One stand that stood out was from Northumbria University, showcasing a combination of small-scale products to impressive polished furniture offerings. You can often tell from a curated collection on display the passion that exists, not only of the individual designers, but that the course leaders and tutors give the well-needed support and key nurturing needed to succeed.
How can we gauge that from one stand you may ask, but trust us, when every designer is jostling for position, stepping your game up on all levels is so important, because after all it's not just an advert and opportunity for the designers, it's an advertising platform for the Universities too.
So starting with Northumbria, one of our top finds was by Chris Corkery and his perfectly balanced book storage unit. It's mini proportions and simple aesthetic teamed with the honesty of the material and detailing would look great in a student room or a city pad.
Also from Northumbria is Natalie Hough, and in much the same way as Chris, her use of simple materials caught our eye. There were many stools on show in various guises, but what we loved about Natalie's was the subtle details, the finishing of the legs coming through the seat, and the mini softly formed shelf beneath added a homely quality. (Image from Claire Potter)
Last but definitely not least is Jade Moyse from Bucks New University. The stand was fun and bright, and with support from not only SCP but mid-century modern furniture company Ercol, the standard was high across the board.
Experimentation with timber as well as steel caught our initial attention, and Jade was on-hand to explain her pieces, and her drive and entrepreneurial spirit was evident from the start. She talked about researching manufacturers and finding the right market and price-points. We certainly don't expect her feet to touch the ground any time soon!