Dezeen Magazine

Design Miami/Basel announce Designers of the Future 2009

Design Miami/Basel have announced the four winners of this year's Designers of the Future awards: Nacho Carbonell, Peter Marigold, Raw-Edges and Tomáš Gabzdil Libertiny. See press release below for more details.


Design Miami/ continues to identify some of the world’s most exciting emerging design talents with its Designers of the Future Award, a key highlight of the annual Design Miami/ Basel exhibition.

The Designers of the Future Award honors young designers working with experimental, limited-edition and non-industrial techniques, who push the boundaries of art and architecture and change the way we see design. The winners are selected on the basis of what they have accomplished already in their short careers, but also on the belief that they can significantly benefit from the exposure and relationships that Design Miami/ can facilitate.

In Design Miami/ Basel tradition, the winning designers are invited to create objects to be shown at the fair under a thematic brief. The designers’ inventive and often surprising solutions offer an exciting counterpoint to the fair’s key offerings of twentieth-century design icons and contemporary limited-edition works by established talents.

This year’s winners are:

  • Nacho Carbonell
  • Peter Marigold
  • Raw-Edges
  • Tomáš Gabzdil Libertiny

“In a time of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever to support and nurture young emerging designers,” Design Miami/ Director, Ambra Medda, comments. “Design Miami/ Basel not only brings these designers to wider public attention with the award, but by commissioning new work to a very open but challenging brief, offers them a platform from which to show their considerable talent to the fair’s influential attendees, including the design industry’s leading journalists, galleries, collectors, curators and designers.”

For Design Miami/ Basel 2009, the award-winning designers have been briefed to think beyond the fabrication of individual objects and to focus instead on the articulation of space. Their challenge is to create an intimate, viewer-encompassing environment that stimulates discourse, reflection and community. As an added parameter, each winner must use plaster and mirror as their primary materials. Plaster and mirror were selected for the brief because both materials are relatively inexpensive, extremely versatile and commonly available, yet their ancient histories are rooted in extravagance and fanciful expression.

“As design media, both plaster and mirror are considered to be essentially surface materials, since neither can be used as load-bearing structural elements,” Design Miami/ Associate Director Wava Carpenter explains. ”This ‘superficial’ aspect is the core of this experiment: the designers must use materials associated with ornamentation to execute a meaningful contemporary design idea. Since the materials are so adaptable, the designers have tremendous license to interpret them according to their individual approaches.”

For inspiration, the designers have been given references as diverse as Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Wedge of Chastity’ from 1954; an early eighteenthcentury bedroom in the Sagredo Palace, Venice; Rachel Whiteread’s ‘Untitled (Paperbacks)’ from 1997; Jan van Eyck’s painting ‘The Arnolfini Marriage’; and Paul Evan’s mirrored ‘Cityscape Pedestaled Buffet’ from circa 1970. Each designer will be allocated 38m2 of space in which to present their commissioned project.

The Designer of the Future Award winners are nominated by an exclusive group of established designers and then chosen by a prestigious Selection Committee. The 2009 Selection Committee includes Alexander Von Vegesack, Murray Moss & Franklin Getchell, Fernando & Humberto Campana, Jurgen Bey, Pierre Keller, Li Edelkoort, and Silvia Venturini Fendi.


Nacho Carbonell

Spanish-born Nacho Carbonell graduated in 2003 from the Spanish university Cardenal Herrera C.E.U. and in January 2007 from the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. His graduation projects, “Dream of Sand” and “Pump It Up” drew tremendous media coverage through the professionals and public who attended the presentation. As a result, Nacho was honored Cum Laude by the Academy. After completing his studies, Nacho accepted internships with designers Vincent de Rijk and Joris Laarman. Nacho currently works with his team in a 20th century church in Eindhoven, where he established his studio.

