Throughout most of our editorial year, our focus is on amazing
interiors and the people who create
them. Rarely do we put the spotlight on those who create the puzzle pieces that build these spaces, but this month we’d like to introduce you to 10 product and industrial designers who are changing the environments where we live, work and play.
As with anything creative, their work is a labor of love. And more often than not, it’s a reflection of who they are as people, where they’ve come from and where they are going.
The following 10 to Watch come from all walks of life and are in varying stages of their careers. They caught our eye because we’ve watched them break important ground in their specific mediums, and even more critically, they aren’t blind to the conditions we find ourselves in.
“I am trying to create jobs in the U.S.,” Majid Jelveh told us. His company, Jones Falls Furniture, is dedicated to putting the craftsmen and artisans of Baltimore back to work. Carpet designer Alicia D. Keshishian’s mission is to support weavers in Nepal through her affiliation with GoodWeave. And Mark McKenna, design director for Humanscale, received a patent for his senior thesis project—a machine that automates sandbag production for flood control.
But it’s not just about humanitarian efforts; the designers on this list are simplifying the lives of users, and making them more healthy and productive in the process. Artek Design Director Ville Kokkonen’s WHITE collection is a perfect example of that; the line’s Bright Light 1 desk lamp is light-therapy certified to address seasonal affective disorder. For Kokkonen—who says his particular interest lies in the link between physical and mental well-being and one’s efficiency—the connection between people and the products he creates is an intimate and vital one.
“We live and interact with objects every day, regardless if we want to or not,” he says. “Some work better than others—with some we bond emotionally and others even communicate knowledge.” Even further than that, Kokkonen believes “that at its best, a cherished human-object interaction might extend the product’s lifetime, cultivate our understanding and curiosity, and make us live our lives more gracefully.”
The other designers on this list echo these same sentiments. Read on for more insights from our 10 to Watch in 2013.