There were more than 3,500 architect, interior and design projects submitted for the first ever Dezeen Awards.
The international Dezeen Awards will identify the world’s best talent, showcasing the most unique pieces.
A total of 207 interior design projects have now been selected for the long list including a revamp of a house built by Frank Gehry, a loft apartment in a former tank station and the offices of IKEA’s creative team.
The shortlist will be announced in August and it will be judged by a panel of leading industry figures, including Terence Conran, Je Ahn of Studio Weave, DH Liberty founder Dara Huang and India Mahdavi.
In the design projects category, a total of 171 entries were submitted including an array of quirky pieces such as a table cloth made from flexible concrete cloth and a garment that could allows humans to breathe underwater.
The category features industry-leading names such as Nendo, Barber and Osgerby, Marc Newson and Patricia Urquiola.
It also includes leading brands like Google and IKEA, plus rising talents such as Normal Studio, Tom Fereday and Envisions.
Other highlights from the list include a wax chair pockmarked by melting balls of resin, clothes that grow as a child does, a UV sensor that tracks sun exposure and a reusable tampon applicator.
Dezeen says the winners of each category will also compete to be named design project of the year – one of nine Ultimate Design Awards, a top tier of accolades that will honour the most outstanding design talent of the year.
The architecture long lists have also been announced and include Swiss firm Christ & Gantenbein, UK studio Jamie Fobert Architects and Mexican office Rojkind Arquitectos, while contenders for emerging architect of the year include US studio The Living and South American office MAPA.
For most artists the pathway into the art industry is through a university degree or foundation course, but junior designer Torsten Power took the apprenticeship route.
Torsten who has worked as a junior designer at Ocado is now venturing into the freelance world.
“After leaving school, I did an apprenticeship because at this point in my life I was really interested in coding, so I signed up to a recruitment agency in the hope they would find something in web development for me”, he said.
“I’m a strong endorser of the apprenticeship system but it is still relatively new in this country and therefore doesn’t always work entirely as intended.
“I was placed in an apprenticeship with an ad agency in Shoreditch to do some coding for a company”, Torsten said.
It was then Torsten realised coding wasn’t an area he wanted to explore and he decided to go into graphic design.
The 20-year-old said: “I never looked back after this. It is funny because throughout the whole time I was into the coding stuff, my granddad, who is an artist and designer, would always say I would go into something creative and design related.
“I kept telling him “no I want to code, I want to be a developer” and now design is the love of my life. My granddad obviously knew me better than I know myself.”
After finishing his apprenticeship, Torsten spent time practicing and producing designs, fiction companies and creating brand identities to enhance his portfolio.
He said: “It was tough and quite nerve-racking as I don’t have a degree or any other type of official design qualification and I got told by countless people that I was making a mistake by not going to university.
“There are many ways other than university to get your foot into the industry. Apprenticeships are a great route and I’m sure there are other methods that I don’t know about.
“The main thing I learnt is that you just need to find a way to make yourself look valuable and to demonstrate the passion you have.”
Torsten said the freelance route has worked well for him because his workload is “diverse” and each “project is different”.
“I just love the satisfaction I get when I’ve put hours of hard work into a project and then I get to see the final version in print or live on a website.
“Design is so personal; you get really attached to what you’re working on. Each project feels like my baby. I get to watch it grow from nothing into hopefully this beautiful finished piece that I’m proud of.
“The primary downside is probably that you don’t have the same amount of security as you would if you worked in a permanent position.
“Knowing exactly how much you’ll earn each month is reassuring and stuff like getting paid for annual leave is a luxury that I missed when I was freelance.
“The creative team at Ocado were great and I would often forget that they’re colleagues and not just mates, they were such a nice bunch of people.”
Torsten finds his main source of inspiration from online websites and forums like Behance.
He also reads design books and magazine, going to exhibition talks and creative meet-ups.
Torsten is currently working on setting up a minimalist illustration-based clothing brand, which includes designing t-shirts and creating brand identities.
“I’m also trying to get a large amount of the production done locally and I want to ensure we’re an environmentally conscious brand so we will not us any plastic in the delivery process”, Torsten added.
“Overall the project has been a challenge but I’m so close to getting it finished now so I’m getting really excited about it all.
