Register today to get involved in the Ad Gefrin Design Challenge!

Ad Gefrin watercolour artist impression of the building and visitor centre

The Rural Design Centre Innovation Project and Ad Gefrin Visitor Experience and Distillery invite Northumberland creative businesses to design and develop bespoke new products that celebrate the very best of Northumberland and demonstrate the creativity, ingenuity and quality of Northumberland based businesses. 

Creative Northumberland business owners/designer-makers will be supported through a process that helps generate, test and develop great ideas for contemporary gift products.  Not only will there be invaluable business insight and grant support on offer throughout the process, but at the end of the Challenge, there will be the opportunity to pitch for a commission to be stocked by Ad Gefrin and sold through their new state-of-the art visitor destination and online.

The ambition of the Ad Gefrin Design Challenge is to inspire, engage, and showcase regionally and nationally the talent in Northumberland creative businesses through supporting the design and development of innovative products.

Design Challenge Criteria

Who can take part?

•    The Challenge is open to Northumberland trading businesses that meet the criteria defined as small and medium sized enterprise (SME) More on eligibility can be found here -

What is the challenge?

Ad Gefrin is looking for bespoke contemporary gift product designs to retail to visitors and customers. The designs should be rooted in Northumbrian culture, unique and environmentally sustainable, as well as being commercially viable. 

Products could be inspired by (but not restricted to): Textiles, Glass, Leather, Jewellery, Ceramics and Wood. 

•    The bespoke product designs are for the contemporary gift market and therefore will have to be of the highest quality and celebrate Northumberland.
•    Environmental sustainability is a must and every effort must be made to limit impact on the planet from sourcing of raw materials making/manufacturing to supply and delivery.

When will the Challenge start and what are the key dates to be aware of?

26/07/21 - Launch (online) - The launch event on July 26th 2021 provides an opportunity to discover more about Ad Gefrin, the design challenge and how to register your interest to take part.

01/09/21 - Registration of interest Deadline (online) - Registrations processed and participants agreed and notified.

Design Workshops

06/10/21 - Workshop 1 - Customers and Ideas Workshop (face to face)
Bring the participants together and work with them to research and understand potential customers to stimulate new ideas 

20/10/21 - Workshop 2 - Prototyping and testing (face to face)
Participants work up ideas and to prototype and test with potential customers and get feedback

03/11/21 - Workshop 3 - Pitching and submission (face to face)
Participants develop and practice their pitch and storyboard their submission video to showcase the idea they have developed in response. 

01/12/21 - Deadline for Submission (online) - Submission - pitch video.

17/12/21 - Shortlist announced (online) 

10/01/22 - Pitch Day (face to face - venue to be confirmed) - Shortlisted submissions pitch their product ideas to a panel. Winner announced and celebration event

AdGefrin Design Challenge Launch Event slides.pdf
Terms and Conditions - AG - Website.pdf