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Ten young designers to watch from Collectible 2020

Design writer Anna Winston selects 10 of the names to know from this year’s Collectible design fair, which took place last week in Brussels.

Collectible – the world’s only annual fair dedicated entirely to collectable contemporary design – places a strong focus on promoting new talent.

Young galleries and independent designers mingle with established gallerists and big names, while a curated section of the fair is dedicated to showcasing one-off pieces by emerging designers.

Here are 10 of the key names to watch from the third edition of the fair, which ran from 5-8 March:


Müsing-Sellés

A collaboration between Spanish architect Álvaro Gómez-Sellés and Canadian architect Marisa Müsing, this New York studio explores the relationship between form and function, creating ambiguous pieces of furniture that look like digital renders made real.

At Collectible the studio showed a double-sided seat that uses rounded stone to create the illusion of a soft form, with a backrest made from glass.

“Rather than describing our pieces as furniture, they act more as spatial objects that set the space for domestic activities – we describe the pieces almost as stage set objects or characters,” Müsing told Dezeen.


Elissa Lacoste

An alumnus of Design Academy Eindhoven and the École Supérieure d’Art ed Design de Saint-Étienne, Elissa Lacoste combines natural and man-made forms and a wide range of materials to create a “grotesque aesthetic”.

At Collectible, she showed a desk and chair set made from steel, wood, polyurethane, plaster, acrylic resin, copper, silicone and talc, as part of a show by Antwerp’s Everyday Gallery.


Image by Stéphane Ruchaud

Pauline Esparon

French designer Pauline Esparon is originally from Normandy, which produces large quantities of flax for making French linen.

After realising that much of the raw material was being sent abroad to be processed into an industry-standard product, producing significant amounts of waste, Esparon investigated alternative ways to process the flax.

The result is a series of unexpected textiles with properties similar to felt and silk and collaborations that have seen her apply the material to a variety of forms, including seating.


Arthur Hoffner

Paris-based Arthur Hoffner brings together sculpture, design and craft to explore how ancient objects might be recreated and rethought using contemporary techniques.

For Collectible, he presented a series of fountains, which at first glance appear like a stack of found objects but are actually made from Sèvres porcelain, marble and brass.

“It amounts to playing with this ceremonial device dedicated to contemplation and envisaging design as a mischievous source of pleasure,” he told Dezeen.


Hitencho

Sang-hyeon Cho founded Hitencho in Seoul, Korea, in 2017 after graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven.

On show at Collectible as part of the Fracas Gallery exhibition, Hitencho’s Pop chair is a perfect example of Cho’s approach to materials, exploring old production methods to create new techniques and unexpected structures and shapes.

Inspired by the expanding foam insulation used in construction, pink polyurethane foam is used to fill the gaps between pieces of pigmented plasterboard, binding them together and creating an unpredictable shape.

The pattern on the surface of the plasterboard is created using cymatics – a scientific technique that translates sound vibrations into a liquid form.


Ten young designers to watch from Collectible 2020

Carlo Lorenzetti

Based in the Netherlands and originally from Chicago, USA, Carlo Lorenzetti breathes new life into ceramics by creating textural furniture that encourages unusual interactions from the user.

His Bedside 1 and Bedside 2 tables shown at Collectible by Everyday Gallery were designed for a couple, each responding to specific wants, like a slot to hold a phone, a sconce for a candle and a surface for a water glass.


Dahlia Subasi

Dahlia Subasi discovered a love for mushroom mycelium while studying architecture at Central Saint Martins in London.

Since graduating in 2018, she has been exploring ways to use the material to grow her own designs, incorporating hemp and straw to add integrity to the forms.

“The aim is to make a statement about the massive production waste present in the construction industry and to offer alternative material solutions,” she told Dezeen.

Half Italian, half Turkish, Subasi splits her practice between Brussels, London and Istanbul.


Rodrigo Pinto

After working with Spanish designer Nacho Carbonell in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Rodrigo Pinto returned to his native Chile to found his eponymous studio in Santiago in 2017.

Pinto’s work combines natural and manmade materials to explore the relationship between usability, symbolism and form.

The Tierras Hipnóticas tables shown by Barcelona’s Side Gallery at Collectible make solid the designer’s dreams about a post-apocalyptic world, bringing together rough cast-concrete and textured metal to suggest objects that have survived the destruction of life as we know it.


Studio Biskt

Founded by ceramicist Charlotte Gigan and designer Martin Duchêne, Brussels-based Studio Biskt specialises in ceramics research, pushing the boundaries of the functionality of the material and exploring the potential of combining industrial processes and manual skills.

For Collectible, the duo showed Balik, a seat that combines a metal base and an extruded clay seat that can be glazed in different colours.


Services Généraux

Founded by an art director and an architect, multidisciplinary Parisian studio Services Généraux pursues a wide variety of projects, from installations for fashion brands to architectural renders and product design.

For Collectible, the studio created two new designs as part of the Theoreme Editions project, which showcases work by emerging French creatives.

The Paysan Strap Table features a cast-concrete column base, which is wrapped with heavy-duty strapping secured with a ratchet tensioner to create the top, while the handmade Contenu vases feature basic elements cast in a solid block of resin.

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