While we can get overawed by the wealth of established talent in the creative industries, it’s important to support those who are either just starting out or still climbing that competitive tree of success. Like flowers they need watering, feeding but above all nurturing to continue becoming the best flowers (creative professionals) they can. This is why the Design Museum’s annual Designers in Residence programme is such an excellent opportunity in recognising new and emerging talent.
This year’s crop were announced yesterday as Freyja Sewell, Harry Trimble and Oscar Medley-Whitfield, Lawrence Lek and Yuri Suzuki, who were all chosen for their responses to the brief ‘Thrift’, based around exploring economy and resourcefulness in an object, environment or experience. From September the results will be on display in the Design Museum, and already we’re excited by what they’re planning…
Freyja Sewell approaches her work in a realistic manner, questioning what approaches are most appropriate to make the objects around us sustainable for the future. With a degree in 3D Design from Brighton University, already Freyja’s project HUSH has explored these ideas by creating an enclosed, pod-like seat made from 100% wool felt, that intends to help users withdraw from the frenetic pressures of daily life. During her residency she will further investigate the potential of the wool fibres produced as a by-product of the British carpet industry to create even more furniture designs.
Oscar Medley-Whitfield and Harry Trimble
Having graduated from Kingston University and Brighton University respectively, Harry Trimble and Oscar Medley-Whitfield both produce simple, useable designs, always with carefully-considered process. This is evident both in Oscar’s Lean on Me collection of benches that rely physically on each other in order to perform their function and Harry’s Plumber’s Masher, in which he collaborated with a plumber to explore how common trades can be repurposed to make industrial designs on smaller scale.
In the process of forming a design studio together, Oscar and Harry’s works look set to fuse beautifully during their residency in which they will take inspiration from Southwark’s historic ceramics’ industry by tapping into the unused source of Thames river clay.
Lawrence Lek is triple threat working as a sculptor, industrial designer and an architect all in one. Studying at Cambridge and the Architectural Association, the pure skill and precision in Lawrence’s work is evident when looking through his work. Take his project Pod, an experiment in human-machine assembly, where the structure is fabricated using computer-controlled tools and its skin and bone elements assembled manually to produce this fleshy enclosure. His continued investigations into the processes of natural growth and industrial fabrication through sculpture and environment will form the basis of his residency.
We’ve featured Yuri many times on the site, and it seems like he is constantly thinking of new ideas and projects to work on. As a sound artist, designer and electronic musician his work is based around communicating ideas about sound through well-designed but simple pieces. During his residency he intends to further explore electronics, sounds and design through conducting a series of workshops showing the concept of ‘how things work’ as nowadays we know less about what goes on in machines than ever.
Much of Yuri’s work has an honesty and curiosity about it – often he’ll be inspired by an everyday occurrence and try to think of a solution to resolve or investigate it. Take his _Hand made Geiger Counter which was made in response to the earthquake in Japan last year and the threat of meltdown at Fukushima nuclear plant – founded on the feeling that people no longer trust the media and want their own readings.
About the Author
Rebecca became staff writer at It’s Nice That in March 2016 before leaving the company at the end of 2017. Before joining the company full time she worked with us on a freelance basis many times, as well as stints at Macmillan Publishers, D&AD, Dazed and frieze.