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.”
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!
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.
Jake Coleman is a multi-disciplinary designer from Chicago, currently working in London. Whilst Jake balances his life across two continents, he is a freelance creative director at Haight Brand, a music and film management company out of Chicago. He assists in everyday design tasks that range from tour branding to web design and merchandise. Jakes way of working often varies between each project, frequently switching up his techniques and experimenting, though he is most well-known for combining hand-rendered techniques with digital executions.
Most recently, Jake has been working on tour flyers for Towkio, a Chicago based rapper. These individual show fliers are for the first leg of a 3-legged tour across Australia, Europe and North America. Jake explains Towkio’s new album ‘WWW’ or ‘Worldwide Wave’ was the first album to drop in space. His cover shoot, shot on an iPhone by Marcus Hyde, assisted to visualise this new transcendence. The contrast that’s built between the astronaut suit and the Mayan Pyramids is also used to aid in illustrating that point. So, for each of his four European shows, a simple execution of ripping and masking printed paper behind the artist was needed. This can be interpreted in many ways, one of them being an un-layering of the surface. Another showing the artist entering a new dimension that’s represented by the specific city.
Jakes handmade collages delight in the unique grasps of the imagination. Looking at his work has an immediate impression on the viewer. The constant pushing of his practice allows Jake to constantly evolve, look for answers, avoiding a defined ‘style’, and present us with something new with each project.