“I hope to have the website up and running and the first batch of t-shirts printed by late August – hopefully all my work will pay off.
“I have also done some recent work for FADE – a fashion and art magazine.”
Torsten is hoping to do more personal projects and keep up with the freelance work.
He said: “As someone who ended up doing a job I love so much almost completely by accident, I try not to set in stone too many goals for myself, as I know how unpredictable life is.
“However, there are definitely things I’m really interested in at the moment that I’m going to pursue.
“Branding is a huge passion of mine – I’m always mesmerised by the work of agencies like DesignStudio, Spinach, NB Studio, Snask and Bold. I’d also love to start doing more art direction. It’s such a fascinating area.”
June Caldwell, is a recent graduate of BA Hons Graphic Design at Glasgow Clyde College. June not only has agreat appreciation and understanding of white and negative space, but knows every Simpsons quote there is. Now having graduated and recently exhibited at D+AD New Blood, June aims to focus on her design practice to explore and develop the skills she has acquired in education. June states her desire revolves around editorial and publication design “I am just at the beginning of my career, but I would love to end up in publishing or editorial design one day, as this is where my passion truly shines.”
June’s focus within design is understanding and implementing the beauty and intelligence of typography. This was recently tested through her collaboration with author Alison Page on her illustrated children’s book “The Westie Fest”. This project gave June the opportunity to design and create the typographic layout and hierarchy throughout.
We spoke to June about her final major project: Consume. Consume is a modern take on the traditional Bible, reflecting on issues found in today’s society, it explores the idea of the consequences of consuming too much of one thing and how it can have a negative effect on our physical and emotional health. June used the concept ‘the Seven Deadly Sins’ to allow a format that is relatable, as the concept of sinning has been consistently characterised through the media. Each sin echoes on a individual issue found in contemporary society, such as over-consuming alcohol, eating fast food too often or even the social media craze of “clean-eating”. To bring together the concept of sinning and over-consumption, June used her typographic knowledge to form an A5 perfect bound book.
June explains the ideology behind the A5 Zine was because of its similarity to the bible in its size, shape and form. We asked June about the materials and techniques used to creative the book.
“The cover of the Bible is typically a black leather with gold letter foiling. To reflect on this holy book in a modern way, I used GF Smith’s Plike paper, which has a rubber-like texture. A clear toner effect was used on the cover heading to have a greasy-look, which can be seen when moved in and out of light, reflecting on the message of “whoever conceals their sin does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy”, which is stated on the first page.”
June transformed simple images of food into graphic shapes, shown at the start of each chapter and reflects on the number of sins discussed. The reasoning behind simplifying each food was to discourage the target market from taking part in these unhealthy habits. June tells us “I did not want the food and drink discussed to be appealing because I wanted to discourage the target market from taking part in these unhealthy habits. Therefore, I turned simple images of food into graphic forms”
James Rich, a recent graduate of University of Gloucestershire’s course in BA Graphic Design, has made an independent cafe working solely in egg dishes. Shell Shock is an innovative and unique brand that correlates with its target audience of young adults through informal language, bold aesthetics and positivity.
James’ main interests revolve around brand communications, promotional material and copy writing, however he often works with packaging designs and corporate identities. James‘ current objective is to pursue a career in the design industry with the knowledge and skillset he has developed throughout education.
Context: Trendy cafes with quirky themes are becoming increasingly frequent in towns and cities around the world. From breakfast cereals, to board games, themed cafes are constantly opening to fill gaps in the market and appeal to a wide range of audiences.
Brief: I set myself the brief of creating my own independent, themed cafe that appeals to young adults in urban areas. Rather than blend in with the themed cafe category, I wanted to create a personality that sets my brand apart from the competitive landscape.
Shell Shock: The Shell Shock style is inspired by video games and cartoons, a modern design style that has been adapted to suit a different medium. A collaboration with MyProtein combines the main benefits of eggs (protein) with a brand loved by gym-goers. This expands our audience into new areas, whilst giving a visual representation of how a Shell Shock product could look in a supermarket. The eggnog flavour protein powder and protein bars are a clever way of tying these two brands together. Shell Shock has endless potential to grow – features such as: menus, toilet signs and interior features of the cafe are all in the works as I continue to expand this project and continue my enjoyment of working on it.
