The United Kingdom: The British Council Indonesia
Creating Sustainable Future
In the UK there is a new generation of designers who are boldly challenging the preconceptions of waste materials, and in doing so, paving a way for a more sustainable future for the UK design industry. Crucially, this movement is far more than a passing trend, but a call to action for a responsible and positive future for our design sectors.
On the overall design movement:
The UK design industry is slowly adapting and responding to the environmental and social challenges facing our future. This growing movement of practitioners from across disciples including fashion, furniture and product, are re-inventing design systems to be more circular, without compromising on aesthetic. In re-imagining waste materials such as textiles, food bi-products and plastics as new resources, thus vibrant and bold new material finishes and aesthetics are emerging. This is an exciting time for the UK design industry as curious new materials are emerging through processes ranging from traditional craft to synthetic biology.
This conscious approach to materiality was hugely evident at the recent London Design Festival in September 2018, notably through the annual Brompton Design District, curated by Jane Withers. This event was an exciting platform for the exploration of the theme of Material Consequences.
Key leaders in this field are working with waste materials to create vibrant visual identities for their work and inspire a sense of optimism and action. These include UK fashion designer Bethany Williams, whose first collection was in collaboration with Tesco and Vauxhall food bank. Studio 8fold created an installation entitled “Wasteline”, representing one month’s worth of a London-based creative office waste (excluding food waste) of 12 people for 30 days. The last one, James Shaw, who is UK furniture and product designer, recently curated Plasticscence exhibition.
Italy: Istituto Italiano Di Cultura
Made in Italy
Italian design was born in the workshops of Renaissance artists, whose diverse skills brought to life innovative products with high aesthetic contents. And the research on the field of industrial design has ever since grown and developed through constant interactions between design schools and art movements. The result has been the remarkable combination of Italian craftsmanship tradition with technological innovation.
The design has developed along with the growth of the country since the years of the so-called “economic boom”. Indeed, this has paved the way for Italian products as the driving force of the economy. A study conducted by Bain & Company highlights that Italian design accounts for over a third of the world’s industry turnover, amounting to 100 billion euros.
In Italy, design portrays a very distinct feature of the country’s spirit, which is internationally identical as “Made in Italy”. There has been growing interest in Italy and its products, and the design takes you to what is called “an Italian experience” through objects that combine beauty and originality. With the quality of raw materials and production methods, Italian design maintains the balance between form, function and quality, as well as demonstrating the culture and traditions of the country’s diverse regions.
On the overall design movement:
Italian design is known worldwide for its ability to create innovation with relatively scarce resources. One classic example is the use of wheels from aeroplane landing gear for the Vespa design. In addition, Italian design is also known for blending technical and aesthetic aspects. In its contribution to today’s green revolution, Italian design puts sustainability at the forefront of innovation and creativity. This has set another trend as seen at significant happenings like Italian Design Day and Triennale of Milan.
The whole idea of sustainable design is about how to create something respecting the humanistic idea of typical design of the “Made in Italy” tradition, which combines energy saving and environment integration techniques without losing sight of the idea of expressing an aesthetic opinion, a character and a style.
Nowadays one thing that draws the attention in the design sector is the fact that there’s the tendency of expressing feminine sensibility. It is the trend that is dominated by woman designers.
In regard to the fashion world, Ricamificio Paolo Italy (the Italian Embroidery) has captured the interest of the fashion enthusiasts. This embroidery supplier for the most important fashion and luxury brands has shown its innovative creation in the making of various embroidery pieces.
Concerning the new generation, the roles of social media has been on the rise, with more and more web influencers, fashion bloggers and vloggers joining the crowd. And famous Italian designers and architects have started sharing their projects, inspirations, initiatives and recommendations with netizens. Marzia Bisognin, Edoardo Tresoldi, Camilla Bellini, Carlo Ratti, Fabio Novembre and Ilaria Chiaratti are among the Italian designers representing the new generation. It is also worth knowing that the following names, despite being connected with the 1960s, are inspiring the new generation. They are Gio Ponti, Achille Castiglioni, Joe Colombo, Gae Aulenti and Ettore Sottsass.
Kingdom of The Netherlands: Erasmus Huis
Total Concept in Practical Design
The Netherlands is very famous for its architecture and practical design (no-nonsense). Also in the past, we had great architects like Berlage, Dudok and Kuipers who introduced a total concept vision, which focuses on the equal importance of both building and interior.
Some architects worth knowing are Piet Blom who is known for his cube houses, Rem Koolhaas who is known for urban design, and Wim Quist who is known as museum builder. For practical designs, you can think of Studio Job, Marcel Wanders, Piet Hein Eek, Joep van Lieshout or Droog Design. Typical Dutch approach includes clean, mean and functional design as well as the use of experimental materials. During the past years, design in the Netherlands is focused more on total concept with open space theme.
On the overall design movement:
The trend uses concepts applied in sustainable and individual design (no mass production). What you see is the collaboration of cross-sectional designers. There are trends according to sustainability and working with new materials. Also important is that younger people cannot afford buying a real house and make the most of their tiny homes. So, design plays a more crucial role and is focused more on uniqueness and functionality.
