Pushing Design – AHEC Presents Discovered
Australia

Words Olivia Hides

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) present its first global project, Discovered. Engineered to promote and support the next generation of designers, Discovered will bring together 20 creators from 16 countries to present their inspired designs to the world stage.

In partnership with the Design Museum in London, AHEC is facilitating a platform for younger designers to explore, create and celebrate their potential in the design industry. Three Australian designers have been selected to be part of Discovered, where participants must present an object or a piece of furniture that represents society’s functional and emotional connection to everyday objects. Poignantly, the themes of Discovered are touch, reflection and strength, challenging the ways design can foster a sense of touch in an increasingly virtual world.

Their designs, which will be shown in an exhibition at The Design Museum in London in September 2021, will be made from a choice of four sustainable American hardwoods: American cherry, red oak, and soft and hard maple.

Three young Australian designers have been selected to participate – Melbourne-based Vivienne Wong, former dancer with the Australian National Ballet turned furniture maker and designer, and Adelaide-based designers Ivana Taylor and Duncan Young, both associates at the JamFactory. Their designs, which will be shown in an exhibition at the London Design Museum in September 2021, will be made from a choice of four sustainable American hardwoods: American cherry, red oak, and soft and hard maple. These timbers species are commonly underused and yet are abundantly available, highlighting a push for sustainability in the design industry. Vivienne’s chosen material is cherry; Ivana’s chosen materials are maple, cherry and red oak; and Duncan’s chosen material is hard maple.

Discovered has four established designers contributing as mentors and guides for the participants – Tomoko Azumi, Nathan Yong, Maria Jeglinska and Adam Markowitz. Adam – current Vice President of the Victorian Woodworkers Association, Melbourne-based creator, and award-winning designer – will be acting as the creative and technical guide for the Australian designers. The project also has four global workshop hubs, based in the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Portugal and Australia.

Discovered is pushing the boundaries of design, acknowledging the unique challenges that arise for individuals in a virtual and secluded, post-pandemic world.

Inspired by the question ‘How do our objects help combat isolation in a pandemic world?’, Discovered is pushing the boundaries of design, acknowledging the unique challenges that arise for individuals in a virtual and secluded, post-pandemic world. This is especially relevant for new designers, who are only just embarking on their careers in the design industry.

Aiming to showcase the very best of global design, the collaboration between AHEC, Wallpaper* and The Design Museum through Discovered is helping to recognise raw and talented potential. The project is seeking to provide younger designers the opportunity to network on a global scale, with access to world-class facilities, mentors, manufacturers and the opportunity to present their work in an exhibition.

Published 6 June, 2021
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