Loughborough University
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18 March 2009 - PR 09/31

Loughborough graduate takes Designer of the Year title

For the second year running a design graduate from Loughborough University's School of Art and Design has taken the coveted East Midlands Designer of the Year Award.

Launched in 2007 by Design Factory, the region’s leading design agency, the competition asks for talented designers to come up with new ideas for an innovative and practical item of storage furniture.

Jo Miller, who graduated in 2008 with a BA in Furniture Design, claimed the top award for her Cruciform Credenza design. Scooping £4,000 worth of support including a £1,500 development grant, Jo’s winning storage piece will now take centre stage at Design Factory’s stand at 100% Design London, the UK’s most prestigious interior design show that will take place at Earls Court in September 2009.

Jo (22) said: “Winning this competition is a fantastic opportunity that I hope will benefit my design career greatly. After seeing and hearing the success of Eiry Rock, the competition winner in 2007, I was really keen to win this award and kick-start my career after graduating.”

Jo’s design is based on a hollow and solid cruciform structure. Using contrasting materials and complementary elements, she has produced a design that is visually and structurally balanced. Her inspiration has evolved from an interest in component assembly and connection.

Rebecca Drake, judge and editor of the competition’s sponsor, Concept for Living magazine, described Jo’s design as a revelation. “It was in a league of its own in terms of conceptual design, the choice of materials and the connectivity is striking.”

Since winning the competition, Jo has utilised the £1,500 grant to develop and prototype a range of designs. Her new website is due to be launched and she has also gained experience working for an interiors company, to develop her knowledge of computer aided design and designing to budgets and deadlines. She is now planning and preparing to launch her products at 100% Design London later this year.

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

T: 07769 795859
E: clare@designfactory.org.uk

Notes for editors:

About Loughborough University

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.#

About Design Factory

Design Factory is the East Midland's leading creative development agency, a not-for-profit organisation that provides a wealth of market opportunities for the talented design and craft sector in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland. As well as internationally marketing the innovative work that is created in the region, Design Factory also supports the long-term development of creative businesses. Its membership programme creates new opportunities, facilitates collaboration, and ultimately innovates and encourages the growth of new and established businesses. W: www.designfactory.org.uk

About 100% Design

100% Design is the UK’s leading contemporary interiors event. There is no other show that connects the worlds of architecture and design with innovative, contemporary interior products, creativity and an exciting mix of new and established talent. 100% Design offers exposure to specifiers and press, making it the perfect place to launch new products, raise brand awareness and forge new contacts. W: www.100percentdesign.co.uk

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