WantedDesign Manhattan 2023: Best of Students and Schools Winners

06.07.23 | By
WantedDesign Manhattan 2023: Best of Students and Schools Winners

Now that WantedDesign Manhattan 2023 has wrapped, we’re thrilled to share the final winners for the Best of Students and Schools, a showcase sponsored by iconic Italian housewares brand Alessi and presented with Design Milk.

Words from sponsor Alessi’s president, Alberto Alessi, on what design is today:

booth at trade show featuring two tables of designs with two men shaking hands

Walking away with the Best of Schools award, UK-based Northumbria University won for their Tools for Everyday Life, a project born from a brief pitched to the school’s BA(Hons) 3D Design program (including academic staff, graduates, and Designers in Residence). They were asked to design everyday products that are enjoyable to use. The ongoing project of designing tools helps designers understand the materials and processes via making the tools and using them, in hopes of empowering users to connect to the products and develop skills along the way.

angled view of Northumbria best of schools award winning booth

Rickard Whittingham, Assistant Professor, shares: “This project challenges its designers to share knowledge, skills, and experiences in the designing and making of ubiquitous objects. The aim is to celebrate the process and results of collaboration between designers at various stages of their education and careers in the creation of beautiful and useful things that meaningfully connect with people. We hope to highlight the important role design schools can have in bringing people together from diverse backgrounds to learn from each other.”

angled view of Northumbria best of schools award winning booth

“The Tools for Everyday Life project champions the value of material and processes knowledge and making skills in the realization of contemporary products. The belief is that these skills and sensitivity to the physical world make for objects that are rewarding in their use.”

angled view of Northumbria best of schools award winning booth

five people posing for camera featuring winner of design award

Assistant Professor Rickard Whittingham accepting the Best of Schools award for Northumbria University

angled view of booth at trade show with design objects on tables with people standing aroudn

Walking away with the Best of Students prize, was a group of 25 industrial students from the Design Department at the Mexico-based Universidad Iberoamericana. The group presented 13 projects inspired by Mexican oral traditions. The Best of Students award gives recognition to students from design schools around the world and presents them on a global platform. It helps the universities to recruit new students while also networking with other schools for potential partnerships or exchange programs. This year, 14 schools participated, including: CEDIM, Central Saint Martins, Cranbrook Academy of Art, École Boulle, IED, University of Iowa, Northumbria University, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, RISD, SAIC, SCAD, Tec Monterrey, and Universidad Iberoamericana.

Some of the student’s winning work:

bulbous three pot planter with green plant

Bahui by Diego Blanco, Luis Ernesto Belchez, and Manuel Alvarez

stepped wooden tray

Gizaba by Camila Moreno, Joaquin Barrera, and Jimena Moreno-Lacalle

teal green pottery

Xoco by Bruno Calderon and Sofia Zavala

grey stand with wooden leaf like bowls

Nikté by Casandra Alanis, Frida Juárez, and Mariana de Alba

Congratulations to the 2023 winners!

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.