Celebrating new and emerging design talent, the Design Museum’s annual Designers in Residence programme supports designers at an early stage in their career. Now in its fifth year, the residency demonstrates the museums commitment to showcasing and supporting the next generation of design talent. Selected via an open-call, this years residents will be Freyja Sewell, Harry Trimble and Oscar Medley-Whitfield, Lawrence Lek and Yuri Suzuki. The finalists were asked to respond to the brief ‘Thrift’ and to explore the idea of economy and resourcefulness in an object, an environment or an experience, the results will be displayed in the Design Museum from 5 September 2012 – 27 January 2013. Asif Khan, Designer in Residence 2010 and currently working with his new practice Pernilla and Asif, will be the exhibition designer.
Freyja Sewell’s residency will investigate the potential of wool fibres produced as a by-product of the British carpet industry. Freyja will explore the merits of wool as a sustainable material, using it to create a variety of furniture designs. Graduating with a degree in 3D Design from Brighton University, Freyja has been selected as a member of the Icon Graduate Showcase 2011 and awarded the Nagoya Prize. She has also recently co-founded Studio Sudi and her wool designs were selected as a ‘Green Hero’ at Grand Designs Live 2011.
Oscar Medley-Whitfield and Harry Trimble’s residency takes inspiration from Southwark’s historic and once thriving ceramics industry, tapping into the unused resource of Thames river clay to create a range of products that revive the history of ceramics in the area surrounding the Design Museum. Graduating from Kingston University and the University of Brighton respectively, the duo are currently in the process of forming a design studio, Studio Extract. They share an interest in sourcing local materials to create pieces which embody local identity and heritage.
Lawrence Lek works as a sculptor, industrial designer and architect and will continue his investigation into the processes of natural growth and industrial fabrication through modular sculptural objects and environments. His work has been exhibited and performed in Japan, New York and London at the ICA and The Roundhouse. Born in Frankfurt to Malaysian-Chinese parents, Lawrence studied at Cambridge and the Architectural Association.
Yuri Suzuki explores the realms of sound, design and electronics. For his residency, Suzuki will be conducting a series of workshops to show the concept of ‘how things work’. Electronic products used to be fairly simple to repair but contemporary designs with their impenetrable, sleek exteriors make understanding their value and function difficult, encouraging consumers to purchase new products as opposed to repairing the old. Born in Tokyo, Yuri studied at the Royal College of Art and after his graduation in 2008 opened his own studio in London.
Design Museum is grateful to Andrew Bentley for supporting the Designers in Residence programme.