Design-Nation’s Graduate Awards of 2021

19 Mar – 15 May 2022

Ground Floor Gallery

Design-Nation, the UK’s leading portfolio for craft, design & product, is committed to supporting the growing sustainability initiatives of its designer-maker members.

This exhibition celebrates four awards Design-Nation made in 2021 to foster outstanding graduate designers who are embracing innovative and sustainable materials and ways of making. In the spotlight are glass, ceramics, furniture, and 3D printing.

Three Awards for Sustainability Innovation went to exhibitors at GREEN GRADS, which was part of the Planted exhibition at the London Design Festival 2020. It featured 30 graduate designers whose work notably embraced sustainability and/or a love of nature ( The Design-Nation Award-winners at GREEN GRADS were:

1. GREEN GRAD Oscar McNaughton of the University of Plymouth, who celebrates the beauty of repair by replacing missing or broken parts of an object with a complex 3D printed filigree. “Designers and makers have a huge potential to instigate change.”


2. GREEN GRAD Ellie Perry of Kingston University, who slip-cast vessels have a satisfyingly-rounded shape based on scientific labware. On these are experimental glazes made from waste glass and stone slurries from local industries, rather than precious raw materials. “I demonstrate that waste can be beautiful.”


3. GREEN GRAD Harry Peck of the University of Northumbria, who has used recycled polystyrene surf boards collected from UK beaches (some abandoned after a single use) for his Wave Cycle sturdy and colourful plastic furniture, using machines he himself designed and made. His process can also recycle polystyrene packaging foam. “Even short-life materials can now be a part of a circular manufacturing process.”


Design-Nation’s fourth Award – the Making It Award - went to Devon artist-maker Colin Wilkes, of Plymouth College of Art. He is a glass maker who is deeply committed to sustainability through processes and materials, combining radiantly-coloured glass with dramatically contrasting materials such as wood. “I was previously a builder – but glass making has changed my life. Each piece is unique – and uniquely fulfilling.”



Oscar McNaughton

Ellie Perry

Harry Peck

Colin Wilkes

Image: Oscar Mc Naughton Kintsugi and Black Bio Resin Repaired Cup

Image: Oscar Mc Naughton Repaired Acupuncture Figure

This exhibition is in partnership with GREEN GRADS and Make Southwest.

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