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Following the success of last year’s Design Your Bin challenge, Brabantia has launched its ‘Pimp Our Print’ competition  which is open to budding designers across the globe regardless of age, experience or location.

Those entering the Pimp Our Print competition can really let their imagination’s run wild. The panel will be giving full consideration to entries of all graphic styles from street and modern art though to photography, illustration, textiles and traditional forms. I anticipate some heated discussions during the judging process!

And there will certainly be plenty to discuss as to date there are already 750 entries with more arriving daily. These are displayed in the Gallery which is updated as the entries come in and members of the public can peruse the designs and also vote for their favourites.
The International Design Panel,  (SBID President Vanessa Braday is one of the 10 international acclaimed judjes) will be creating a shortlist from which the overall winner will be chosen. Their print and name will appear on a range of Brabantia canisters, and potentially a whole product range including Bread Bins, Touch Bins and Pedal Bins.

What a fantastic chance for a designer to launch their ideas to the world. It’s a big responsibility for all of us to shortlist only the best designs. I can’t wait to get started.
The winner will also receive a three day trip for two with tickets to Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2014 in Milan, luxury hotel accommodation, transport and spending money for this trip of a lifetime (11-13 April 2014).
But the public get a chance to have their say too in the “People’s Choice” category which runs separately from the main competition.

Check out the ‘Pimp our Print’ website for details of how to vote.
So it’s going to be an exciting few weeks – last entries need to be in by 22nd October. Keep an eye out for what the SBID decides!
Enter today: www.brabantia.com/design

With a new year comes new resolutions and observations. Vanessa Brady, SBID President, gives us her guide to the British Design Industry…

“Britain is a funny place.  It is admired worldwide for innovation and great design, and revered as the land of great ideas and inventors. We just have to take a short trip abroad to see the unequalled level of respect which our design industry commands. Of course, being British, we don’t believe in such opinions of each other, rather having a tendency to damage success, especially if it is recognised in our peers. I have always admired the American philosophy to credit good results. These damaging British rivalries must stop for the betterment of the profession.

In 2012 SBID aims to stamp out this negative elbow positioning and propaganda spreading.  It is bad practice and, if challenged, also breaches legislation. We have collated evidence of anti-competition by a group of third parties over a lengthened period within the broad design industry. Those involved have collectively aimed to create a barrier of entry for SBID to trade freely, in breach of the Anti-Competition Act 1998, the Enterprise Act 2002 and the Office of Fair Trading regulator.

So this year we start with a clean slate, with a busy events calendar and an ever-growing membership of key industry leaders. SBID announces the International Interior Design Awards wp-content/2012, split into Residential and Contract sectors and hosted at two destinations in Italy; Macef (Milan) in September and SIA Guest (Rimini) in November. If last year’s entries are any guide, as is the profile of the judges we secured – including Professor Jimmy Choo OBE, – this year will be even better.

Being a British organisation with numerous international members, we realize that the most important aspect of British design is trust. When people see ‘Made in Britain’ emblazoned on a product, they are instantly reassured that the product has been critically assessed in every detail, analysed by numerous bodies and regulators for performance and longevity, and tested for safety and the validity of manufacturers’ claims. All these steps are necessary in order to produce evidence before a product receives certification.

If a product claims a ten year performance guarantee, it must first pass stringent durability, performance and safety tests. Testing is performed by our collaborating partner the British Standards Institute (BSI), amongst other organisations. Product designers for manufacturers understand interior design and interior decorating. They have to: the rigorous testing process is expensive and time-consuming, and many products don’t pass. In bathroom safety for example, water flow pressures for taps are graded; this measurement, among other factors, prevents flooding in multi-occupied buildings for water flow rates etc., and anti-slip tile surfaces prevent accidents when surfaces are wet.

Suitability of performance environments such as bathrooms, swimming pools or shopping centres carry different risks and are graded for their purpose. These criteria affect all products i.e. fabric and plastic coatings for fire safety, rub rating for wearability of upholstery in contract use, the location of carpet within a building for wearability.

These British design standards are not acknowledged or promoted sufficiently by designers to their clients. When products are correctly specified and installed, a designer has delivered a professional project. British design is built on trained designers and performance-tested products by quality brands. Great design is represented by educated designers (recognised through an accredited third party system, the SBID being only British destination with a standard which meets the European Council standard for practitioners) and reliable quality in products. Standards are credible performance indicators unrecognised as added value by designers, although they are in fact the cornerstone of an interior designer’s brief. Designers sell ideas and advice.

We are no longer in business just in the UK; as a member of the European Union, we must trade with equal opportunity and legislation with our European counterparts.  However we are of course still British, and we must not lose sight of the fact that our best selling assets are British quality, trust in performance and reliability in Europe and beyond.”

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