Swarovski and Design Miami/ Announce Designers of the Future Winners – For the fourth consecutive year Swarovski and Design Miami/ announced the three winners of the 2018 Swarovski Designers of the Future Award. Selected from across the globe for their innovative design approach, this year’s winners will respond to the brief of ‘smart living’, applying pioneering crystal technologies including psycho activation techniques, touch crystal and energy crystal. The commissioned works will be unveiled at Design Miami/ Basel (June 12-17, 2018).
Established in 2006, the Designers of the Future Award moves beyond pure product and furniture design to acknowledge technologically and conceptually vanguard pieces that work across multiple disciplines, championing collaborations with designers at an early stage of their career.
The Swarovski Designers of the Future Award winners have been selected for their ability to implement pioneering concepts and to dream, experiment and innovate within their work. The 2018 Swarovski Designers of the Future Award winners are:
Frank Kolkman, an experimental Dutch designer specializing in robotic technologies.
Study O Portable, a research based Dutch-Japanese practice making objects about the designed environment.
Yosuke Ushigome of TAKRAM, a creative Japanese technologist specializing in emerging technologies.
DESIGN SOLUTIONS FOR SMART LIVING
The award invites the winning designers to use Swarovski’s diverse resources to develop aprototype or statement that illustrates new ways of connecting and existing with each other and our environment.
The winners will be asked to deliver designs – whether wearables, inclusive design solutions, lighting and/or functional home objects – that create moments of connectivity and transformation, turning the static into a dynamic interplay between digital and physical, individual and collective, through the integration of new crystal technologies such as psycho activation techniques, touch crystal and energy crystal. With this design challenge Swarovski and Design Miami/ 2018 ask this year’s recipients: Can crystal innovations make the way we live our lives smarter, more interactive, sustainable, immersive and accessible?
Responding to this brief, Frank Kolkman will present ‘Dream Machine’, an immersive crystal experience, generating light and sound patterns from Swarovski crystals that synchronize with alpha and theta brainwaves to allow individuals to enter a state of deep relaxation or ‘artificial dreaming’.
Exploring the interface of Swarovski crystal with neurobiology, neuropsychology and psycho-activation techniques, the project attempts to design a smart solution to help us cope with the cognitive demands of modern life.
Study O Portable will work with Swarovski’s cutting technology to explore the blurring of light and color created from the crystals. The designers associate blurry and fading colors with nature, such as the sunset or changing colors of leaves on a tree, and are creating a series of surfaces that will be translated
into objects, including screens, a table and lights. Embracing the emotional impact of crystals, Study O Portable are pursuing a more analogue route in their response to what smart living entails.
Yosuke Ushigome’s ‘Can Crystals Interface Us to AI?’ exhibition will explore the potential of crystal as an alternative interaction between human and machine intelligence that occurs within the Smart Home environment. As opposed to the voice-command capabilities of most home assistant devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, the project fully utilizes the inherent, emotional quality of crystals to examine instinctively familiar behaviors between us and machine intelligence.
THE COLLABORATIVE DESIGN PROCESS
To inspire the creative process, the laureates visited Swarovski’s historic headquarters in Wattens, Austria, to discover the crystal brand’s legacy of innovation and creativity. The designers explored the company’s archives, design centers and innovation programs, taking the opportunity to generate new ideas and experiment with design concepts. Swarovski will work closely with each designer, supporting the design process and leveraging its own legacy of developing work that is bold, evocative and thoughtful.
Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board, comments: “We are delighted to announce Frank Kolkman, Study O Portable and Yosuke Ushigome as this year’s Swarovski Designers
of the Future. We look forward to seeing these exciting innovators use Swarovski crystal as a creative medium to explore the relationship between human behaviour and new smart living technologies.”
Rodman Primack, Chief Creative Officer, Design Miami/, comments: “We are very excited to partner with Swarovski once again on this award in support of emerging design talents to develop creative living solutions that incorporate crystal technologies. With each group of visionaries over the past three years, the concepts that have resulted from this design challenge continue to impress. We eagerly await the final unveiling of the designs in Basel this June.”
THE 2018 DESIGNERS OF THE FUTURE INSTALLATION
The winners will create designs that can coalesce into one complete environment, exhibited in a single installation that will be unveiled at Design Miami/ Basel from June 12–17. Alongside the installation, Swarovski will present Atelier Swarovski’s latest home décor collections as a ‘Curio’ exhibition within the core galleries at the fair. Celebrating innovative design, the collection includes functional and decorative table top objects, home accessories and gifts. With a strong focus on mixing crystal with other materials, Atelier Swarovski Home is a vivid reminder of the infinite creative possibilities of crystal. Pieces are available at selected retailers worldwide with prices ranging from €100 to €10,000. Bespoke and limited-edition pieces range up to €135,000.
THE 2018 DESIGNERS OF THE FUTURE JURY
This year’s winners have been selected by a jury of leading figures in the design world, including Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board; Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, Curatorial Advisor of Design Miami/; Yves Behar, Entrepreneur and Founder of fuseproject; Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum, London; Jonathan Margolis, Contributing Editor of Financial Times and Karen Wong, Deputy Director of New Museum NYC.
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