See more of James work over at his Instagram – Jamesrichdesigner
Amelia Dimoldenberg, also known as the CEO of Chicken Shop Date, revealed in a talk held at New Blood Festival organized by D&AD her 5 rules to help those who are starting their career in the creative industries.
If you haven’t heard of the Chicken Shop Date already, then you should know it’s Amelia’s YouTube channel where she posts videos of herself going on embarrassing dates in chicken shops with grime artists and other popular figures from UK’s music scene. She “dated” (or interviewed) on her channnel celebrities such as Maya Jama, Big Narstie and Chabuddy G, a fictional character very much loved by Britain.
What makes her channel unique is her rather awkward personality mixed with her ironic sense of humor, both of which came across evidently even in her talk entitled “How I turned my side project at uni into a career?”. This extraordinary combination renders her content hilarious and very relatable to everyone who went on a date that didn’t go too well.
The Chicken Shop Date started for Dimoldenberg as a side project she did during her Fashion Journalism course from Central St. Martin, only she turned it into a career. Her YouTube channel helped her start collaborations with big companies such as Channel 4 and Nike.
Here are Amelia’s golden rules to develop your creative career:
#1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
When Amelia started working as a journalist for a magazine, she met other creative people with all sorts of different skills. And she made the courage to ask them to help her create her dream project – a satirical form of journalism. So her channel is the result of her work, but also other people’s abilities. She warned, however, that you have to be mindful and not demand too much of your connections. This leads us to the next rule.
#2. Be respectful of others
Amelia said she wouldn’t have been able to realize her project without her connections. But you have to understand that they too have a life of their own, that they have their own work to focus on, and you have to be respectful of that. If you respect this rule, you are likely to gain your collaborators trust and loyalty.
Being rejected or not getting any replies can be very disheartening, to the point where you just want to give up. Don’t do it if it’s your dream career. You have to realize it is a long journey and being persistent is a quality you will need to hang on to if you want to make that journey worthwhile. Take Amelia for example. It took her around 2 years until she was able to secure interviews with high-profile artists. She emailed a lot of people, and sometimes she didn’t get anything back. When this happens, she suggests following up with people without being too insistent. One of her emails landed her video on LadBible’s page, which helped her channel grow enormously.
#4. Strive to be different
Dimoldenberg said the first comments she received on her videos were something along the lines “Why am I watching this? What is this?”. But that didn’t discourage her. On the contrary, those comments confirmed what she already knew. That what she was doing was something different, and that was going to set her apart from other YouTubers.
#5. Work on your own projects
If you want to start a career in the creative industries a CV and a cover letter won’t do it. You need something that will show your skills and your initiative. The motto here is: show it, don’t say it. That’s why Amelia recommends working on a side project that will showcase your abilities as well as the fact that you have initiative, that you are a can-doer.
If you want to subscribe to Amelia’s YouTube channel you can do so by clicking here. You might see her one day interviewing Drake, or at least she hopes so. Fingers crossed for her!
When Bibiana Farenzena moved to England to study a Masters course in Design for Communication, she never expected to run her own design consultancy business eight years later.
The Brazilian-born designer is the co-owner of Upcircle along with friends Ophélia Gisquet and Mercedes Alvarez-Fojo.
Upcircle, which was launched in 2017, is a design studio based in London that offers sustainable design consultancy services in digital, graphic, furniture and interior design.
“We are all friends and we bring different skills to Upcircle. The idea behind our business is to promote the circular economy and the tree pillars of sustainability: economic, environment and social”, says Bibiana.
“Ophélia went travelling to South Africa when she discovered places and people that had the ability to design and create from very little resources, recycling and upcycling materials.
“The community had a creative and very clever mindset and it was then Ophelia had the idea of applying this into her designs too.
“The three of us decided to set up Upcircle using our different skills on projects, which support sustainability and recycling.”
She said Upcircle’s approach to projects focuses on design, the type of materials used, how they are manufactured and the impact it has on society.
Bibibana studied a BA in Visual Design at a university in Brazil, going on to study Digital Print in Textiles at Saint Martin’s College in London. She has also completed a Masters in Design for Communications at the University of Westminster.
The 32-year-old has a wealth of retail experience and has worked with Marks & Spencer, Asos, Body Shop and TKMaxx, to name a few.
