Over the last four months, the MAISON&OBJET ASIA team has worked with a number of experienced design curators, designers and media on the nomination and selection of promising designers in Asia-Pacific.
The 2016 winners of the Rising Asian Talents Awards are LAB DE STU (Australia), Chihiro Tanaka (Japan), Stanley Ruiz (Philippines), Lekker Architects (Singapore), KIMU (Taiwan) and Ease Embroidery Design (Thailand).
The winners were selected for the quality of their innovative thinking. Each of them will present their design concept/products at the salon next March.
“The 2016 class of Rising Asian Talents have demonstrated their dedication and potential in the highly competitive design industry. Our awards offer the winners visibility and meaningful connections outside their countries which may lead to opportunities for further career advancement. Their presentation in M&O ASIA 2016 will reflect the incredible richness and diversity of the regional design scene,” comments Regina Chan, Director of Asia Pacific.
As LAB DE STU consists of three individuals working on varying projects, the work produced and facilitated by LAB DE STU’s founders crosses disciplines and does not exist within an individual field of practice.
The three members each run their own individual practices: Hardiman’s theoretical enquiring into design explores the localisation of the production of objects and is manifested in his chosen materials and overall practice. Lynch focuses on the simplification of objects down to their bare essentials, and Hnatojko connects business with design, attempting to cross contaminate different design industry models to experiment with the perceived value of furniture and lighting.
Born in Kanagawa, Japan, in 1980, Chihiro Tanaka is a graduate of Bunka Fashion College and describes himself as a Light Couturier. In 2005, he established a lighting brand, CHIHIRO TANAKA, and was involved in Designersblock London that same year.
Since then Tanaka has introduced new lighting, such as Sakulight and Onduler, and has exhibited at various galleries and festivals, including solo exhibitions in Tokyo and Yokohama.
Born and raised in Manila, Stanley Ruiz’s work is an amalgam of influences held together by his singular, rational approach to product design. He explores the commonplace to bring about new meaning and interpretation to familiar object archetypes. He is the principal and creative director of Estudio Ruiz Design Consultancy – a design studio he founded after working in Bali, Indonesia, and New York City.
Whether expressed in wood, metal, or natural materials such as rattan and leather, Ruiz’s work transcends utility and is poetic in its expression. Stanley Ruiz is the definitive transcultural designer.
Lekker Architects is a Singapore-based, multi-disciplinary design practice. Ong Ker- Shing and Joshua Comaroff met nearly 20 years ago at Harvard GSD and have been working and writing together ever since. Shing was raised in Singapore and the UK; Josh is from Chicago.
Recent projects by Lekker include buildings and landscape, with a focus in residential and educational projects. Since the birth of their two children, Josh and Shing have found an interest in design for children—working on preschools, kindergartens, playgrounds, as well as events and cultural spaces tailored for younger audiences. They believe that design is a key factor in enhancing the development of creative and analytical thought from an early age.
Besides being poetic in bridging conflicting elements, KIMU’s works also leave plenty of room for the user’s imagination and interaction with their playful setups. Even though the creative balance of form and function is essential, the completion of every KIMU product is found only when it is being used and loved in everyday life.
Ease is an embroidery design studio based in Bangkok. Started in 2014, it builds on a family embroidery business with 30 years’ experience.
Ease aims to combine industrial embroidery, art, and craftsmanship to create new experiences through experimental design. By seeking to integrate and express emotional attachment into their products, ease recreates ordinary yet meaningful objects that reflect everyday life.