There are so many sectors, from architecture to interior design, that leading designers to involve in the Netherlands. The following are the leading designers who are the recipients of the Dutch Design Awards in their respective categories:
Fashion: Johannes Offerhaus, Schueller de Waal
Design: Kirsten ALgera & Ernst van der Hoeven, Joris Laarman Lab, Amateur Cities.
Product: Robert Bronwasser, Aleksandra Gaca, The Incredible Machine
Communication: Hansje van Halem, Moniker, René Put
Service: Anastasi Eggers, Swapfiets, Freshheads
Young designer: Liesa Konno, Manon van Hoekel, Olivier van Herpt.
Republic of Korea: Korean Cultural Center Indonesia / Korea Institute of Design Promotion
Imitation to Creation
Creativity is part of South Koreans’ daily life as way of providing solutions to the problem. One example is Ondol, a heating system. Winter in Korea can be very harsh. Ondol has the ability to heat the floor while the heat circulates. This helps to keep the air warm.
Another example is Korean indoor grill barbecue. Most people in the world roast meat in the kitchen and serve it in the dining room. They do so due to the smoke as a result of roasting. Koreans use a plate of fire for roasting meat at the table and install a ventilator on the ceiling. This way they can roast the meat and eat in the same spot.
In other words, Koreans create the necessity with their creativity to fulfill human needs in modern times.
Korea Institute of Design Promotion strives to find DNA of design based on Korean history, culture, geography, society and industry. Korean waves such as K-pop, K-food and K-style, for instance, help to build K-design which integrates from the roots of Korean traditional, recent and future designs.
It is not easy to define Korean design with one word. Even the academia and industry in Korea have the difficulty to deeply unveil the insights in to the issue. In my personal opinion, Korean design has developed into four parts in accordance with the industry and society.
The first part of Korean Design was formed from the post of Korean civil war to the 1988 Seoul Olympics. During this period, companies were industrialised and mainly run by the government support. At that time, design in this country could be defined as “Imitation to Creation”. Samsung and LG are the two giants that represent Korea as the country producing electronic product with typical Korean design.
Most of the designs, however, were influenced from advanced countries, particularly from the West during the 1960s and 1970s. Nevertheless, during the 1980s, the national and enterprise awakening paved the way for Koreans to create their own design.
At the same time, multi function is another trend in Korean products. For example, a washing machine designed in Korea has various functions such as wash, spin-dry laundry, steam, sterilisation, and many more.
The second part was the period of 1990s-2000s, when Korea started to accumulate its original technology; enough to have the in-house designers express their originality and creativity into products. At that time, the main theme of Korean design was ‘differentiation.’ Companies designed their products differently from their former products, showing stronger local characters in terms of “design identity”.
And this started to change in 2005 when they went on to the third step called “innovation”. Around this time, companies tried to make new models and structures in the areas of mobile phone, television, automobile, and so on. Here, the use of innovative materials and colours were actively enhanced. For example, Bordeaux TV, made by Samsung Electronics, became a prestigious Korean TV for its unique shape. The TV features design based on a wine glass and the dual moulding.
Korean televisions stayed at the forefront of the industry until 2017 when LG Electronics designed OLED TV with a thickness of 4mm. Another example is Galaxy S6 Edge in 2015 by Samsung Electronics that designed this mobile phone with a curved screen, the first in the world and applying a Flexible Display technology. This mobile phone boasts not only the beauty of the curve, but also Bezel-less from all sides of the phone. This innovative design concept continues to be applied on Galaxy S9.
Indeed, innovation has climbed Korea to the top with designs that have been bestowed with many internationally acclaimed awards. Since consumers in Korea are very sensitive to the trend and new technology, many companies worldwide use Korea as a market test bed, thus leading the country to create more and more innovative design products.
On the overall design movement:
Now, new experiments are continuously conducted in South Korea. The country has invested in developing new materials and processing technologies. This will lead the country to create more innovative and creative designs in the future.
Service design and social contribution are also the main trends in South Korean Design. Whilst past design was focused on styling, the latest design includes service. The objective of service design is to suit the need of the public. Service design in Korea is introduced in various sectors such as finance, education, welfare, healthcare, and more.
Nam June Paik (video artist), Andre KIM (fashion designer) and Sangsoo Ahn (visual designer) are among world-class designers from Korea. Unfortunately, Korea does not have many “young star designers”. This is likely due to the fact that designs in Korea are developed mainly by the government and corporations. So, the names of the teams and organisations are typically highlighted rather than the individual designers themselves.
Korea Institute of Design Promotion has brought up a capable designer, selected from about 150 young designers for 10 years as a next-generation design project leader. For example, the first next-generation design leader, Dontae LEE is now director of design business centre in Samsung Electronics. He designed British Airways business class when he worked in Tangerine.
One interesting change is that there are a lot of designer activities going on around young designers from 2008. These designers plan their own projects and make, develop, produce, and even sell their products by themselves. Currently, they are introducing daily life products based on their creative ideas, but we expect them to step forward into a more conceptual design industry that will develop creative electronics and mobile devices in the near future.