Swarovski Unveils Winners of the 2019 Designers of the Future Award
Every year, the Swarovski Designers of the Future award champions a select group of up-and-coming designers and studios who are breaking boundaries in their field. Led by the storied Austrian crystal house and a board of international design heavyweights, it seeks talents whose practice is more about technological and conceptual innovation than it is about creating beautiful furniture or product design.
Announced this week in Milan, the 2019 winners are the Shanghai-born installation artist Juju Wang, Dutch design studio Klarenbeek and Dros, and London-based lighting designer Raffe Burrell. The commissioned works, all of which will respond to a specific brief and adapt the brand’s pioneering crystal technologies, are due to be unveiled during the Design Miami fair in Basel this June. “We’re so excited to see these dynamic talents engage with Swarovski as a creative medium to help shape the future of environmentally conscious design,” Nadia Swarovski said in a statement.
To inspire the creative process, the laureates each spent time at Swarovski’s headquarters in Austria and had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the extensive archives. Water is the central inspiration for Wang, who plans to create a dazzling immersive experience of kinetic façades that mimic the effect of sunlight on water. Born in Shanghai and raised in the United States, Wang is known for combing Western visual culture with traditional Chinese philosophies to masterful effect.
Klarenbeek and Dros, the studio founded by Design Academy Eindhoven alumni Maartje Dros and Eric Klarenbeek, meanwhile, will be presenting a series of 3D-printed sapphire crystal objects. Spotlighting the effects of global warming and the melting of Arctic icecaps, their blue-hued faceted tabletop objects in a range of sizes will mimic the ever-changing nature of the environment.
The traditional chandelier gets a contemporary twist in Burrell’s new lighting pieces crafted in shades of blue crystal. Burrell, who cut his teeth alongside Paul Cocksedge, Fredrikson Stallard, and Eva Menz before opening his own namesake studio, was inspired by waterfalls in the Tyrolean mountains, which surround the Swarovski offices.
The three works will be showcased in a special exhibition later this year at Design Miami/Basel from June 11 to 16.