In conversation with 2 leading Furniture Designers

As the UK’s most established Design Fair, New Designers has been a launching pad for thousands of influential members of the design industry. The ND Community is a collective of previous exhibitors, professionals and alumni who have all impacted the fair over the 38 years of its history and who continue to thrive in the design industry. Each week on our blog, we will be bringing you face to face with the ND alums who define the design world.

This week, we’ve spoken to two pioneering furniture designers who are taking the industry by storm. Continue reading to hear about their exciting careers and the brilliant advice they have to offer to emerging designers.

Huw Evans

Product Developer, The Conran Shop
Furniture Designer, Huw Evans 
ND 2019

Huw exhibited his work at New Designers in 2019 and has enjoyed outstanding success since. At ND, Huw was awarded The Conran Shop Design Award and now works as a product developer for the company, working on many of their branded products. Amongst his other fantastic achievements are several awards including RADO Start Prize UK, Best in Show at Young Furniture Makers 2019, and last but not least, having started his own business which bares his namesake. You may have seen designs by Huw in Elle Decoration, Crafts Magazine and Grand Designs Magazine to name just a few. He is celebrated across the industry for his unique and highly recognisable style and is currently developing his Concertina Chair design with The Conran Shop.

How did you get into the creative industry?

‘Awards and contacts made through exhibitions lead onto internships and subsequently freelancing roles.’

Describe yourself as a Designer in 5 words…

‘1. Practical 

2. Textural

3. Considered

4. Maker 

5. Process’

What are you looking for in a designer?

‘A considered approach to both the design and making.’

How can designers stand out to you in the judging process for ND AWARDS? 

‘A tangible, functioning design or prototype which can be interacted with is a great way to connect.’ 

What advice would you give to students preparing for ND?

‘Be bold but logical in your design decisions. Show the commerciality of your design.’

What advice would you give to a designer embarking on their creative career?

‘Know what interests you.’

What does ND mean to your company?

‘ND was a platform to exhibit my work which subsequently connected me with established individuals in the industry, through this I have created a career.’


Design Lead – Furniture and 3D, John Lewis

ND 2009

Dan Rawlings

Daniel began his journey in the creative industry with an intern position whilst at university, before his course leader led him to an internship at Habitat. Some years later, Daniel now leads Furniture and 3D Design at John Lewis, and has helped design and shape the assortment of the company’s own brand furniture assortment. Having been on the judging panel at New Designers, Daniel offers his expert advice for students at the beginning of their careers.

Describe yourself as a Designer in 5 words…

‘1. Conscious  

2. Maker 

3. Thinker

4. Problem solver

5. Curious’

What are you looking for in a Designer?

‘Someone who is curious, a highly creative individual with a natural ability to problem solve.’

How can designers stand out to you in the judging process for ND AWARDS?

‘A deep understanding of their chosen subject, being conscious of how the product impacts people and the planet.’

What advice would you give to students preparing for ND?

‘Talk to as many people as you can, treat it like a networking event as you never know where opportunities will come from.’

What advice would you give to students preparing for ND?

‘It might take time to find the right fit, move around and explore different design disciplines.’

For further updates from the ND Community and future editions of New Designers, sign up to our mailing list.


Be the first to know when 2023 tickets go on sale and receive exclusive discounts

Hear announcements on all the exciting programming happening at ND23

Enjoy our monthly Design Diary featuring local events, new podcasts, book recs, and so much more