The London-based Design Council released a list of 70 up-and-coming designers who represent the future of design in the U.K. to coincide with the organization's 70th anniversary. Whittled down from hundreds of entries, the list represents professionals in fields including architecture, urban planning, and product design across six categories including social impact and materials.

Winston Churchill established the Design Council in December 1944 to advance the U.K.'s industrial design standards in manufacturing goods to support economic recovery during and after World War II. The organization has since evolved to help ensure the long-term growth of the U.K.'s creative industries, encourage public dialogue about the impact of design on everyday lives, and influence government policy.

To select its 70 innovators, the Design Council asked leading designers to pick 24 designers based on their work and industry exposure, and then selected an additional 46 from an open online call for entries. The organization evaluated the candidates and their designs for their vision and ambition.

Below, we spotlight 10 designers on the "Ones to Watch" list who developed products and concepts that push the boundaries of design and provide solutions for modern-day design and planning challenges.

Category: Material World

Christos Diplas

Landscape Institute


Diplas's entry for a sustainable landscape design in London's Royal Docks Competition, which received high marks from the judges, features a series of sunken walkways, floating islands, and greenhouses. The islands remove pollutants from the water, while algae pods and transparent photovoltaic cells on the glass of the greenhouses provide energy for lighting and heating at night.

Marlene Huissound


Growing up as the daughter of a beekeeper, Huissound explores the potential of "insects as co-partners in the design process," according to her studio’s website. Her project "From insects" uses honeybees and the Indian silkworm to craft a series of vessels and furniture from their by-products.

Thomas Glover

Thomas Glover


As an architect, Glover is interested in the effects of climate change, particularly flooding. Inspired by the bioengineering of India's root bridges—structures made from the living roots of the Indian rubber tree—his master plan for the future of London's Bromley-By-Bow district involves a biodegradable scaffold on which to grow a living structural system. As sea levels rise, the city will grow above the water.

Rebecca Skelton

Rebecca Skelton


Skelton's furniture design kit, The Sequence of Making, comprises a series of wooden and fabric components that can be slotted and woven together giving users the ability to customize their own small-scale textile-furniture pieces.

Yue Rao

Yue Rao


Rao designed a plan to transform London’s riverbank into a linear park along the River Thames to enhance the city’s green infrastructure and connect to historic gardens. The project was shortlisted in the High Line for London competition, held in 2012.

Thomas Savage

Thomas Savage


In Praise of Nests & Other Things by architect Savage is a conceptual project located in Blyth, England, where heavy industry is being replaced with offshore and clean energy technology. Savage’s concept designs involve hostel towers made of steel scaffolding and concrete cabins as temporary roosts for birds to flock to in the winter and humans to inhabit in the summer.

Category: Social Impact

Felix Bell

Felix Bell


Bell designed the Brick Bottle, an empty vessel that, when filled with sand or soil, can be used as a heavy-duty construction material designed to build shelters for refugees in developing countries. The bottles, made of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, are designed to resist fire, flooding, and earthquakes.

Category: Happier and Healthier

Chris Moss

Landscape Institute


Moss, of Kew, England–based Earthenware Landscape Architects, won a 2014 design competition run by the Garden Museum and London's Landscape Institute to promote public health with his concept for the Soapbox, which provides showering facilities for people who commute to work by physical modes such as walking or biking. The facilities are shipping containers re-purposed into modular showers that use harvested water and solar panels.

Category: Everyday Living

Torsten Sherwood

Torsten Sherwood


Sherwood's Noook is a modular construction toy for children to engage in architectural play. Made of corrugated cardboard discs, Noook offers interconnecting edges and surfaces to help its user create a variety of structures.

Category: Living in the City

Sonila Kadillari

Sonila Kadrillari


Kadillari created an architectural modelling of Mars, encompassing complex planetary simulations, including light, temperature, gravity, and topography. The project, Pre-Ecopoiesis Mars Yard, lays the groundwork for new building typologies and the exploration of design in extreme environments.