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Colour in Design Award Winner 2023

Amber Lily - Winner of the CIDA 2023 award at New Designers Part 1.

Judges Comments & Advice

"Amber dazzled us with her passion for craft, her ambition to forge a path as a maker, and of course, her vibrant use of colour. We look forward to supporting her as she begins her journey!"

Colour in Design Award Winner 2022

Tom Hancock - Winner of the CIDA 2022 award at New Designers Part 1.

Judges Comments & Advice

"So well deserved. Can't wait to see what you do next Tom!"

Colour in Design Award Winner 2022
pt. 2

Chloe Watts - Winner of the CIDA 2022 award at New Designers Part 2.

Judges Comments & Advice

"Truly outstanding work. Chloe deserves to be successful in everything she decides to do next. This is what the colour in design awards were made for, recognising, rewarding and nurturing the next generation of talented creatives who make the world a better and more colourful place to be in for all of us. Well done Chloe"

Colour in Design Award Winner 2021

Phoebe Lewis - Winner of the CIDA 2021 award at New Designers Part 2.


Because of a mix up, Phoebe very nearly didn’t make it to meet the judges... but we are so glad her friends on Instagram tracked her down for us at the last minute of judging day. 

Her outstanding project investigated the production of coloured inks from seaweed in a sustainable way and won unanimous approval by the judges who turned the mix up into a fairytale ending. 

By farming seaweed to make a product that is traditionally made from petro-chemicals, this simply genius idea reduces the impact of ink production on the environment and helps to revive coastal industries.

Judges Comments & Advice

"Amazing Phoebe you are a worthy winner!"

Colour in design award winner 2020 pt.2

Naomi Cairns– Winner of the CIDA 2020 award at New Designers Part 2.

University of Dundee Bsc (Hons) graduate in product design Noami Cairns used colour to help combat the loneliness of isolation in a beautifully considered product called ‘Affinity’. During lockdown at the very end of her course and without access to University facilities she proved that her creativity is a force to be reckoned with. Impressed by her coding skills as well as the concept and use of colour to convey feelings she proved a worthy winner of the Colour in Design Award and is definitely one to keep an eye on. Find out more about Naomi and what makes her tick.


Judges Comments & Advice

‘Good insight, research and recognition of a need, good solution and thorough...and I’m very impressed that you did the coding yourself”

Colour in design award winner 2020

Zoe Noakes – Winner of the CIDA 2020 award at New Designers Part 1. 

Graduate of UWTSD studying Surface Pattern Design Zoe Noakes is the deserving winner of a prestigious 2020 Colour in Design Award. Her in depth understanding and use of colour to transform the space around us into a multi-sensory experience that connects people together was both original and breathtaking. Find out more about this outstanding new talent.

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Copy of Screenshot 2020-09-17 at 20.10

Judges Comments & Advice

 “Zoe is such a worthy winner, we are very excited for her”


Colour in design award winner 2019

Ellen Adams – Winner of the CIDA 2019 award at New Designers Part 2.

Judges Comments & Advice

“Ellen fuses the inquisitive playfulness of human nature with glorious colour and light in glass vessels that are perfectly engineered and delicious to touch.  She will go very far with such dexterous creativity and razor sharp attention to detail”. 

Colour in design award winner 2019

Graduate of Glasgow school of Art, Zelma Balode also has a degree in architecture and it is within the structure, form and detail of buildings where she finds inspiration for her highly technical lenticular knitting process which allow fabrics to change colour in multiple fascinating ways.

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Judges Comments & Advice

“Zelma's work is remarkably technically accomplished. She makes light as air pleated woven textiles, patterned differently on either side of the iridescent fabric, that showcase a virtuoso use of colour. Consider my socks knocked off”

“Zelma impressed the judges enormously with the quality and ingenuity displayed within her work. The iridescence of the hanging samples dazzled and the effects achieved are truly magical. A depth of colour has been achieved, which is integral to the texture and tactile qualities of the various structures in the material. Zelma's architectural background has served not only to inspire her visual research, but has been the foundation on which to build fascinating technical fabrics in exuberant yet opulent colour. My advice to Zelma: Keep going. Your work is innovative and exciting, and your passion for it to develop further will take your work to exciting places”


Colour in design award winner 2018
pt. 2

Designer & maker of contemporary furniture and self-proclaimed materials geek, Laurent Peacock, is our Winner of this years' Colour in Design Award - Part 2.

