Social impact

Paolo Mendes da Rocha & MMBB
São Paulo

Project Info: A solid cultural and educational project that brings social transformation to an audience of diverse ages and social strata by encouraging autonomy, contact and interaction whilst putting forth actions of permanent non-formal education. SESC has thirty-six cultural centres with this being the most recent addition.

THE SHED’s telescoping structure
Diller Scofidio & Renfro and Rockwell Group

Project Info: A smart, energy-saving ‘Architecture of Infrastructure’ that will be used only when needed. In just 5 minutes, the 4,000 tons of this telescoping steel structure on rails (constructed in 2017) can be deployed over the public plaza of Manhattan’s versatile cultural complex ‘Hudson Yards’. In doing so, it uses roughly the same amount of horsepower as a ‘Toyota Prius’. The Shed arts centre is set to open in the spring of 2019.

SCEWO: wheelchair that can climb stairs
Students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University of the Arts

Project info: While technology has quickly progressed, the basic wheelchair design has remained the same. Since this innovative project started in late 2014, there have been several steps in prototyping until the most updated version was tested for the first time on a larger scale in 2017. The designers are now gathering feedback to establish the exact needs of electric wheelchair users. The team hopes to launch a mass-market version by the end of 2018.



Project Info: In seeking new retail locations, the brand’s first concern is to work with what already exists. It is their intention to weave themselves into the fabric of the area and then add something of merit rather than imposing a discordant presence. AESOP’s consistent practice is to use a locally relevant design vocabulary.

San Francisco / Milan

Project Info: The label realised a new design concept that has substantially defined the brand image, an almost aseptic look in stainless steel, which is emphasized by a lighting concept that bathes the retail spaces in bright light, almost erasing all shadows. This ‘cleanroom atmosphere’ contrasts with the artistic furniture created by British designer Max Lamb.

Matthieu Lehanneur

Project Info: Maison Kitsuné is a fashion house and electronic music record label, founded in Paris in 2002. For the NY showroom project, the designer has conceived a series of white, high-ceilinged rooms with mouldings and phantom windowpanes that recall the Haussmannien architectural style of Parisian apartments. Snaking through these rooms is a curvilinear steel tube, a reminder of electrical and piping systems that are typically unconcealed in New York. Attached to the wall, rising up to the ceiling, its fluid form supports different functions: it can become a lamp, a table stand or a clothes rail.


PIN UP magazine
Founded by Felix Burrichter

Project info: an acclaimed and internationally distributed magazine of art, design, architecture.

Communication agency
New York / Brussels / Geneva

Project info: Among their 2017 work: Foundation Cartier, The New York Times and Art Brussels..

‘A Brief History of Design’ on Instagram

Project info: Her last book, the critically acclaimed ‘Hello World: Where Design Meets Life’, explores design’s influence on our lives: past, present and future. Rawsthorn’s next book, ‘Design as an Attitude’, is to be published in spring 2018. In the meantime she is publishing a sort of ‘Brief History of Design’ on the most visual of all social outlets. Everyone talks about how much they enjoy the visual element of Instagram and Alice Rawsthorne shows its versatility. In 2015 she began posting design-related imagery on her Instagram account. Last year all this evolved into fairly lengthy descriptions of themed explorations. A daily diary, read by more than 40k followers.

In The Artistic Realm

‘Franchise Freedom’

Project Info: A flying sculpture in partnership with BMW was a performative artwork at the interface between technology, science, and art. A swarm of 300 Intel® Shooting Star™ autonomous flying drones.

Danese Milano

Project Info: The new art director of the historical Italian company Danese Milano has presented a collection merging art and design.

‘Sous le ciel’
for Bon Marché, Paris

Project Info: An installation that challenges perceptions of time and space while inviting visitors to alter the way they perceive reality. The Bon Marché’s famed escalator — designed by Andrée Putman in 1990 — has been placed at the centre of the project that started in 2017 and then transformed and tightened up in knots. The concept culminated in an exhibition lasting from January 12 to February 18, 2018.  Here the artist, famed for employing optical illusions in his work, celebrated the Parisian sky with its unique luminosity and soft colours that changed constantly over the course of each day.


