Wallpaper * and AHEC present Discovered at the Design Museum


Wallpaper * and AHEC present Discovered at the Design Museum

Before the exhibition at the Design Museum (September 13-October 15, 2021), we meet designers Tomoko Azumi, Maria Jeglinska-Adamczewska, Nathan Yong and Adam Markowitz, the four mentors of Discovered, an initiative of Wallpaper * and AHEC to support the next generation of designers

Wallpaper * and AHEC announced Discovered, a platform to support the next generation of design, in October 2020. Fast forward to ten months later, and the group of 20 international designers from 16 countries have created a series of works that not only consider the structure and expression qualities of American hardwood, but also explore how our everyday objects help us reconnect and fight isolation in an increasingly virtual world affected by a pandemic.

Created during several in-depth virtual meetings with four international mentors – Tomoko Azumi, Maria Jeglinska-Adamczewska, Nathan Yong and Adam Markowitz – and manufacturing workshops in England, Portugal, Malaysia and Australia, the 20 projects are ready to go. be presented through an exhibition at the Design Museum in London (September 13-October 15, 2021).

Design development and mentoring process

‘Presences’, by Isabelle Baudraz, in WeWood, Portugal

With an emphasis on American red oak, maple and cherry, each designer has created an object that responds to their unique experience of a pandemic world. Participants were invited to reflect freely on their isolated life and work experience, and to create a piece that represents the functional and emotional connections with our everyday objects. Through their projects, they have explored their own personal and cultural backgrounds, or have involved their families in the design process. The diverse inspirations for each room came from everyday life and a desire to connect with nature and the outdoors.

“For me, it was a process of finding out what is really going on in the world of design. It was so fresh and enjoyable to meet talented young designers, ”said Azumi, noting how closely working with the designers she mentored for several months resulted in a two-way exchange, allowing her to learn more about its own design and craftsmanship. .

‘Iuxta Me’, by Vivienne Wong, at EvoStyle, Australia

Each mentor worked with five designers from a specific region, offering advice every step of the way until the finished prototype. “I tried to question the status quo of their projects and really see how they could develop them: some were very specific from the start in what they wanted,” says Jeglinska-Adamczewska. A similar approach was shared by Markowitz: “a lot of them actually had very preconceived ideas, and one thing I tried to do is get them to let go of it and take a step back.”

Presented together for the first time in September 2021, the 20 projects form a fascinating panorama of current emerging design thinking. “It has been really meaningful, especially in re-evaluating what we have done as a humanity: as designers we have produced things, and I think we have to take this time to re-evaluate what we are doing and what that we have been contributing to society as a whole, ”Yong says. “So I thought it was a great brief for young designers to see what they can give back to the world.” §

Discovered: an overview of the projects

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