Milan-based Tania da Cruz cut her teeth in Marcel Wanders’s Amsterdam studio. “It was like living in a temporary fairy tale,” she says. Dutch whimsy factored into her early work—such as her Chia Pet-like Wig vase—but Cruz found acclaim with her modular Braque sound absorber made from cork.
Parisian designer Benjamin Graindorge is self-deprecating but completely content in his chosen métier, professing that “learning is freedom.” His enlightened state derives from time spent in Patagonia as a student—a period when he considered dropping out of design school—and a later sabbatical in
Trained as interior architects, Decha Archjananun and Ploypan Theerachai of THINKK Studio are fascinated by the interplay of contrasting materials in architecture, and frequently combine industrial materials in their product designs. “We seek to blur the boundaries between East and West, craft and industry, with a uniqueness of form,” says Archjananun, a 2011 graduate of the University of Art and Design Lausanne whose thesis project, Weight Vases (right), put THINKK Studio on the global design map. A study in minimalism executed in concrete and powder-coated steel, the piece is pared down to the essence of a vase: a vessel for water and a slim support system for the stems.
John Arndt and Wonhee Jeong Arndt named their studio after the made-up word “gorm,” an invented antonym to the real word “gormless” (meaning stupid or dull). The Eugene-based duo creates products that are sustainable, pared down, and pragmatic: easy to carry, repair, recycle, compost, or collapse.
Line Depping finds inspiration in corralling disorder. “We seek to have control and order, but we live in a chaotic world,” the Copenhagen-based designer says. Last year she created a storage system called Tool Boxes, which she exhibited during Milan Design Week. Six ash-wood trays in gradient colors ranging from natural wood to canary yellow stack neatly on top of one another or can be pulled out to showcase the contents of a drawer, giving “space to chaos in an indirect way.”
Jonas R. Stokke and Øystein Austad met in a portfolio review at the Oslo School of Architecture in 2004 and have worked together ever since. They exhibited a small collection of furniture prototypes during Milan’s Salone Satellite in 2005 and 2006, gaining international attention even before they graduated.