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John Pawson, architect

Pawson’s work spans family homes, churches and public gardens; he has also designed the new London Design Museum in the former Commonwealth Institute, due to open in 2016

Gwendolyn and Guillane Kerschbaumer

I was introduced to the Kerschbaumer sisters, Gwendolyn and Guillane, by Terence Conran and was immediately struck by the breadth of training and experiences they bring to their design studio, Atelier Areti – from architecture and art history to product design.

Choosing people to work with comes down to instinct and, in this instance, I’m glad I followed mine.

Over the past weeks we’ve been collaborating on a project for the London Design Festival.

Each of the objects Gwendolyn and Guillane have designed is spare and refined but the pieces also share a tactile, even atmospheric quality that appeals to me.


Zeev Aram, founder, Aram Store

Aram opened his first London design showroom in 1964; his company celebrates its 50th anniversary this year

Jake Dyson

Industrial designer Jake Dyson’s CSYS task light is very innovative and beautifully engineered. It’s original and ecological, as you don’t need to change the bulb: he’s engineered a heat-absorption system that, according to him, will ensure the LED light lasts for more than 35 years.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree: James [Dyson, Jake’s father] is very clever and creative, and Jake is growing in that way too. He has lived in the design world since he was born but it’s hard when there’s someone who has excelled before you.


Catherine Lock, co-founder, The New Craftsmen

The New Craftsmen is a curated collection of work by British craft makers. Its Mayfair showroom opened in June

Aimee Betts

Aimee Betts stands out for her innovative use of braiding and knotting techniques, which reference the great maritime ropemaking skills found in Britain. She marries design, colour and texture with brilliance. I’m incredibly excited about the applications of her craft – this October, for instance, we’re launching her “Colourwheel” mirrors.

Sebastian Cox

A designer-maker, Sebastian Cox is one to watch for his pure dedication to his chosen material: he’s a seasoned coppicer and takes an active role in woodland management, so there’s a real truth at the root of his craft.


Christina Schmidt, co-founder, Skandium

The Scandinavian-focused design store Skandium opened its first shop in Wigmore Street, central London, 15 years ago

Daniel Schofield

This year, we have chosen a young English designer, Daniel Schofield, to collaborate with us. Daniel was chosen because he has a very clear style. He does not try to entertain or make big bold gestures. His “handwriting” is understated but elegant, something requiring a lot of inner confidence and truest instinct. Daniel has created four new products for us: a sofa, coffee and side table set, a shelving system and a clothing rack, all simple and very stylish. I am sure Daniel will soon be hired to work for international producers.


Sharon Baurley, head of design products, Royal College of Art

Offer Canfi

Offer Canfi graduated from the RCA’s Design Products MA programme in July. He has successfully synthesised the worlds of engineering, materials and human-centred design to address urban sustainability with his solution for charging electric bicycles in cities.

His Flux project aims to revolutionise the way we commute in cities by introducing a system that enables light electric vehicles to become a more viable mode of daily transportation. Light electric vehicles, such as E-bikes, have already been introduced as a clean and efficient commuting option. However, due to a lack of standardised charging infrastructure, they have not enjoyed widescale adoption.

Canfi proposes a solution with his invention of a continuous wireless charging surface that can be added to existing roads or bike lanes, along with a simple receiver unit that attaches to light electric vehicles. As the cyclist rides along, the bike continually charges itself. The system utilises resonant induction technology currently used to wirelessly charge phones but implements it on a larger scale.


Martin Roth, director, Victoria and Albert Museum

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg is an exceptional talent, whose work combines design and science, inventing alternative materials for a sustainable future. I would describe her as a true polymath – a designer, artist, critic, inventor and writer who has completed a fellowship on synthetic aesthetics, examining the relationship between synthetic biology and design.

She is currently engaged in a PhD at the RCA, working on a “useful vision of a biological future”. We need more designers like Ginsberg, willing to experiment and push the boundaries, imagining a brighter future for all of us.


John Mathers, chief executive, Design Council

Future Pioneers is an award we give to celebrate emerging designers who are principled, passionate and purposeful. Our four winners this year are: Ruby Davies, Lucy (Chia-Ju) Lin, Sarah Gold, Grace Davies

Our four winners were discovered at this year’s New Designers show, the UK’s largest graduate design exhibition. Each Future Pioneer is rewarded with a year of support, mentoring and promotion from the Design Council. Their work includes a first-aid kit, Emergensee, designed to be used with one hand – part of Lucy Lin’s “What If I Am Alone” project examining design for single-person households; and the Alternet, Sarah Gold’s proposal for an alternative internet realm which puts privacy at the heart of data usage.

The Future Pioneers’ work is on show during London Design Week at Designersblock, The Old Sessions House, EC1

Slideshow photographs: Cindy Palmano, Shira Klasmer, Thierry Bal

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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