Ophélia, 32, was born and studied in France where she did a foundation year in design in Toulouse, followed by an interior design course.
She studied a Masters in interior design and architecture and has worked on projects designing offices, homes and hotels across the globe.
Mercedes graduated in Business and Accountancy from the University of Barcelona and holds an MBA degree from the University of Westminster.
The Spanish-born business developer has worked in the construction industry for 15 years working on projects around the world.
Bibiana said: “Our extensive skill set allows us to work on projects together to promote sustainability and recycling.
“For example, we have worked on student accommodation projects where we use materials, which are recycled and sustainable.
“Many people do not realise but furniture in student accommodations usually have a life of five to seven years because the trend of interior design changes, so the contractors decide to refurbish it and the furniture ends up in landfills.
“But if we design with a different mindset by reusing the same furniture or recycling it, we can create a big positive impact on the environment.”
The trio are currently working on a project with PhD students at the University of West England to create a permanent installation to increase awareness about sustainable palm oil.
The set will include trees, ferns, moss and the furniture will be made out from offcut plywood (reusing common waste in joinery workshop). The joinery will be produced by a Bristol-based company who share the same values about sustainability.
Palm oil is one of the world’s widely consumed vegetable oil and it is used in everything from soaps to biscuits and cosmetics.
Bibiana said: “The aim of the project is to raise awareness about sustainable palm oil because production often comes at the cost of the rich of biodiversity in the rainforest.
“We want to change consumer’s decisions about palm oil and how it can be sourced in the future.”
Upcircle is also working on a project with the university to refurbish four external courtyards, adding manifestations on the floor which is an affordable and sustainable solution. Some of the furniture will be supplied by an outdoor furniture company named Vestre that has “strong sustainable values”.
Bibiana said: “Some of the furniture will be produced by Bristol Wood Recycling Project, who use recycled elements.
“It is a charity that offers free training to people who want to learn joinery or develop their social skills.
“We are also designing three new student accommodations with the aim to implement as much sustainable product and finishes as possible.”
In addition to the university projects, Upcircle is gearing up to take part in the London Design Festival in the summer.
Last year they had an installation called Roots Grow Love, which was a striking wooden structure containing plants to celebrate the love of gardening, to promoting Loughborough Farm and bringing the community together.
Upcircle worked with Loughborough Farm and a group of volunteers from different associations to build the structure which was made of recycling wood and plants from the farm.
The last 18 months have been a whirlwind for the team at Upcircle and there is plenty of exciting projects in the pipeline for them.
Bibiana said: “Our approach has been well received by the industry and we are very happy to see more companies working with us.
“We believe that Upcircle will have a bright future thanks to the great collaboration of each business partner and the hard work.
Palm oil project at the University of West England
“Our values at Upcircle will be a plus for our designs and our clients. By producing a great design and having a positive impact in our society, we hope our studio will make a difference in the creative industry.
“At Upcircle we want to be part of this movement of start-ups that have new ways of working, changing lifestyles and perceptions about work.
“It’s time for us designers but also consumers to change the way we live and produce things. Slow design is about time and so is Upcircle.”
See more from Upcricle over at their website – www.upcircle.co.uk
Yi Du is a graphic designer originally from China, now based in London where she is studying an MA in Design For Communication. Yi’s repertoire consists of a broad range of projects from publications to visual identities. After studying electronic science and technology of china at the University of China, Yi realised her passion and skills revolved around design and visual communication, prompting her to move half way across the world to focus and develop her passion.
Her latest project Dancing Curves is a handmade book ,the concept is to make curves dance through design and binding. This is a playful and highly interactive book whose target audiences are children and people who are interested in unusual binding methods, along with a strong sense of colour and shapes. Yi has used a very authoritative and powerful colours on each of her pages, as this helps deliver and execute the concept. Putting a light colour on a darker background creates the illusion the object is further away than it actually is, while darker colours make them seem slightly closer than their true position. So, you can use colours to change the apparent shapes of rooms. Yi’s clever use of colour has allowed her to create illusions through a combination of shape and colour.
Yi’s diverse background experience is what makes all her projects so unique and individual. With a strong presence of colour in all her projects, her work is immediately distinguishable. While people traditionally identify books with words, Yi divorces this approach by using shape, pattern, colour and clever binding to tell a story.