AHEC presents Discovered project including three Australian designers

American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) present Discovered, a new project to support and promote the work of 20 next generation designers from 16 countries, in partnership with The Design Museum and Wallpaper*

Selected from Wallpaper’s annual Graduate Directories and through AHEC’s own network, the designers have worked alongside design mentors and AHEC’s global manufacturing partners to develop a new object made from a choice of three sustainable hardwoods.

Discovered: the designs

With a focus on American red oak, hard and soft maple and cherry, the brief challenged each designer to create an object that responds to their experience of a pandemic world.

Participants were invited to think freely about their experience of living and working in isolation, and to create a piece that represents the functional and emotional connections to our everyday objects.

The designs being created for the project are one-off functional objects and furniture pieces of varying scale, imagined for both domestic, outdoors or public realms. They represent how isolation has inspired the designers’ personal and creative journeys and help rethink the idea of domestic and public space for the future.

Designers were guided by themes of touch, reflection and strength. Through their projects, they explored their own personal and cultural background, or involved their families into the design process. Inspiration came from mundane experiences and everyday life, the desire to connect with nature and the outdoors, and their personal responses represented both a desire for public connection to the affinity for isolation.

The project’s development will be further chronicled through the dedicated discovered.global portal.The final pieces will be presented with a display at the Design Museum (London) in 2021.

Throughout the project, designers have been supported and mentored by Wallpaper* editor-in-chief Sarah Douglas, AHEC’s European Director David Venables and AHEC’s Regional Director for Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania, Rod Wiles; as well as a global group of designers including Tomoko Azumi, Maria Jeglinska-Adamczewska, Nathan Yong and Adam Markowitz.

Rod Wiles, Regional Director for AHEC Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania, says: “We are continuing the dialogue about why it is essential more wood is used in product design and why we must expand the range of species we use for the long-term sustainability of our natural forests. We have turned the spotlight on a new generation of designers from around the world and given them an opportunity to shine. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, backgrounds and cultures our 20 talented creatives from 16 countries, give a truly global perspective on what it means to be a young designer today. We are putting at their disposal some of the best hardwoods there are (cherry, hard and soft maple, and red oak), providing mentoring support from established designers and access to top craftsmanship, to give them a unique experience that I really hope will inspire them in their future careers. We are very excited that three designers from Australia have been selected to participate as it highlights the incredible creative talent that exists there. Working with The Design Museum in London, and joining forces with Wallpaper* will make this an unforgettable collaboration.”

Meet the designers and their projects on the discovered.global site

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