Every year Design Geek awards one new designer a bursary worth £10,000 in kind to launch their career. Previous winners include Jessica Hogarth, Fanny Shorter, Alicja Patanowska and Marta Bordes.

“It kick started my career when I won two years ago,” said 2014 winner Fanny Shorter. It was, and still is, an amazing thing to be part of.”

Yeshen Venema Photography

Winners receive:

  • A complimentary stand at Top Drawer within the Home sector with an expected 20,000 visitors.
  • Their product stocked at the Barbican Centre shop.
  • A one-week pop-up shop at West Elm.
  • A one-day studio shoot with Yeshen Venema resulting in product, lifestyle and cut-out photography.
  • Quarterly mentoring for one year with established artist and designer and founder of HAM, Jo Ham.
  • One hour face-to-face or Skype mentoring sessions with: October Communications’ Daniel Nelson re e-commerce, The Design Trust’s Patricia van den Akker re business coaching, Seen PR’s David Gorrod re PR, and the Barbican’s Adam Thow re working with buyers.
  • One year’s free membership of The Design Trust Business Club.
  • Six months’ free membership of Press Loft, plus a 20% discount thereafter.
  • A pre-show mentoring workshop with Daniel, David, Patricia, Keith, Mark, Adam and Jo hosted at West Elm, alongside shortlisted designers.
  • £100 to spend on MOO on business cards, leaflets or whatever you need to make the most of Top Drawer.
  • Coverage on Top Drawer website, Design Geek and West Elm’s Front + Main blog.


“Winning the bursary was a wonderful adventure,” says 2015 winner Alicja Patanowska. “I met a number of industry professionals, and without their help, I wouldn’t have been able to establish my brand so well and raise the standards in all the aspects of my business activity. Their know-how and advice has given me some new exciting business opportunities. As a result, my Plantation collection is now thriving.”


We are looking for passionate new designers with original products.

To be eligible, you must…

  • be within your first three years of business
  • not have had a stand of your own at a Clarion show before
  • be available 13 – 17th January 2017

and your products must be…

  • design-led interiors or kitchenware products
  • designed and made in the United Kingdom
  • commercially viable and ready to wholesale

If you and your products fit these criteria, watch this space for news of the 2017 bursary, which will be open for application in the spring of 2017.

The bursary is only possible thanks to the generosity of our mentors and partners: Ian and Kirstie at Top Drawer, Adam at the Barbican Centre, Jess at West Elm, Yeshen Venema, Blair at Press Loft, David at Seen PR, Jo at HAM, Justyna at Decorum, Daniel at October Communications, and Patricia at The Design Trust.

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