Studio KO

Project Info: Located near the Jardin Majorelle, the Musée Marrakech’s 4,000 m² building includes a 400m² permanent exhibition space devoted to the work of Yves Saint Laurent: a hall for temporary exhibitions, a research library, auditorium, bookshop and terrace café. The French architectural firm Studio KO, founded and headed by Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty, has overseen the architectural project, and injected the duality between curved and straight lines, comparable to loose and precise approaches to the cutting of fabric. The facade of the building appears as an intersection of cubes with a lace-like covering of bricks. This creates patterns that recall the weft and warp. As with the lining of a couture jacket, the interior is radically different.

Jean Nouvel

Project Info: An urban promenade, a garden, a cool haven, a shelter from them light – its aesthetic is consistent with its role as a sanctuary for precious works of art. A huge silvery double dome, 180 meters in diameter, appears to float above the entire museum city. Inspired by the ‘cupola’, a distinctive feature in Arabic architecture, Nouvel’s dome is a complex geometric structure of 7,850 stars, repeated at various sizes and angles on 8 different layers. Natural day light filters through the dome’s perforations, providing a shade punctuated by bursts of sun.

The boat is leaking. The captain lied. Venice
The Prada Double Club. Miami

Project Info: ‘The boat is leaking. The captain lied.’ This exhibition offered an on-going, in-depth exchange between writer and filmmaker Alexander Kluge, artist Thomas Demand, stage and costume designer Anna Viebrock and curator Udo Kittelmann. The confluence of image spaces and scene settings for a variety of atmospheres, transformed Venice’s historic palazzo of Ca’ Corner della Regina into a metaphorical site for the identification of the worlds we live in and our personal attitudes towards them.

‘The Prada Double Club Miami’, an art installation by Carsten Höller presented a fully-functioning nightclub (open for only three nights – from 5 to 7 December 2017), prompting a dialogue between contemporary art, music, lifestyle, and design.


‘Water Futures’ research program

Project Info: ‘Our reliance on the plastic bottle has developed a toxic drinking water culture that is poisoning the marine environment… ’ In 2017, Jane Withers started a research program about water. Responding to the urgent issues around the drinking water crisis such as scarcity and pollution, the first public event of ’Water Futures’ in 2018 will explore the on-going, multidimensional relationship between drinking water, city life, and its future possibilities. Encouraging an imaginative and human-centric design approach it aims at promoting and improving drinking water awareness worldwide. Jane Withers has worked with many organisations interested in raising awareness of environmental issues and inspiring change by creating critically acclaimed exhibitions and events at the V&A Museum and Royal Academy of Arts among many others.

‘Countryside reload’
at BIO 25 – The Biennial of Design | MAO Museum Ljubljana, 2017

Project Info: A group project that raises questions and challenges the romantic notion we have of the countryside. The countryside as constructed nature for food production. Less manual work, more automated agriculture. Fewer people, empty buildings. New roles? New traditions? Old structures, transformed purposes.

Biomimetics, nature, and genetics in our digital lives

Project Info: The intimate relationship between design and biology suggests a shift from consuming Nature as a geological resource to editing it as a biological one. This journey from mining to growing is accelerating. The architect and designer Neri Oxman is Associate Professor of Media Arts and Science/ Mediated Matter Research Group, at MIT Media Lab. Her research embodies a great deal of what we are experiencing as a society around technology. The hyper awareness of our planet shifts to how we embrace the power of biomimetics, nature, and genetics in our digital lives.

Design Curator / Design Critic

‘Items: Is Fashion Modern?’
at MoMA (USA)

Project Info: An exploration of the past, present, and future of 111 garments, accessories, and accoutrements that have had a strong impact on history and society over the 20th and 21st century.

UABB / URBANISM AND URBANIZATION 7th edition: ‘Cities grow in difference’
at Shenzhen Biennale (CHINA)

Project Info: UABB situates itself within the regional context of the rapidly urbanizing Pearl River Delta.  The project concerns itself with globally common urban issues and it extensively communicates and interacts with the wider public. Liu Xiaodu, of the Chinese architecture studio URBANUS, presents expressions of contemporary visual culture and avant-garde dimensions as well as discourses of public interest.

