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. The practical and aesthetically adventurous piece earned a coveted first prize at the SaloneSatellite awards in 2013. Working with cork—like for the two-piece Bole stools—holds a special significance for Cruz, whose native Portugal produces about half the world’s supply. “I love that, as a designer, I am indirectly helping the economy to show the world its amazing potential,” she says.