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In Lucas Morten’s Hands, Scandinavian Design Becomes Something Much Darker

Swedish designer Lucas Morten’s Klot chair is sculpted from Styrofoam and his Skal vases are formed from stiffened burlap cloth. These improbable materials are the result of his general curiosity about life and his constant search for beauty. “The whole philosophy behind my objects revolves around breaking the Swedish heritage of ‘functionality first’,” he says. “I’m really inspired by the total beauty that can be found beyond practical aspects and interested in what that kind of beauty means to the human being.”
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This Swiss Designer’s Unfussy Furniture is Inspired By the Sunshine of His New Spanish Home

When Antonius Dreier moved from Switzerland to Madrid just over a year ago, the light and lifestyle in the Spanish city inspired a debut furniture collection from Studio Drei that’s most at home in the spots where the sunshine spills inside. “I think the move has had a great impact on my pieces,” he says. “The culture of this country and its craftwork are very present in my first catalogue.”
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Designer Mac Collins Mines His Family History To Imagine Brighter Black Futures

Mac Collins's Iklwa series debuted at London Craft Week this month, produced by legacy manufacturer Benchmark. Comprising two lounge chairs — one large and one small — and a side table, the collection is named for a style of short spear used by the Zulu, the chair featuring armrests that echo its shape. It's a compelling introduction to the 25-year-old's distinct yet disruptive approach, informed by his Jamaican heritage as well as his background in art and sculpture.
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6 Up-and-Coming Chinese Designers to Watch

A trinity of qualities anoints China as one to watch in the independent design landscape: a raft of regional, incubating talent; prodigious market demand; and design and production innovation. We recently spoke with six talents from the rising creative class to get an accurate read on a burgeoning design scene in China — which is increasingly showing itself to be not only uniquely Chinese but also distinctly of-the-moment.
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Though He Designs for Of-the-Moment Brands, Mario Tsai Isn’t Inspired By Trends

When Hangzhou-based designer Mario Tsai was growing up, he’d take apart the electronics in the house. Luckily for him, his parents were forgiving. He’d also collect old, tossed-out electric components and scrap pieces of wood to make new things. “I made many things that adults would consider strange,” he says, but that early freedom to explore has proven foundational for his design practice. A research-centered approach is the basis of Mario Tsai Studio, founded in the summer of 2014, which produces elegant, contemporary furniture and conceptual lighting design.
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This New Ceramics Brand is a Collab Between Two Parisians and the Berber Craftspeople of Northern Algeria

The unconventional ceramics brand IBKKI is the brainchild of Parisians Azel Ait-Mokhtar and Youri Asantcheeff. Their collections are a physical manifestation of their travels to the Kabylie region of Algeria and their collaboration with Berber craftspeople, but the duo didn’t take their cues from European Modernists like Matisse and Picasso, who had a tendency to appropriate elements from African art and call them their own.
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By Innovating Local Materials and Manufacturing, This Bangkok Studio Is Redefining Thai Design

Decha Archjananun and Ploypan Theerachai, the couple behind the Bangkok-based product and furniture-design studio Thinkk, named their practice after their core professional pursuit: to think past the obvious and propose a new narrative for what it means to be “made in Thailand.” It’s a theme they’ve explored not only in their own work, but through exhibitions and projects they’ve organized since graduating from European design schools (ECAL and Konstfack) and returning to Thailand to found their studio in 2011.
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This Melbourne Designer Gave Himself Six Months to Develop His Very First Collection — And Knocked It Out of the Park

Zachary Frankel was working as a jewelry designer in Melbourne, Australia when he came across an image of a simple chair and was struck by how perfectly it seemed to do its job. “I was taken by how restrained and elegant it was,” he says. It ignited his curiosity in working with timber. After some time, Frankel devised a plan to find his own voice and broaden his exploration of materials. He’d give himself six months to create a collection with no commercial obligation; he’d make furniture just for the fun of it. If he liked what he made, great, he’d share it publicly. If not, he’d have half a year’s worth of getting better acquainted with his craft and it would inform where he would take things next. At worst, his house would be full of interesting experiments.
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A Berlin Duo Whose Marriage of Art, Design, and Craft Is More Literal Than Most

When creatives describe their work as blurring the boundaries between design and art, it's rare that the effect is quite so literal as it is in the case of Berlin's Opt Studios — not only because it's the shared practice of a textile and product designer and her painter and sculptor husband, but also because the works themselves look like abstract artworks that just so happen to be hanging out on rugs and side tables.
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