Swarovski and Design Miami/ have announced the three winners of the 2018 Swarovski Designers of the Future Award. Designers Frank Kolkman, Study O Portable, and Yosuke Ushigome were selected for their innovative approach and will have the opportunity to work with Swarovski in creating commissioned works. Responding to the brief of "smart living", each designer will use crystal technologies in order to create their new works.
The Designers of the Future Award was established in 2006 in order to champion technologically innovative designers in order to create works that function across multiple disciplines. The winners have been selected for pioneering concepts and are invited to use Swarovski’s diverse resources to develop a prototype or statement that illustrates new ways of connecting and existing with each other and our environment. The winner's designs will coalesce into one complete environment, exhibited in a single installation that will be unveiled alongside Atelier Swarovski’s latest home décor collections at Design Miami/ Basel 2018.
Frank Kolkman is an experimental Dutch designer specializing in robotic technologies. Responding to the "smart living" brief, he will present ‘Dream Machine’, an immersive crystal experience, generating light and sound patterns from Swarovski crystals that synchronize with alpha and theta brainwaves to allow individuals to enter a state of deep relaxation or ‘artificial dreaming’. Exploring the interface of Swarovski crystal with neurobiology, neuropsychology and psycho-activation techniques, the project attempts to design a smart solution to help us cope with the cognitive demands of modern life.
Study O Portable is a research based Dutch-Japanese practice making objects about the designed environment. The studio will work with Swarovski’s cutting technology to explore the blurring of light and color created from the crystals. The designers associate blurry and fading colors with nature, such as the sunset or changing colors of leaves on a tree, and are creating a series of surfaces that will be translated into objects, including screens, a table and lights. Embracing the emotional impact of crystals, Study O Portable are pursuing a more analogue route in their response to what smart living entails.
Yosuke Ushigome works for TAKRAM, a creative Japanese technologist specializing in emerging technologies. He will exhibit ‘Can Crystals Interface Us to AI?’, a piece exploring the potential of crystals as an alternative interaction between human and machine intelligence that occurs within the Smart Home environment. As opposed to the voice-command capabilities of most home assistant devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, the project fully utilizes the inherent, emotional quality of crystals to examine instinctively familiar behaviors between us and machine intelligence.
This year’s winners have been selected by a jury of leading figures in the design world, including Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board; Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, Curatorial Advisor of Design Miami/; Yves Behar, Entrepreneur and Founder of fuseproject; Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum, London; Jonathan Margolis, Contributing Editor of Financial Times and Karen Wong, Deputy Director of New Museum NYC.
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