We here at i+s have had the honor of meeting so many wonderful and talented designers over the years, and now we’d like to return the favor. Every month we will be introducing a design student recognized by their institution for going above and beyond. Today they’re stunning their professors in the classrooms; tomorrow they’ll be stunning the world.
As research is increasingly relied upon to inform the design process, it’s encouraging to know that today’s graduate students and young professionals are already integrating it into their work. Thoughtful solutions to design challenges are hallmarks of innovators and part of the reason we’re highlighting Fashion Institute of Technology/SUNY graduates Åsa Bollvik and Eddy [Kuan Chung] Tao as our Designers to Watch this month.
FIT Associate Professor Susan Forbes, CID, ASID, DLF, IDEC, helped identify these two emerging professionals because “both are excellent examples of budding young designers who take their work very seriously, work very hard to express themselves clearly, and base their solutions on in-depth research and accomplished presentation skills,” she said. During their time at FIT/SUNY, “both Åsa and Eddie made the most of the time allowed to produce work that showed their knowledge and interest in raising the bar of their solution to include an interesting and/or unique aspect of the specific client on which they based their work.”
Åsa Bollvik is a Sweden-born designer that embodies Scandinavian aesthetics in her work, which is highly influenced by nature with open layouts, muted colors, and natural materials. Inspired by the work of Roman & Williams and “their unique way of creating designs that are bold yet serene, rough yet refined,” Bollvik’s design concept for a Visitor Center for Urban Archeology in Manhattan’s Lower East Side pays homage to both her muses and roots. The center will be located in the Delancey Underground, an abandoned trolley terminal situated beneath Delancey Street. The location will literally speak to Urban Archeology as revealing history hidden below ground, where the center in itself will function to demonstrate building rehabilitation and adaptive reuse, and serve to connect the past with the present with restaurants, retail, library, and exhibition spaces situated among cobblestones and exposed steel beams and columns.
Eddy Tao’s vision for urban growth is demonstrated artfully in his work, Urban Growth Strategy, a project aiming to create different ways of experiencing New York City utilizing multiple access points. By means of walking and cycling, the Points offers multiple bike stations as well as visitor centers that connect each neighborhood. Through the use of vacant lots within the city, the Points are meant to be dropped on site as self-contained units, where each kit of parts differs on its location and community needs.
Tao reimagines a new, welcoming visitor center in the heart of Times Square/Theater District as a place of gathering and waiting with a reception area, offices, group tour location, and storage and bathroom amenities. He also introduces Downtown Brooklyn to a new welcome center with reception, food service, bike station, and other amenities that serves as an introduction to the surrounding neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, BoCoCa, DUMBO, Fort Greene, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Williamsburg, and Bushwick. Finally, Tao tackles the sprawling and barren feel of Long Island City’s extra-wide roadways by adding astounding public works adorning the fences, walls, and sidings of Long Island City’s warehouses and factory buildings.