At Design Nation we are proud of our long history of collaborative working, creating new links and new relationships across the creative community with exciting outcomes: showcases, exhibitions, events and products. We work with many businesses small and large across the 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:
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.
Like us and The Design Trust, New Designers was founded by the late Peta Levi MBE, but it predates us, having the distinction of being the first ever major event that Peta devised. 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 more than 3,000 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 200+ 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.
JustGotMade connects designer-makers to the goods and services they need to realise their ideas. The global economy and ways of doing business are changing and a small-scale revolution in manufacture is beginning to take place. No longer about large factories and global outsourcing, the focus is now shifting to the thousands of talented contemporary craftspeople, workshops and manufacturers, who can deliver work in smaller, more personal batches or to commission. JustGotMade have recognised the rise of the micro-manufacturers and in 2014 launched their online portfolio, a unique network of design-led maker professionals, micro-manufacturers and suppliers.
Design-Nation is delighted to make frequent connections with JustGotMade in the mutual delivery of our programmes that enable designers and makers to realise their goals.
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.
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.
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.
Coin Street Community Builders is a social enterprise established by local residents in 1984 following a campaign against large scale office proposals. Coin Street Community Builders aim is to make their neighbourhood 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, the venue for Design-Nation’s 2017 London Craft Week showcase.
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 here.
Cockpit Arts is an award winning social enterprise and the UK’s only business incubator for craftspeople, housing up to 170 small businesses at two centres in central and south London. Cockpit Arts supports craft practitioners at the start of their careers, as well as those who are more established, to grow and build successful and thriving businesses both in the UK and internationally. They work with a wide range of talented individuals, including master craftspeople, artist-makers, batch producers and more scaleable businesses.
Design Nation partnered with Cockpit Arts as part of the London Creative Network programme which is partly funded by ERDF.
Launched in 2011 by a team of industry experts, DesignJunction connects the world’s most renowned design brands with some of the world’s leading architects, interior designers, specifiers and buyers.
Since its inception, Design Junction has continued to break the mould of the traditional trade show presenting more than 200 brands in raw industrial locations. Design Junction is more than just a trade show, it’s a unique visitor experience offering a wide range of high-class eateries, design led pop-up shops, installations and other interactive features that strikes the balance between creative and commercial.
Design-Nation is a media partner of DesignJunction and exhibited with them in 2018.
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.
In 2018 Design-Nation was delighted to partner with Tutton & Young to create the inaugural Design-Nation Innovation Award at MADE Canary Wharf.
The Design Trust was, like us, also founded by the late Peta Levi MBE. Set up in 1994, Peta’s intention was to create an organisation to support designer-makers who want to set up 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. 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.