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Prestigious membership organisations Design-Nation and Design Factory are merging to create ONE leading portfolio and network. Going under the name Design-Nation, they will support the very best and most diverse UK-based contemporary craft and design. Bringing together partners, champions and investment, the new Design-Nation will strengthen business and creative development in the contemporary design and crafts sector across the UK.

Works by Ekta Kaul, Hannah Tounsend, Gillies Jones, Linda Bloomfield and Nigel Cheney

The merger comes following a period of consultation this year, funded by Arts Council England.  Overwhelmingly positive feedback was received from over 200 members, funders and stakeholders, with many partners expressing an interest in co-partnering on new future projects and opportunities. Clare Edwards of Design-Nation says, "I set up Design Factory in 2005, and take so much pride in the growth of Design Factory over the years. From a small local support project to a highly regarded national network, Design Factory has become renowned for nurturing emerging talent and growing creative practice. Design-Nation and Design Factory are two highly regarded and successful brands; however, we cannot sustain both and it is clear from our research that the name ‘Design-‘Nation’ truly represents the national and international context and has built a stronger brand over a longer period of time which has generated great goodwill."

Works by Angus Ross, Melanie Porter and Anna Gravelle

Clare continues, "A NEW unified organisation will offer innovative and fresh opportunities that builds on the complementary activities, goodwill and values across our programmes creating Britain’s leading resource for the celebration, support and promotion of craft and design. By merging the best features of both organisations we can create a significant step change in how we deliver bespoke sector support, creating a strong ambitious and futureproofed infrastructure for craft and design across the UK.”

Gizella K. Warburton

Now encompassing over 250 members, Design-Nation supports leading designer/makers such as Angus Ross, Gillies Jones, Gizella K Warburton*, JC Middlebrook, Jennifer Collier*, Kate Bajic*, Linda Bloomfield, Lindsey Lang, Michael Ruh, Ruth Singer*, Stuart Akroyd*, Sue Pryke and Wallace Sewell.  (*Design Factory members). Angie Parker, textile designer and Design-Nation member, says, "With so many organisations in the Creative sector feeling the pressures of the current economic climate, I'm proud to be part of a team that is future proofing itself with this well thought through merger.  I feel that together we'll have a stronger voice, and all the members will benefit from having unified support from this proven team."

Ruth Singer

Over the coming months, the team will be busy securing funding to sustain the future of Design-Nation. They will also deliver Member professional development events in partnership with the Fashion & Textile Museum, Cockpit Arts and Wentworth Pewter, amongst others. The next Design-Nation showcase will be at Top Drawer London, from the 14th -16th of January, 2018, at Olympia London.

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