Imaginative, zany, innovative, fun design is alive and well across Europe. Thank goodness the graduates from the best design schools across the continent continue to challenge and innovate. We need this if the UK and Europe are going to continue to maintain their reputation for high quality design, at a time when some governments (ie the UK one in Westminster) does not appear to see it as important. Compare this to the Chinese government support for design and innovation and, if we are not careful, we can see where the future might lie.
So, it is thanks to the Carpenters Workshop Gallery for bringing together an astonishing range of talent from across Europe, each one hopefully to go on and have a great international career. It also nightlights the internationalism in design education with students from widely different countries studying at universities all across Europe. This can only be a good thing as it breaks down insularity and exposes students to cultures from all over the world, which may well influence their work in the future.
The works on show combine tradition with innovation, old materials and new materials and confuse the boundary between art and design – but perhaps that is a good thing: whoever said that there was a boundary.
Watch out for some of these graduates in years to come.