The international make me! competition is one of the most influential and innovative events in the field of product design in Europe and a key event of the Łódź Design Festival. The key purpose of the contest is to identify new trends, brave ideas and support young people who are ready to compete and come up with interesting ideas. The competition, which has been carried out for over 12 years, is addressed to designers, makers, students and graduates, especially from art and design disciplines, to all those that are impulsively triggered to design when noticing a need or problem. In make me! projects that experiment with material or seek new interpretations of existing functions are also awarded. The 22 finalists of this year’s edition have already been chosen and the laureates and prize winners are set to be announced later this month. In this article we would like to share with you our picks for the most interesting finalists.
Alena Selina Halmes
Augen Zu. Eine unsichtbare Designsprache
Augen Zu. Eine unsichtebare Design sprache which translates to – Eyes closed. An invisible design language is Alena Halmeses 2019 graduation project at HGK in Basel, where she studied product and industrial design. The project itself is a theoretical field study which tries to answer the question – what is beautiful if you can’t see? This led to more questions – How do birth blind people imagine movements, when hearing sounds? How does the world of forms in their head look like? Birth blind people describe the movement and shapes of the sound of water, which are untouchable. Their imaginations are formally interpreted in order to create a new form language. The haptic, acoustic and playful experience of this setting, consisting out of 5 glasses is based on a new design approach, which is inspired by the perception of the blind. This approach is seeing blindness as a chance to integrate the non-visually into the design.
Natalia Kostov was born in January 1996 and started her artistic career by studying at Szczecin Art School. Some of her interests include makeup, astrology and jewellery. Currently she specializes in packaging design, illustrations and bookbinding. This project is connected with the former. As the name might suggest POTROT is a pot made from 100% biodegradable pulp obtained from waste. The POTROT flowerpot is a transporter intended for small (mainly garden) plants which consists of dried fruit and vegetable peelings (excluding citrus fruit), dry plant leaves, waste paper and eggshells.
A graduate of art and design schools in Warsaw and Białystok, Jan Godlewski now teaches design at the Faculty of Architecture of the Białystok University of Technology. His contest entry titled VX is a design of a bookcase. The project resulted from the observations of contemporary industry, which consumes significant amounts of raw materials and generates waste. The goal of the project was to create a fully functional element of furniture, made entirely of wood, with a construction what will use minimal amounts of raw materials and will be 100% biodegradable. The bookcase is entirely manufactured of one type of material — 4mm plywood. This bookcase boasts easy assembly, light weight and high carrying capacity. The final product uses about 70% less material than similar types of furniture.
This project aims to focus on society’s treatment towards abnormality. In our society it is harder for people who are not within the norm to integrate, and they are not accepted as equals often. Understanding that this perception of norms begins since childhood, I chose to represent the meaning of difference as a series of puppets. Usually, puppets are presented within the norm or as an ideal, therefore creating an abnormal puppet will attract attention and hopefully open up a new and positive dialogue about anomalies, at an early age. The puppet series consists of 5 animals with a dominant characteristic. In this characteristic I intervened and create an anomaly. Using an animal as a puppet makes it a general example of representing a variety of abnormalities in people, while keeping the subject less threatening. Each puppet is a tool for explaining to children and encourages their acceptance and empathy.
Seok-Hyeon Yoon (Studio Yoon Seok-Hyeon)
Ott / Another paradigmatic ceramic
Following a natural design philosophy Seok-Hyeon Yoon builds his projects from materials and objects in his surroundings. His contest entry titled Ott or Another paradigmatic ceramic is an alternative method of glazing ceramics. Traditional glazes pollute the environment during the glazing process and after a glazed product is thrown away. Yoon created a natural (Korean) resin called Ott which he uses to coat everything ceramic. This project overall aims for actualising ceramic recycling for its re-production through introducing potentials of an alternative glazing, Ott, by applying it on domestic ceramic objects to experiment with its practicalities and aesthetics.
Inspired by Scandinavian design, Carlos Jimenez moved form his native Mediterranean climate to live in Denmark and later in Sweden. His interests revolve around product design, furniture design, lighting design and interiors. His make me! entry, titled DoñaPakyta is a collection of aluminum chairs inspired by old cane chairs. The chairs and lounge chairs are stackable and they can be used for both outdoors and indoors spaces. The structure is made of aluminium and the ropes are made of soft PVC with inner textile structure. This makes these pieces really comfortable while ensuring a long period of live even in outdoors conditions.
Forget Me Not
Created by student of the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź and a fan of geometric shapes, Patrycja Gorzela, Forget Me Not is a set of ceramic pots created for those who happen to forget to water their plants. This specially designed flowerpot with plate lets you leave a discrete note stating the time it was last watered. What is more, you need to turn the pot to set the correct date, and this way Forget Me Not ensures the plant has even access to light.
Łódź Design Festiwal
17-20 September 2020