Yesterday, Swarovski and Design Miami/ announced the three winners of the 2017 Swarovski Designers of the Future Award. These promising young designers and studios were selected from around the globe for their innovative creative approach and pioneering use of new technologies, exemplifying new directions for design. The winners will present their work, which will include innovative surfaces, 3D crystal printing and solar cell technology at Design Miami/ Basel from 13-18 June 2017.

The three winners (pictured above from left to right) are:

Jimenez Lai
Los Angeles-based architect who blurs the boundaries between design, art, architecture, sociology and technology, imagining other worlds and telling stories through design.

Marjan van Auble
Dutch designer based in London who works with materials and objects to blend scientific precision with sensory responsiveness, specializing in solar power.

Takt Project (Satoshi Yoshiizumi)
Multidisciplinary studio founded by Satoshi Yoshiizumi and Atsushi Honda, Yoshitaka Ito, and Takeshi Miyazaki, based in Tokyo with a focus on product-design reinvention and socially driven endeavours.

The winning designers were awarded for their ability to implement pioneering concepts and to dream, experiment and innovate within their given fields of architecture, technology and product design.

This is the third year that Swarovski and Design Miami/ have collaborated on this prestigious award, which was established in 2006. The previous winners include noted designers Anjali Srinivasan (2016), Yuri Suzuki (2016), Studio Brynjar & Veronika (2016), and Studio Swine (2015).

The winning designers are invited to develop a new prototype or design statement within their selected field that is inspired or informed by Swarovski crystal. This year, the designers have been invited to create work that answers the brief ‘Shaping Societies’. Although not collaborative, their work will coalesce into one complete environment to be exhibited as a single installation at Design Miami/ Basel 2017.

Jimenez Lai will be responsible for creating the overarching architectural space for the installation.

‘Working with crystal is a stimulating new challenge,’ says Lai. ‘It creates a visual quality that is unlike most other materials architects normally use, and I’m eager to explore this through the design process.’ He intends to develop captivating surfaces using crystal, exploring design through storytelling.

Developing architectural shapes in Jimenez Lai's studio

Meanwhile, Marjan van Aubel will work with Swarovski’s in-house experts on solar technology to develop a series of living light objects.

‘The combination of crystal and solar energy has the potential to be incredibly beautiful and forward-thinking,’ says Van Aubel. ‘Swarovski’s dedication to working within the boundaries of innovation and climate change is very important to me, and corresponds well with my focus on blending science with sensory responsiveness to develop aesthetic solutions for the future.’

Marjan van Aubel at work in her studio

As for Takt Project, the studio will be collaborating with Israeli start-up Micron3DP to produce a series of tabletop objects in 3D-printed Swarovski crystal – something which has never been attempted before.

‘To be able to work in such an important, innovative area as 3D-printing is so exciting for our studio,’ says Satoshi Yoshiizumi, citing Swarovski’s work with crystals that push the boundaries of creativity as the inspiration for using the cutting-edge technology. Micron3DP are the inventors of high-resolution molten glass 3D-printing technology, pioneering a new manufacturing process of complex glass parts.

Takt Project will explore 3D-printing with Swarovski crystal

Alongside the Swarovski Designers of the Future installation at Design Miami/ Basel, Swarovski will present collections from its new home décor brand Atelier Swarovski Home in a ‘Curio’ exhibition within the core galleries of the fair. Celebrating innovative design, the collections consist of various functional and decorative objects with a strong focus on mixing crystal with other materials.