New Designers’ boycott has been sensationalised

I am writing in response to your article on two design courses boycotting the New Designers show (DW 10 January).

I am involved in planning for the Leeds Metropolitan University three-dimensional design course final degree show in London. We were already aware that the two universities in the article were not planning to exhibit at New Designers this year. We also considered other alternatives.

As our university offers very little support in organising our degree show we decided to exhibit at New Designers as we felt it could offer contacts that we would not gain otherwise.

The article highlighted some important issues about the problems with such a huge event. However, I was disappointed that none of the positive points of the New Designers show were highlighted and the two universities concerned seemed to be hailed as heroes for taking such a step.

As your article portrays New Designers in a poor light my year is again considering alternatives, as we are worried that people in the industry will be put off from visiting the show. I think that New Designers is a wonderful concept, but as I have been involved with trying to book a space for the 2002 show it is obvious that the organisers are more interested in making money than providing a platform for innovative design.

My year is very eager to make a statement with our degree show, as we want to prove what a group of talented design students can achieve with no financial support from their university.

Your article has blown us somewhat off course and forced us to reconsider our limited options. I hope for the sake of the future of design that this will turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Expect very interesting things from Leeds design students this year.

Helen Griffiths

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