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Piper II detail
Piper II angle
Piper I above
Piper I base
Piper I top
Piper I detail
Piper III base
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Piper I full square
Piper I top square
Piper II base
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Piper II top angle
Piper II front square
Piper III full 3_4
Piper III splines

Judges Comments & Advice

“Treat every project with the same passion no matter if its for the smallest of start-ups or largest multinationals and always aim to exceed expectations”


Always aim to photograph your work in the best possible way- it is an investment that will keep paying back. Great images make it easier for magazines and blogs (or even books!) to feature your work


Colour in design award winner 2018
pt. 1

Diane Bresson was awarded this years part 1 prize at the New Designers Exhibition held annually in London. Diane, who studied BA print and textiles at Central Saint Martins, created a stunning portfolio of work that stopped our judges in their tracks.

Well done Diane!

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Judges comments

"A searing vision of the future and a worthy colour in design award winner!"


"Combine passion, critical thinking, imagination and smart working together and you may have the opportunity to create magic. use it to inspire people."


"Paint a picture of tomorrow, talk about it to others then create the new world. Carve a path and then fight for it."

“Diane - Without totally freaking you out, I would say don’t under-estimate the importance of this first year and how you can use it as the platform to launch your career as a Designer. As I’m sure you are more than aware, the world is not short on brilliant creatives, but it’s how you manage these early years and the opportunities you can grab that will stand you apart from your competition and give you your best chance to shape your career as you want it. 

Also try to find that fine balance of doing things on your own terms (make sure you suit yourself) but also make sure you are easy to work with. From my previous experience as a Homeware Buyer, whilst great product is obviously vital, it’s the ongoing relationship you build with your Retailers and Business colleagues that will carry you for longer and teach you a lot. Good Luck!”


Colour in design award winner 2017

The judges were unanimous in deciding that Mhairi Abbas would be the winner of the first ever Colour in Design Award.  Out of hundreds of contenders her work not only ticked all the criteria boxes, she knocked the judges’ socks off with her passion, eloquence, craftsmanship and authenticity.

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Mhairi Abbas 20 June 2017

A recent graduate of  Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, Mhairi achieved First Class Honours in Textile Design BDes, specialising in textile, knit and colour design. The body of work that stopped the judges in their tracks titled “Land and Sea” explores the concept of ‘capturing’ a place.


Through weather, colour, seasons and landscapes her work distils an atmospheric narrative of our northernmost islands and brings it to life in a collection of finely knitted fabrics. Taking influence from her rich Shetland heritage this project was inspired by the environment and traditional designs of the Shetland Isles.


Her aim is to embed the atmosphere of the Islands into the materials, designs and techniques which combined to create textiles that are truly modern but with a strong sense of tradition.

Throughout the design process Mhairi maintains a strong focus on the landscape which influences the colour palettes that bring her collection to life. The sea with its constantly fascinating movement and the land with its ever evolving seasons inspired knitted designs that have a clear sense of place and a distinctive character.


Dip-dye techniques create subtle colour gradients in the fabrics and expertly executed techniques like using contrasting colour in fine detailing and brushing the surface so that it resembles clouds create fabrics are beautiful to look at and pleasing to the touch.


Mhairi intends to develop a range of garments to warm, wrap, swathe and comfort the wearer. She has already managed to create work that is authentic, visually interesting, comfortable and functional which she describes as ‘wearable pieces of abstract art’.

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Mhairi Abbas 01 June 2017
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Judges comments

"You have something unique to offer so don't get swayed by trends – stay true to yourself. This is what makes designs successful. Develop your USP and get to the core of what your work is about. What stood out about your work was that it came from your soul. Never lose that." 

"Congratulations, you opened a door into a universe filled with hidden beauty, nuanced understanding and a glimmering display of your craft. May your skill and passion enable you to fly."

"Make the most of the skill in your craft and dig a furrow for yourself. Don't worry about trends, they will come and go. Don't follow fashion but be aware of what’s out there.  Stay on track and keep referring to where your craft comes from – your heritage." 

"Mhairi clearly has a passion for her process of knit so I’ve already recommended that she find the means to continue to make. It’s a problem that most graduates face once they leave the safe home of the university studios and workshops because such facilities can be hard to come by. I’m confident that she’ll find a way to continue her passion and she’s already shown that she has a great eye as well as a real talent when it comes the craft of making. I can’t wait to see what she does next!"

"Mhairi you are an amazing talent and such a worthy winner with a beautifully inspired palette taken from the Shetland landscape – a truly professional collection with unexpected texture to bring the colours to life. I believe you have the potential to go far in the world of design and would encourage you to explore more commercial applications given the strength and quality of your work."

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