by Jincy IypeDec 27, 2022
A design revolution seems to be in the works. With the advent of NFTS and the metaverse, the digital world is beckoning. Development and innovation in materials, sciences and construction technology, along with the radical thought to do better seems to be driving the younger generation of architects and designers. Building on that, they appear to be navigating and exploring the possibilities of design tools. Across various exhibitions, competitions, awards, and events that took place in 2022, we were introduced to young designers crafting a better world through art, architecture, and design. Exhibitions at Milan Design Week 2022 such as No Space for Waste and The New Paradigma, The One Tree project at London Design Festival 2022 and designers on Midjourney opened up new perspectives and windows to the world.
As 2022 winds up, STIR rounds up seven young designers/architects who redefined the design industry, putting forth a radical new perspective for the NEXT of design.
Born in Tehran Iran, Saba Yazdjerdi is an architect and designer whose work investigates her cultural heritage through object, spaces, and materials. Yazdjerdi, who was raised in Tehran, has lived in Colorado, Rhode Island, Bangkok, New York and California throughout her life. Fascinated by the human experience, Yazdjerdi explores themes of identity and belonging through a new lens that seeks to embrace, preserve, and celebrate Iranian culture. With this in mind, her work achieves a dual purpose: 'To reimagine her personal narrative and give Iran’s rich cultural past a new life.'
As a practising architectural designer, her practice areas have spanned from cultural to residential, creating spaces for galleries, museums, and residences. Owning the traditional heritage, her Pahlevoon collection explored the critical attributes of Pahlevani––an Iranian martial art, steeped in ethical principles, athletic rituals, and ancient Persian beliefs.
Taiwanese designer and founder of SUNRIU, Tang Jingquan’s inquiring mind draws on the experiences around his daily life, and connects his imagination to human senses and day-to-day insights via designs. Jingquan creates with the intention to present different interpretations of everyday experiences through his work so that the beauty of communal feelings can be widely shared everywhere.
Believing that design can transcend national boundaries, connect different cultural experiences, and impart the beauty of communal feelings, his creative endeavours include the Flow Collection, Tai—a series of furniture that is inspired by Taiwan Power Company's 'Recycle Project for Defunct Transformer Boxes', The End-Start—a new form of pencil and Air-Shape, to name a few.
Far-reaching and seeking purpose, the Emotional Clothing line by Polish designer Iga Węglińska is an experiential intersection of wearable technology and fashion design, where clothing doesn't just grab the physical but is intuitive in its essence. Like the rest of her imaginative oeuvre, Węglińska regards clothing as sculpture, carried by and based on the human body. Her design process focuses on the form, as well as the emotions that are evoked when wearing it, emphasised by beliefs in 'intellectual fashion'—fashion as an art, and fashion that gives its wearer a 'feeling of singularity.'
Merging the fields of fashion design and product design with research, new technologies, and applied materials, within the dual realms of the physical and digital, Węglińska’s works aims to explore the NEXT of the design world. Talking to STIR, she said, “As a designer and scientist, I focus on human-garment relations. After years of observation, I feel like we do not pay proper respect to our clothing, by not trying to find out its full potential in relation to other fields, especially technology. Fashion and its trends have trained us to think of clothing as just an aesthetic shell. Designers have a great opportunity to sensitise people towards newer forms, shapes, and aesthetics, but also their usages and progression, which is something I try to follow within my work.”
4. Elham Nejati
In the matrix of innovations on display at the 5Vie design district during Milan Design Week 2022, amongst a plethora of idealist, romantic, realist, minimalist, and perfectionist interventions, stands an imperfect piece, seemingly incomplete. A piece that is connected yet disconnected; a still work of art that seems to initiate a conversation with the observer even in a crowded room. A closer look reveals the errant identity to be a marble and steel vase named Tohi. Tohi, the word, hails from the Persian language, translating to 'hollow'. The 19 cm x 34 cm vase is the solidified leitmotif of Iranian designer Elham Nejati, and speaks of her intriguing quest for ambiguity in designs.
From her childhood inclinations to finding new ways to express herself unrestrictedly, the interior designer turned industrial designer creates pieces that speak of human emotions, perceptions, and extended thoughts of life. Her works are founded on a design process that revels in the beauty of imperfection and the never-ending possibility of interacting with different minds.
On October 6, 2022, Copenhagen-based Henrik Frode Obel Foundation announced material technology company Seratech as the winner of the Obel Award 2022. The architecture award recognised the efforts of the company’s material scientists and London’s Imperial College PhD students—Barney Shanks and Sam Draper—in creating a solution against the alarming carbon footprint generated by the building and construction industry. The duo have created carbon-neutral concrete through an efficient, low-cost process using materials that are naturally available all over the globe. The technology, according to the Obel Award jury, best represents the 2022 theme of the award 'Embodied Emissions'—referring to the irreversible and unremedied amount of CO2 that’s released in the construction of concrete architecture, and the need to sequester the problem at the source.
Talking about their exploration of the material, Shanks shares, “We found a way to take the world’s most abundant waste product, CO2, and react it with the world’s most abundant mineral, magnesium silicate. In doing this, we produce two things: magnesium carbonate and silica.” Adding to it, Draper said, “But the really exciting bit is the silica. We use this as a cement replacement material, and if this is scaled globally, not only does it cut Portland cement production by 30 per cent, but also sequesters the emissions from the remaining 70 per cent, resulting in carbon-neutral concrete.”
Exploring the multitudes between experimental artefacts and contemporary objects, the Switzerland-based French designer and architect specialises in the creation and design of lamps, redefining and re-examining the boundaries of the lamps themselves as household items. The works of Raphael Kadid are sculptures in their own right; beautiful objects that exist as examples of accumulative, eclectic inspiration, lineages that span across offerings from the past century. His creations—futuristic, uncanny and beautifully strange—remain a bastion of hope for independent craft, creation and respective cultures.
Functional beauty is at the core of Italian designer Mario Alessiani’s works, where the attention is not focused on shaping but on how to shape, in order to have the most efficient production phase. Drawing inspiration from the phrase that “design is the right mix between producibility and function, with an eye for shape,” Alessiani’s designs are a manifestation of transparent designs, understood by everyone.
“I focus on a few details because I want them to be catchy. Bruno Munari once said: ‘Complicating is simple, simplifying is complicated.’ I am aware that in the Instagrammable age, decorated and coloured objects have more appeal than a simple and functional one. My design wants to make simple and functional objects cool, and the only way to succeed is to make people understand that there are cool aspects invisible, at first glance,” shares Alessiani.
- Architecture Award
- Best of 2022
- British designer
- Concrete Architecture
- fashion design
- French Designer
- Iga Weglinska
- industrial designer
- Interior Designer
- Italian Designer
- london design festival
- milan design week
- Milan Design Week 2022
- Obel Award
- Product Design