The Young and the Restless

Hunting for a fresh crop of innovative designers.

The challenge for a good design magazine is not only to look out for new products but also to scope out new talent. Trade fairs like the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, in New York; the Salone del Mobile, in Milan; and Maison et Objet Fair, in Paris, are good places to discover next year’s Campagna Brothers. Every year at the Salon du Meuble, in Paris, the Valorisation de l’Innovation dans l’Ameublement (VIA) displays the work of French contemporary furniture designers whom they have provided with project assistance grants.

Graduation shows and end-of-year school projects are another jumping-off point for new product development. Kentaro Ishihara’s Illuminati lamp began as a thesis project at Parsons School of Design, in New York, in 2001, and now Bozart is finalizing the production details. Madieke Fleuron based her graduation project on the simple fact that porcelain lends itself perfectly to copying the details and characteristics of other materials. The result is the beautiful Knitted China tea service, which imparts crockery with the look of knitting.

“The challenge is to watch internationally for new talent and at the same time give your existing designers constant interesting work,” says Jackie Maze, vice president of Keilhauer, which has manufactured the work of young designers such as Mark Kapka, Scot Laughton, Patty Johnson, Andrew Jones, and Brent Cordner.

Take a look at the products and prototypes on these pages, which we think are good indicators of where design is headed.

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