The Swarovski Designers of the Future Award honors a select group of promising young designers and studios who exemplify new directions in design culture. These young creatives work beyond pure product design and represent conceptually or technologically vanguard approaches, often assimilating ideas from multiple disciplines. The objective of the award is to offer these next-generation design talents the opportunity to present newly commissioned work to an influential audience of collectors, dealers, and journalists at Design Miami/Basel.
The recipients of the 2016 Swarovski Designers of the Future Award are: sound artist Yuri Suzuki from Japan, based in London; glass artist Anjali Srinivasan from India, based in Dubai; and German-Icelandic design duo Studio Brynjar & Veronika, based in Berlin. New works by the winners, commissioned by Swarovski, will debut at the 11th edition of Design Miami/ Basel held June 14-19, 2016.
The laureates of the award visited Wattens, Swarovski’s historic base in Austria, in December 2015 to explore the crystal brand’s legacy of creativity and innovation. The designers drew inspiration from the company’s archives, design centers and innovation programs, taking the opportunity to generate ideas and experiment with new design concepts.
In response to the current need for designers to address the quality of interaction between people and the designed world around them, the winning designers in 2016 are requested to consider and interpret “betterment” as part of the creative process with the ultimate aim of creating an experience at Design Miami/ Basel that presents an ideal proposal for “designing for life and future living.”
This is the second time Swarovski and the fair have collaborated on this prominent contemporary design award, which was first established in 2006. The Swarovski Designers of the Future Award acknowledges emerging studios and designers who are actively expanding design culture through experimentation with cutting-edge technologies.
The award offers a new generation of talent the opportunity to develop projects on a large scale and to explore resources that are often unattainable for emerging practices. Supported by Swarovski, the designers are given free rein to explore imaginative new design solutions.
The resulting works will be unveiled to an influential audience of collectors, curators, designers, critics, gallerists and journalists at Design Miami/ Basel 2016. For Design Miami/ and Swarovski, the award offers the opportunity to promote new talent and contribute to the wider design conversation through work that challenges traditional design approaches. Previous winners include Studio Swine, Tomás Alonso, Elaine Yan Ling Ng, Max Lamb, Asif Khan, Philippe Malouin, Raw Edges, Random International, Martino Gamper and Bethan Laura Wood.
Rodman Primack, Executive Director of Design Miami/ stated: “It has been ten years since the beginning of our relationship with Swarovski, and those ten years have proven Swarovski’s commitment to and support of the design world. The Swarovski Designers of the Future Award aims to highlight diverse and technologically vanguard approaches to design through the work of designers that are not yet household names. This year’s laureates speak to the breadth of the field, with explorations into sound design, glasswork and the act of storytelling through design. We are very excited to experience the results of Swarovski’s commissions and look forward to seeing how this award will impact their individual practices and their trajectory”.
Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board, commented: “It is a pleasure to continue our partnership with Design Miami/. The 2016 edition of the Designers of the Future Award adds to this ongoing design conversation for a second consecutive year. It is exciting to see a strong new selection of emerging talent from around the globe exploring their visions of future living to create beautiful and thought-provoking new works using crystal.”
Yuri Suzuki commented: “I’m really looking forward to working on my commission. My audience can be quite wide-ranging, from very tech-focused people to musicians, but this is a precious opportunity for me to show and exchange ideas as part of a global design platform. I’m very excited to start investigating how the vibrations in crystals can be interpreted as sound. Exploring the Swarovski archives to look at past innovations has been invaluable research.”
Studio Brynjar & Veronika commented: “It was so exciting to visit Wattens and we loved seeing how the crystal was made. It’s a sort of a form of alchemy, the way Swarovski creates this really beautiful substance from natural materials, yet using these high tech processes. It’s a mystical, magical place, and it has left us feeling really inspired for this project. We love to dive into new mediums and crystal is a whole new challenge.”
Anjali Srinivasan commented: “Crystal is a highly engaging material because it is a solid object that creates visual effects that you cannot touch. I’m looking forward to continuing to explore this crossroads between physical and optical phenomena in my work. I’m also fascinated by the challenge of creating human-centric design, so I’m excited to further explore this relationship between material and data and people”.
