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Look at the emerging design talent AHEC has Discovered

An extraordinary group of emerging designers from around the world have been Discovered, thanks to American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and Wallpaper*.

Look at the emerging design talent AHEC has Discovered

From the 13 September to the 10 October, the Discovered exhibition at the Design Museum in London, brings together 20 emerging designers from 16 countries from across Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia and presents their personal reflections on the experience of the pandemic.

AHEC has partnered with Wallpaper* to create this exciting display of talent and interpretation of product design through four timbers, American red oak, cherry, and hard and soft maple.

Three of the designers hail from Australia, Ivana Taylor, Vivienne Wong and Duncan Young and the group, as well as those designers from Korea and Japan, were mentored by Designer-Maker Adam Markowitz. The final objects were then manufactured by collaborator, Evostyle, in Sydney.

Participants were invited to think about their experiences of living and working in isolation in response to themes of touch, reflection and strength and then translate the functional and emotional connections to everyday objects. The result has been a diverse collection of objects ranging from furniture such as cabinets, tables and chairs through to more abstract and sculptural works. Viewing the exhibition as a whole, it is interesting to see the range of objects from the designers that are physical manifestations of their individual experiences, each different in their own particular way.

The 20 designers, as well as the three Australians, are, Kodai Iwamoto (Japan), Taiho Shin (Republic of Korea), Sizar Alexis (Sweden), Isabelle Baudraz (Switzerland/ Greece), Nong Chotipatoomwan (Thailand), Mac Collins (UK), Pascal Hien (Germany), Josh Krute (Finland), Siyanda Mazibuko (South Africa), Mew Mungnatee (Thailand), Trang Nguyen (Vietnam), Alessandra Fumagalli Romario (Italy), Mimi Shodeinde (UK), Juan Carlos Franco & Juan Santiago Sierra (Spain), Martin Thübeck (Sweden), Yunhan Wang (China), Tan Wei Xiang (Singapore).

All of the objects are unique and very personal to the designer but of course have application to the broader community, such as Recollect by Tan Wei Xiang, a keepsake cabinet in American Hard maple and red oak.

Recollect by Tan Wei Xiang maple and red oak. Photo: Winston-Chuang

Vivienne Wong’s luxta Me (Beside Me) that creates invisible boundaries and textures through light in this stylish American cherry wood coffee table.

Siyanda Mazibuko’s, Kumsuka (Evolve your space), a modular layered seat made from thermally modified American red oak. The design references isicholo, a hairstyle symbolising tribal identity in several African cultures and indlamu, a tribal Zulu dance.

Kumsuka by SiyandaMazibuko TMT red oak. Photo: Jason Yates

And Martin Thübeck’s, Rå, in American red oak, that can be a chair or a slide and was developed while at home with his young children.

Ra by Martin Thubeck, American red oak. Photo: Jason Yates

In all, Discovered is a grand exhibition that shines a light on young, up and coming designers at a time when there has been little opportunity to display work. Again, the beauty of AHEC’s timber takes centre stage as these designers bring to life this most loved material. By bringing together creatives from across the globe, Discovered presents that which unites us – design – along with function, form, beauty and joy.

Kumsuka by SiyandaMazibuko TMT red oak. Photo: Jason Yates

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