New British Inventors

New British Inventors 

The New British Inventors campaign celebrates pioneering British designers and creates a platform for international debate about the potential of design to shape the future. 

An emerging generation of British inventors is developing new modes of thinking and shaping advances in many fields of design. Operating across a range of scales from nanomaterials to mega-structures, theseinnovators have been forging new techniques and working practices, technological advances and inventive designs. They have the potential to impact fundamentally on everyday lives, whether domestic arrangements, workplace organisation, or the clothes we wear and how we travel. 

Throughout history, inventors have often been defined by a nonconformist outlook in the face of mainstream opinion. Rather than accepting customs and conventions, instead they exhibited a thirst for discovery and progress.

New British inventors are also driven by a restless spirit. The inventor may have gained a reputation as an eccentric figure, locked away in a workshop, studio or lab. Yet they continue to prove that innovative work – whether in architecture, design or fashion – need not be a barrier to capturing the popular imagination.


The choice of the exhibition Inside Heatherwick Studio to launch the New British Inventors campaign reflects the studio’s own inventive approach. Preparedness to invest time in research, a desire for materials experimentation and a positive approach to risk-taking are attributes that we believe should be encouraged in contemporary design.

In addition to the exhibition, the associated programming, including talks and workshops, will act as a stimulus to discussion and debate. The British Council aims to highlight the new ideas, creative processes and design invention of this emerging generation of British designers. We hope the New British Inventors campaign will broaden perspectives on contemporary practice, and create collaboration between designers and cultural institutions around the world.  

Graham Sheffield, CBE
Director Arts, British Council