The 2016 Swarovski Designers of the Future Award winners were selected by a jury of leading figures in the design world, including Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board; Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum in London; Zoe Ryan, Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute Chicago; Li Edelkoort, trend forecaster and Director of Parsons Interdisciplinary Design Program; Asif Khan, Architect; and Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, Special Projects, Design Miami/.
Swarovski has contributed to the Design Miami/ program over the past decade with commissioned installations by influential designers and architects including: Ross Lovegrove, Greg Lynn, Troika, Fredrikson Stallard, Erwin Redl, Eyal Burstein, Asif Khan, Guilherme Torres, Jeanne Gang and James Balog, and most recently Fernando Romero, Architect and Founder of Fernando Romero Enterprise (FR-EE).
STUDIO BRYNJAR & VERONIKA/
The work of Studio Brynjar & Veronika is linked to storytelling and narratives, which are deeply rooted in Icelandic culture. They use various media such as drawings, photography, video, sound and furniture in order to convey their work in a rich and specific way. One of the main qualities within the Studio’s work lies in the extensive research carried out, and the open-minded approach within the field of design; taking inspiration from the environment around them, and translating these learnings into objects. In 2011, Brynjar Sigurðarson established the studio, as well as teaching within the Masters department at ECAL, Lausanne, Switzerland. Veronika Seldmair, an interior design graduate, with a background in the field of Fashion and Jewelery, joined the practice in 2014. Current and recent studio projects include work with leading brands and galleries such as Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Galerie kréo, CIRVA, Manufacture de Sèvres, PCM, and Spark Design Space and Camper. Brynjar’s documentary, Borgþór Sveinsson, was presented at the Art Film Festival in Den Bosch, Holland and was recently acquired as part of the permanent collection of MAK, Vienna.
Anjali Srinivasan is an artist and entrepreneur who has been working with molten glass since 2000. Anjali began exploring emerging and innovative technologies such as sensor control, remote tracking and responsive environments, in 2006 combining molten glass with these advanced digital mediums to create sculptures, installations and performances. Her professional background includes Fine/Visual Art & Design; she studied Accessories’ Design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi and holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts, cum laude, from Alfred University, New York. She completed her graduate studies (Masters in Fine Art, with Honors) at Rhode Island School of Design in 2007 with a keen interest in glass and digital media. Following extensive work & teaching experience across the United States, Scandinavia and Australia, she established ChoChoMa Studios, an artist studio that provides custom solutions in hand-crafted glass. Currently, Anjali directs a small team of makers at ChoChoMa Studios in Dubai as well as maintaining her own professional artistic practice and teaching at art & design universities around the world.
Yuri Suzuki is a sound artist, designer and electronic musician who produces work that explores the realms of sound through exquisitely designed pieces. Suzuki was born in Tokyo in 1980. He has worked for Japanese art unit Maywa Denki, where he developed a strong interest in music and technology. After working with them he moved to London to study at the Royal College of Art. During this time he worked on some projects for Yamaha, and after his graduation in 2008 he opened his own studio in London. Suzuki’s work raises questions of the relation between sound and people and how music and sound affect people’s minds. Suzuki’s sound art pieces and installations have been shown in exhibitions all around the world. In 2013, he started teaching at Royal College of Art London and also began an associate position for Disney, New Radiophonic Workshop and Teenage Engineering. During the same year, he founded Yuri Suzuki Ltd (YS Lab) which is an R&D consultancy working with several companies including Google, Panasonic and Disney. Suzuki also founded Dentaku Ltd which produces OTOTO the DIY musical instrument, comprising of a built-in synthesizer and sampler. In 2014, Museum of Modern Art New York acquired his work OTOTO and Colour Chasers to their permanent collection.
- Anjali Srinivasan
- Yuri Suzuki
- Brynjar Sigurðarson and Veronika Sedlmair, of Studio Brynjar & Veronika