By Kenza van Lerberghe for IROCO Design.
For this time around, we'll give you a heads up on designer names you will be hearing about more and more, if you haven't already...
So let's start with South East Asia and work ourselves up north....
ABIE ABDILLAH, INDONESIA
Since college, Jakarta-based designer Abie Abdillah, has been passionate about working with rattan. Though some 80% of the world’s supply of rattan comes from Indonesia, the popularity of rattan furniture has been waning.
Abie’s passion goes beyond just rattan as a material for his designs. Through his contemporary furniture designs, he hopes to rejuvenate interest in rattan as furniture and thus also revive the rattan industry in his country.
For his furniture pieces, Abie focuses on rattan’s inherent qualities - strength and flexibility. He combines modular units of bent pieces into well-ordered shapes. He draws inspiration from a variety of sources.
Abie has a Bachelor in Industrial Design from the Institut Teknologi Bandung. He has exhibited his works in his home country as well as in Germany and Singapore, and speaks throughout Indonesia about his rattan craft and its sustainability.
The multi-cultural design collective was born out of a fortuitous meeting in Stockholm, hence the name Outofstock. Gabriel Tan and Wendy Chua from Singapore, Gustavo Maggio from Argentina and Sebastián Alberdi from Spain met at Electrolux Design Lab 2005. They decided to collaborate in 2006 and what started out as a creative experiment, grew into an integrated practice offering product, furniture, lighting and spatial experience design.
Operating from Singapore with branch offices in Barcelona and Buenos Aires, Outofstock works with international clients such as Ligne Roset, Saazs, Bolia, Industry+ and Environment, designing product, furniture and lighting for their collections. Apart from art direction of photography and short films, Outofstock also crafts dining experiences through their restaurant designs.
The Outofstock team was featured in Wallpaper’ s Graduate Directory 2009 and awarded the Elle Decoration Spain’s Young Designer of the Year 2008. Other accolades include ‘Naked’ chair with the Furniture Design Open Category Grand Winner in 2009 and ‘Black Forest’ table that was awarded the President’s Design Award 2010 – Design of The Year. More recently, Outofstock was named Asia Talent of 2014 for their light-piece, Luna.
MONICA TSANG, HONG KONG
Monica applies her character and her design philosophy “live your life from your heart and be inspired every day” on her collections. She likes dark humor and things that are odd and strange, but she has a very feminine taste too. The contrast of divergent and unusual sensibilities fascinates her. The world isn't black and white.
Having experienced life in the UK, Germany, Italy and China, Tsang enjoys mixing cultural influences. The places in which she has lived, studied or worked have profoundly influenced her design
aesthetic. Hong Kong is her base. Berlin opened her mind and universe. England taught her culture, craft and self-expression. Working in China was a practical lesson in production and humility. The interaction with different kinds of people has been a source of her creativity.
A Product and Industrial Design graduate of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Monica made an important contribution to a well-received Siemens VDO project at Germany’s Kunsthochshule Berlin-Weissensee. She then went on to earn her Masters Degree in Ceramic Design from Staffordshire
University, UK, in addition to a 2006 Red Dot Design Concept Award and Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award. Her other career highlights include earning a placement at the prestigious British ceramics brand, Wedgwood.
In 2013, she launched her own studio in Hong Kong to develop her own collections in addition to commissions for private and industrial clients. Her designs are sold and exhibited worldwide.
ZHANG ZHOUJIE, CHINA
Chinese designer Zhang Zhoujie was trained in classical arts in the city of Ningbo and founded his eponymous digital laboratory in 2010 after graduating with an MA in Industrial Design from Central Saint Martins in London.
When he returned to Shanghai and set out to produce his innovative designs, every factory and workshop refused him, claiming that what he wanted to create was impossible. Undeterred, he spent 18 months learning welding, cutting, polishing and manufacturing. He gained an intimate understanding of the manufacturing process and created an in-house workshop.
Zhang has shown at over 30 exhibitions, including in London and Milan. In the last three years, he’s acquired prestigious awards including the Elle Deco Young Designer of the Year, the IF Design Award China and the SHDC 50/100 Young Talent of the Year.
Zhoujie’s works is based on the concept of ‘Spontaneity’. It pays respect to the logic of mathematics and objects are generated following the law of the digital environment. - it is designing without anticipation. He believes that his role to be a designer is ‘Actionless’, to interfere as little as possible and give space for imagination. In his work, he reveals the true properties of material and forms, and he blends Chinese traditional art perspectives, western design methodology, digital engineering and handmade craftsmanship into a single project.
POETIC LAB, TAIWAN
Based in London, Poetic Lab design studio was founded by Taiwanese designers, Hanhsi Chen and Shikai Tseng. The duo share a core design philosophy - ideologies and materials to write poetry with objects. Having acquired very diverse experiences before they decided to work together,
this enabled them to shape products, lighting and furniture from multiple perspectives.
Shikai Tseng has a Bachelor of Product Design in the Taiwan Ming-Chuan University, an MA in Industrial Design from the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology and an MA in Design Products Course, Royal College of Art, London.
Hanhsi Chen has a Bachelor of Science from the National Taiwan University and an MA in Design Products Course, Royal College of Art, London.
The team has won awards including the Design Report Award, Salone Satellite Award and Elle Deco International Design Award Chinese Edition’s Young Designer Talent of the Year 2014. Their works have also become permanent collection of the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, and they have been invited to show in major exhibitions around the world.
WONMIN PARK, KOREA
Wonmin Park was educated at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands and worked with a couple of design companies in the Netherlands before he established Studio Wonmin Park in 2011, based in Eindhoven.
He has exhibited his works in Korea, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and USA. His awards include the 2014 Wallpaper* Design Awards 2014 as Winner, Best Transparency and 2014 Winner of the Global Star Designer, Korea Institute of Design.
Park’s furniture designs are sculpture-like and appeal to the visual senses. To maximize the visual appeal of his pieces, Park uses resin and the end results are visual feasts, reminiscent of an abstract painting. His design furniture demands equal consideration as both practical commodity and fine art.
Park will soon be exhibiting solo shows at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris and London and will be working with a French premium luxury brand.