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Design-Nation Supports Recent Graduates

We launched our Design-Nation Graduate Membership Programme in 2018 and since then dozens of talented designer-makers have been part of our portfolio, bringing fresh ideas, new products in development and launched, and seeking tailored support at the onset of their careers.

We knew that some of this evolving cohort would benefit from one-to-one guidance, and so we’ve developed a mentoring programme that pairs recent graduates in with established designers with similar practices. We obtained generous support from The Radcliffe Trust and in 2020, despite Covid and lockdown, Design-Nation ran a successful pilot programme for pairs of mentors and mentees.

These shorter term relationships give a framework for newly launched designers and makers to work out what their biggest and most awkward challenges are, and to develop strategies and acquire specialist knowledge so that they are able to work towards answers that will support their nascent businesses. Our evaluation has shown many positive outcomes and we are now working to establish graduate mentoring as a regular part of our programme.

On our blog we share reflections from two of our recent mentor-mentee pairs – ceramicist Annita McKee with her mentor Jennie McCall, and furniture maker Aidan Donovan with Nina Moeller.

Please get in touch if you would like to know more.


Our mentees: Morgan Stockton (wearing safety visor), Joanna Terry (with dog), Daphne Roach (yellow glaze tests), Annita McKee (in front of fireplace), Aidan Donovan (wearing hat).

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Liz Cooper


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