A graduate of Central Saint Martins in London, the theme of this year’s contest was tailor-made for Guan, whose work is about discovering and exploring the symbiosis between humans and everyday objects. Meanings and possibilities abound, and are inseparable, in his Symbiotic Objects series. Here the table, chair and lamp are mere fragments, worked from metal, wood and leather, which only become complete when a person inserts him/herself between them as part of the furniture. For the Chinese designer, this project is about the relationship between human beings and utility objects, and the need to redefine a throwaway culture.
An architecture and engineering science student in Belgium, who graduated from the department of Man & Identity at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2016, Denys is a young designer who loves rich materials, minimalistic shapes and calls himself a big fan of contra s. Reflecting his architectural leanings, Foam Fences is a lightweight room divider, that rather than blocking space, relies on the suggestion of privacy. Its ‘solid’ appearance is deceptive: it might look like metal grating due to the rubber coating and angular overlapping voluminous foam rips, but is actually soft and lightweight. A definition without suffocation.
German product designer Pia Regenbrecht is a graduate of Münster School of Design, and alongside objects, focuses on conceptual design, spatial design and social interaction. Hyperreal is a product series that aims to redirect the focus to life in the here and now. In this way, the wooden table Productivity >< Disfun ion becomes a functionless object by turning the upper part over; the clock Future >< Presence’ is only readable from one angle or perceivable from the surrounding space; and the sheet steel standing mirror Selffocus>< Surrounding, exceeds a mirror by providing a highly-polished idealised reflection or view.
Japanese designer Hiroyuki Morita graduated from the Department of Industrial Interior and Craft Design of Musashino Art University in 2010, and as a product and interior designer has drawn on both sides of his education – bringing traditional Japanese craft skills into a contemporary context. Temi is one example of this, in which a work tool originally used in harvesting for sorting grain has been transformed into seating. Hiroyuki Morita has retained the shell of this tool and adapted it to match the human body, making the most of its simple construction and reduced use of materials (bamboo, leather and steel).
The Swedish designer only graduated last year in industrial design from the Kon fack University College of Arts, Cra s and Design in Stockholm, and his homeland has proved inspirational for this project. Taking the scientific names for moose, Alces alces, as the name for his chairs, the designer wanted to find a use for the masses of animal skins left behind after moose hunting in Sweden. To achieve this, Alge developed a new processing method: hard leather parchment is softened, sewn together, and then filled with compressed air before leaving it to dry – the resulting form as hard as plastic.
Born in Italy, Umberto Garcia is a designer who draws on a rich family heritage, that is also part Colombian and Finnish. Having studied in the Netherlands and Milan, the latter is where he started his own practice in 2017. Varjo (Finnish for shadow) is a shape-shifting lamp created by a system that stans between ceiling and floor. Comprised of six differently sized suspended rings, elastic textile straps run the length of the design. By moving or tilting the four intermediate movable rings, the shape and the light pa erns of the shade that is formed by the straps change.
Alissa Arends, Leon Bucher and Yelim Kim make up a team of students from the Weimar Bauhaus University that proves this institute is no museum, and its four faculties encourage experimentation and transdisciplinary projects. The Fold it table is a foldable and easy to store model, created not only for students but also for other users looking for a flexible design. As a result of its integrated joint and simple construction, the table, which is made of steel pipes and multiplex board, can be converted quickly and easily. The table top is simply lifted out to move it and/or store.
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