Qian Jiang wins the Formex Nova Design Award 2017
Since 2011 the Formex Nova Design Award – Nordic Designer of the Year has been bestowed during the Formex trade fair in Stockholm. This year, the jury voted Dejawu studio winner of the prize, which among other things comes with prize money of 50,000 Swedish Krone.
The young designer is based in Stockholm, where he founded his Dejawu studio in 2015. His works are as playful as they are carefully thought out – and definitely come with a streak of humor. His “Bell-Opener”, for example: Anyone looking for a bottle opener for that next beer bottle will end up waking himself and others owing to the little integrated bell. Jiang explains that he knows people who drink one beer and are then so drowsy that they immediately fall asleep. He himself is one of them and so he came up with the idea of integrating a bell into the little brass opener that lies so snugly in the hand - it is now distributed by Norman Copenhagen.
Yet it is not just the winner’s works that are worth a glance, as the other designers nominated for the prize are all people whose names are worth remembering. In his work, Swede Markus Barvestig (he received an honorable mention from the jury) explores how wood can influence the taste of food. To this end he created three objects made of local ash that can be used for cooking and during the preparation give the dishes special nuances of taste.
Or there is Dane Emilie Dissing Wiehe: Under the product name “Ro” she has developed products that assist people with dementia in their daily lives. For example “Favn”, a blanket that weighs no less than six kilos and gives patients a sense of grounding and embrace in moments of stress and restlessness. Or “Håndgribelig”, a beautifully shaped and haptically interesting sculpture she developed to offer restless hands something to play with.
Finn Antrei Hartikainen has specialized in working with wood. At the Formex he presented his designs, such as the small “Pisara” spoon and the “Fiori” side table, both of which demonstrate his skill and feel for turning wood into soft, refined shapes. Norway’s Sara Polmar put her “Solberg Weave” on show, a drying-up cloth that revisits traditional Norwegian graphics, and “Match Box”, a very elegant, architectural object for storing those small items. Ingibjorg Hanna Bjarnadottir is already well established, with her “IHanna Home” company, and alongside her textile pieces also displayed her playful clothes hang called “Krummi Bird Hanger”. (AS)