mixed-use neighbourhood by creating new co-operative homes, shops, galleries, restaurants, cafes and bars; a park and riverside walkway; sports facilities; by organising festivals and events; and by providing childcare, family support, training and employment opportunities. Income is generated from a variety of sources including the hire of retail and catering spaces, exhibition, event and conference spaces.
This includes Gallery@Oxo and Bargehouse, the venues for Design-Nation’s 2017 and 2019 London Craft Week showcases.
Decorex International is synonymous with luxury, and is internationally renowned for being THE event to discover the very best, and most coveted products from their unrivalled annual collection of 400 hand-selected exhibitors. With a rich heritage stretching back over forty years Decorex’s long-standing reputation has proven the test of time; growing and evolving to remain exciting and innovative. It is a must-visit for the interior design sector, and hence Design-Nation is very grateful and proud to be supported by Decorex in the provision of an exhibition showcase each year.
London Craft Week is an annual event that showcases exceptional craftsmanship through a journey-of-discovery programme featuring hidden workshops and unknown makers alongside celebrated masters, famous studios, galleries, shops and luxury brands. Their curated programme brings together hundreds of events from all corners of the globe fusing making, design, fashion, art, luxury, food, culture and shopping. Design-Nation has been part of the LCW programme since 2017. See that showcase and that of 2018 and 2019 here.
Like us and The Design Trust, New Designers was founded by the late Peta Levi MBE, and has the distinction of being the first ever major event devised by Peta. New Designers presents an unmissable opportunity for both retailers and the public to buy new products, to get inspired by fresh ideas and discover new design talent to commission or recruit.
Catch a glimpse of our creative future at the New Designers exhibition every summer, with thousands of the brightest and most radical new creative minds under one roof, launching the next generation of thinkers, makers and disruptors onto the UK design scene. The exhibition is a two-week celebration of visionary design that sees students from hundreds of creative courses unveiling never-before-seen work to thousands of industry professionals and design lovers.
A curated exhibition within New Designers, One Year In also unveils dozens of names selected as the most promising and intriguing designers and studios to have recently launched their businesses. As a long-time partner and supporter, Design-Nation joins the judging panel for the One Year In award winners over the two weeks.
Royal Stafford is based in the Royal Overhouse Manufactory, one of the oldest pottery factories in Burslem, the mother town of the Potteries in Stoke-on-Trent. The Royal Stafford brand was established in 1845 and is recognised around the world as providing high quality, beautiful tableware. Today the company brings British design and British manufacturing to the international housewares and ceramics market with innovative designs for a new decade.
A number of Design-Nation’s current and former designer-maker members have worked with Royal Stafford as designers, and we value the Manufactory team’s contributions to and support for our programme.
The Design Trust was, like us, founded by the late Peta Levi MBE. Set up in 1994, Peta’s intention for The Design Trust was to create an organisation to support designer-makers who want to thrive in business but lack the necessary commercial skills. Peta was a champion of British designers throughout her career. The Design Trust helps designer-makers to start and grow their own professional contemporary crafts and design business through dynamic workshops and webinars. They connect small design and crafts businesses with the best business advice, training and support, and ‘the market’ (on and off line, trade and consumer) to create a thriving design and crafts scene, both financially and culturally, working with many partners.
A pure design studio with a passion for type and image creation, The Unloved help clients achieve their maximum potential through developing ideas that help inspire and develop their own unique identity. The Unloved is focused on doing the most effective creative work possible. The Unloved, together with web design agency Effect Digital, built our new Design-Nation online homes, both this one and the “designnationshowcase” site, and take especial care in looking after our other design needs.
Tutton and Young Ltd organise contemporary art and craft events across the UK. They are a small dedicated team run by organiser Jon Tutton and artist and maker Sarah Young. With over 15 years experience, they hope to support makers and artists by providing the very best events they can, including the Made London and Made Brighton design and crafts fairs, and Brighton Art Fair which will return to Brighton Dome in September 2019. They also create some smaller, tabletop shows with the friendly feel of a village hall events still in spectacular buildings and still showing the best contemporary makers in the country.
In 2016 Tutton & Young set up Atelier51 studios and studio shop in Providence Place, Brighton comprising 4 studios, the Tutton and Young ‘HQ’ and a shop stocking makers from the British Isles and sometimes beyond.
Since 2018 Design-Nation has partnered with Tutton & Young to award innovation and new talent at their events.
Founded in 1949 and named for its founder Arthur Richard Wentworth, a skilled pewter craftsman from Sheffield, Wentworth Pewter is committed to making products of the highest possible quality at prices which represent excellent value for money. They constantly introduce new designs to ensure that the skill of their craftsmen and beauty of the materials continue to be enjoyed.
Design-Nation designers have created exclusive product for Wentworth Pewter, and their team help us to deliver an exciting programme.