Two months ago, Swarovski gathered the design community in Milan to unveil the three winners of the Designers of the Future initiative. Chosen for their avant-garde approach to design, Hong Kong-based Elaine Ng, aka. The Fabrik Lab, and London-based Tomas Alonso and Studio Swine were chosen to work with Swarovski on projects that explore the company’s crystal savoir-faire merged with each designer’s area of expertise.
Let’s take a look at Swarovski’s projects at Design Miami/Basel.
Spanish designer Tomas Alonso focused on 47°, the theoretical angle at which crystal either reflects or refracts light, depending on the viewer’s point of view
The three projects, unveiled at the opening of Design Miami/Basel, showcase a diversity that is as much about aesthetics, as it is methods and intent. Each designer produced a body of work that forms both a clear representation of their practice and takes their modus operandi to new levels through Swarovski’s materials, traditions and inspirations.
The designers were approaching crystal for the first time, and after an exploratory trip to Swarovski’s origins in Wattens, Austria, they set out on their individual paths. Working with the Austrian craftsmen, they combined science, avant-garde technology and traditional crystal craft to create – both literally and figuratively – brilliant designs.
each composed of different parts of crystal joined at a 47° angle and glued together using UV bonding techniques and a vast variety of colour techniques to mimic naturally occurring hues within crystals
Textile artist and designer Elaine Ng’s fabric-based experiment comes in the shape of a moving installation inspired by Sundew, an intriguing carnivorous plant. DEWs is an interactive installation of embroidered crystal sculptures, which move according to sound and movement around them. ‘My key mission was to employ crystal as a raw material and not a decorative feature,’ the designer explains. She combined her textile expertise with the craft abilities of the Wattens’ technician and craftsmen.
She combined her textile expertise with the craft abilities of the Wattens’ technician and craftsmen
‘Innovation and experimentation are at the core of each commission from the winners,’ said Nadja Swarovski, currently at the helm of her family’s company. ‘This is the avant-garde approach to the use of crystal in design that has been a part of Swarovski’s DNA for 120 years – and will continue to drive us forward.’