This September, the Design Museum plays host to a global showcase of the next generation of design talent. Bringing together 20 emerging designers from 16 countries, Discovered presents a visionary group of young creatives from across Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia in an extraordinary showcase of furniture, objects and sculptural works in wood.
A collaboration between the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and Wallpaper* magazine, Discovered offers a series of personal reflections on the experience of the pandemic, while providing a platform for new creatives after a year in which the usual channels for exposure were inaccessible. The exhibition is therefore a much-needed opportunity for emerging designers to get their work out there in front of the public and the industry.
Selected from Wallpaper’s annual Graduate Directories and through AHEC’s network, the designers have worked alongside design mentors and AHEC’s global manufacturing partners to each develop a new object made from their choice of four sustainable hardwoods: American red oak, cherry and hard and soft maple.
Throughout the project, designers have been supported and mentored by Wallpaper* editor-in-chief Sarah Douglas and by AHEC Directors David Venables and Rod Wiles, as well as a global group of designers including Tomoko Azumi, Maria Jeglinska-Adamczewska, Nathan Yong and Adam Markowitz.
“Discovered is a unique opportunity for us as we will be joining forces with the other AHEC regional offices in a creative project for the first time. Together with Wallpaper*, we have selected an extremely exciting line-up of designers from 16 different countries – 3 of whom are from Australia.
This project has enabled us to give them a valuable learning experience on product design and development with sustainable hardwood. We are also fortunate to have had input from Designer-Maker Adam Markowitz as a mentor for the Australian designers and also those from Korea and Japan. Added to this has been world-class manufacturing from Evostyle in Sydney. It’s a great opportunity to showcase the capability of Australian design on a global stage.” – Rod Wiles, Director AHEC Oceania From 13 September to 10 October 2021, including the duration of London Design Festival, the 20 designers’ works will be on display at the Design Museum, taking over the ground-floor atrium to showcase the creativity of the group and the versatility of their chosen materials.
To develop their concepts, participants were invited to think freely about their experience of living and working in isolation, responding to themes of touch, reflection and strength, and to channel their own experiences into a piece that represents our functional and emotional connections to everyday objects. The designers have considered ideas such as identity and cultural heritage, family and social ritual, the pandemic-induced need to adapt, and the inherent comfort of touch.
This has resulted in a highly diverse selection of objects, ranging from functional furniture such as cabinets, tables and chairs to more abstract, sculptural works that inspire reflection. Taken as a whole, Discovered represents how the experience of isolation has inspired each designer’s personal and creative journeys, in what has been an extraordinary time for the individual, the industry and the world as a whole.
Discovered: Designers for Tomorrow
Design Museum, London
Exhibition dates: 13 September to 10 October 2021
Sizar Alexis • Isabelle Baudraz • Nong Chotipatoomwan • Mac Collins • Mew Mungnatee • Siyanda Mazibuko • Josh Krute • Pascal Hien • Trang Nguyen • Alessandra Fumagalli Romario • Taiho Shin • Mimi Shodeinde • Juan Carlos Franco and Juan Santiago Sierra • Ivana Taylor • Martin Thübeck • Yunhan Wang • Tan Wei Xiang • Duncan Young • Vivienne Wong