Melbourne (AUSTRALIA)

Project Info: Featuring the work of over 100 artists and designers from 32 countries, the NGV Triennial surveys the world of art and design across cultures, scales, geographies and perspectives. A free exhibition, open from 15 December 17 to 15 April 2018.

Best design Newcomer


Material, installation and object designer, Sabine Marcelis runs a studio where she is ‘Forever in search of magical moments that create unexpected experiences within material and manufacturing processes. Among her clients: Aesop, Céline, Repossi, Isabel Marant, Eastpak.


Respect for local heritage and traditions alongside the wish to bringing change, modernity and innovation. The story of Pretziada, is a love story for ‘Sardinia’, a land which is rich in culture but poor in resources. Founded by a Sardinia-based couple, American designer Kyre Chenven and Italian artist Ivano Atzori, the interdisciplinary practice explores Mediterranean cultural traditions and craftsmanship – an authenticity worth preserving in all its particularities. In 2017 Pretziada started out with some of the most iconic productions and presented polished remakes of the island’s classics: shepherd boots, nuptial vases, knifes, fire place sets and hand-made carpets. Beautifully visual storytelling is used, as it is difficult to decipher the Sardinian ways of life.


Internationally known for their ‘New Spring’ installation for COS, Studio Swine (Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers) is a collaboration between Japanese Architect Azusa Murakami and British Artist Alexander Groves. Their 2017 installation, exhibited in Milan and Miami, was designed to use minimal resources and presented ephemeral materials – delicate mist-filled ‘blossoms’ that disappear on contact with skin. Producing these blossoms, the bold centrepiece, is a tree-like sculpture that references the ornate chandeliers of Italian palazzos and the architectural features of Milanese columns, arches and streetlights.

Best Designer

Ladurée Beverly Drive, Los Angeles

Project Info: Marie-Antoinette goes to Hollywood, and stops over in a POP garden of delights ‘à la française’ – California dreaming with a French twist. The designer provides an elegant setting of white latticework punctuated by giant, mirrored flowers that come alive in the sunlight. Along with banquettes covered in pale green leather, her version of Gio Ponti’s classic high-back wicker chair is reimagined with pale pink leather pads.

A selection of his 2017 releases, like ‘Pluvia’, ‘Canal’ and ‘Murano’ chairs for Ethimo, Moooi and Offecct

Project Info: Pluvia for Ethimo – A stackable outdoors chair with an aluminium frame and soft curves of a woven backrest in synthetic fibre. The juxtaposition of materials ensures stability and enhances the comfort.
Canal chair for Moooi – Evoking the bows of Venetian boats, the monochrome multi-tone look and different colour combinations can be tailored through bespoke embroideries, and a variety of legs making it suitable for contract interiors.
Murano chair for Offecct – From the shapes of Scandinavian furniture design to lines that seem to evoke the fluidity and malleability of heat-treated glass, here the seat and backrest are ‘moulded’ by a minimal tubular structure, ending in a small offset, useful as a handle or a hook for bags/coats.

A selection of his 2017 releases, like Glass Fountain for Glas Italia and  S.F. _ Senses of the Future exhibition for LG.

Glass Fountain for Glas Italia  – the precious and poetic crystal clear pieces of the ‘Glass Fountain’ series for Glas Italia have resulted from the intersection of craftsmanship and industrial process. The making starts with a disc-shaped sheet of glass, which is transformed into a three dimensional vase to depict the water flow of a fountain, organic forms only nature can create.
The ’S.F. _ Senses of the Future’ exhibition for LG is an immersive large-scale light installation. On show during Milan Design Week 2017, it featured a gigantic ‘WALL OF THE SUN’ of nearly 30,000 individual OLED light modules and S.F CHAIRS that projected poetic images of light with LG’s dual-view (double-sided) OLED digital signage product (only 15 mm in thickness), specially created for this artwork.

Lifetime Achievement





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