By Cassandra Turner, Principal & Interior Designer, Turner & Roberts
There’s a very good reason to think local next time you feel the urge to add some more style to your world. Year after year we see a string of highly creative and immensely talented Australian furniture and product designers emerge and watch as their talent rises and expands, often to international shores.
This week, I’m spotlighting five emerging designers who are all in the running to win the 2015 Emerging Designer Award, a design competition launched in 2013 by Temple & Webster to support and recognise new talent and increase the profile of some of Australia’s best up-and-coming furniture and interiors product designers.
This year, there are ten finalists in total and today, I spotlight five.
Kenny Yong-Soo Son – Studiokyss
What I especially love about object designer and maker Kenny Yong-Soo Son’s work is the philosophy behind his design. He aims to create pieces that have the ability to interact physically and emotionally with the user, creating a sense of life, value and purpose for each piece. Working with raw materials like concrete, timber and metal, Kenny’s pieces, from paperweights to mirrors, transcend craft and design, combining both functional and decorative qualities. The detail in forms, the way he works materials and the unusual ability to juxtapose a sense of strength and fragility at the same time in each piece gives his work a restrained but enchanting beauty.
Andrew Southwood-Jones & Alexander Kashin – Daast Designs
I first came across this talented duo a few years ago. Back then they were just out of UTS Architecture (where they studied together) but their work already had the creativity, style and sensibilities of that of well established designers. In 2013, they won the Craft & Object Design Category of the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards (SOYA), which resulted in a mentorship under renowned industrial designer Marc Newson. Today their work has evolved even further and their love of experimentation with digital and traditional methods is clear across all of their lighting, objects and furniture.
This Adelaide-based furniture designer and maker creates pieces that at first glance possess a wonderful sense of grounding and purpose but upon closer inspection, are imbued with refined detail, creating somewhat of a multi –experience for the user. Graduating from Furniture Design and Technology in 2013, Stephen’s custom furniture, lighting and objects have already captured the attention of internationally acclaimed designer Alexander Lotersztain as well as retail outlets in Adelaide including The Jam Factory and design store Council of Objects.
Alison established Pocket Studio, now a fully equipped silversmithing studio, directly after graduating from the ANU School of Art, Gold & Silversmithing. She now divides her time and talent between designing and hand-making jewellery and tableware pieces, each handcrafted using traditional silversmithing techniques. Whist her methods are traditional, Alison creates work with a highly contemporary aesthetic, with a lot of clean lines, geometric shapes and focus on the finish of her materials. Alison was runner up in the 2013 GOYA Awards, a finalist at Launchpad in 2014 and has been invited to exhibit her work at Milan Design Week.
At only 24, it’s clear that Nicolas Fuller’s upbringing, surrounded by a family and community of craftspeople influenced and spawned his talent as a furniture maker. His designs are beautifully refined, considered and imbued with his philosophy – to enrich everyday living. Nicholas is currently expanding his talents as an associate at The Jam Factory in Adelaide, working under award-winning Australian designer, Jon Goulder, as well as focusing on his own commission work, product and limited edition collectables.
To vote for any of the finalists in the 2105 Temple & Webster Emerging Designer Award, go to www.templeandwebster.com.au. The winner will be announced Thursday 30th July.