“I like challenges,” Nacho comments on the Designers of the Future creative brief. “Mirrors and plaster are things I haven’t thought about using, so it’s good to exercise your mind.” He is also interested in the brief to consider the surrounding space for the finished work. “It’s very important to think about the environment,” he agrees, stressing the importance of how the finished pieces and their surroundings interact.

Peter Marigold

Born in London in 1974, Peter Marigold followed a path from sculpture to theatrical and event sceneography at Central Saint Martins. In 2005 he joined the Design Products (Platform Ten) course at the RCA under Ron Arad and since graduation has focused almost solely on furniture design. In 2007 Peter was awarded an Esmee Fairbairn bursary for his exhibition at the Design Museum in London, and his subsequent show with the British Council as one of the ‘Great Brits’ at the Milan Furniture Fair was followed by an invitation to create the ground floor installation for Paul Smith in Milan. Working with both galleries and manufacturers his work continues to be exhibited in both the UK and abroad, including Design Miami, Stavanger 2008 (Norway), and the MoMA New York.

For Design Miami/ Basel Peter is playing with the idea of symmetry and creating a three-dimensional version of the Rorschach tests. Taking inspiration from animal trophies in country houses, “blobs” of plaster will be reflected in mirrors, encouraging viewers to draw their own conclusions about what they represent.

Central to his project is a fascination with symmetry and how it evokes living organisms. “This is something that’s hard-wired in our brains,” Peter adds.


The professional collaboration between Yael Mer & Shay Alkalay began after many years of sharing life, ideas and everything in between. Yael’s main focus includes turning 2-D sheet materials into curvaceous functional forms, whereas Shay is fascinated by how things move, function and react. Together they work under the name Raw-Edges and share a common goal to create objects that have never been seen before.

Since their graduation show at the RCA in 2006, they have won the British Council Prize in Milan & Paul Smith in Tokyo. Their works have been exhibited at Johnson Trading Gallery in New York, FAT Galerie in Paris, and Scope Art Fair in Basel. Their designs can be found within the Design Museum collection and in production with Established & Sons and Arco. In addition, Yael & Shay produce unique and limited-edition designs within their own studio in London.

Raw-Edges will respond to the Designers of the Future brief with a concept involving plaster walls. The duo is enjoying the “down to earth” nature of the Design Miami/ Basel commission; “It’s great to have a brief which asks you to think about materials,” Yael comments. Yael and Shay are also enjoying the challenge of thinking about the encompassing space; “sometimes the environment is also like a product – architecture and design are coming closer together.”

Tomáš Gabzdil Libertiny

Tomáš Gabzdil Libertiny was born in Slovakia in 1979. In 1999, he enrolled in the Industrial Design Department at the Technical University in Slovakia, but soon he found this discipline too limiting. In 2001, he was awarded George Soros’s Open Society Institute Scholarship to study at The University of Washington in Seattle, where he explored painting and sculpture. As a result, in 2002 he transferred to Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava to study both product design and painting. After completing his BA, Tomáš enrolled in the Design Academy Eindhoven to further develop his design vision under direction of Gijs Bakker of Droog Design. After completing his MFA in 2006, Tomáš opened his own company Studio Libertiny in Rotterdam. His works have been recently acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Museum Boijmans van Beuningen.

“I made myself like the brief,” Tomáš comments wryly on the Designer of the Future brief, adding, “I’ve always been interested in plaster, but maybe not so soon.” Tomáš will be continuing some of the ideas and processes for which he has become famous, such as his wax vases made by bees. He will place an emphasis on slowness and on the process, “where the form comes as a result of building by layers,” he explains.

About Design Miami/
Design Miami/ is the most prominent and substantive forum for international design, representing a convergence of commerce and culture. Its annual shows in Basel, Switzerland (June) and Miami, USA (December) bring together the most influential designers, collectors, dealers, curators and critics from around the world. For more information please visit

Design Miami/ is presented in partnership with HSBC Private Bank, whose dedication to innovative international design is an example of its emphasis on the value of connections. HSBC Private Bank is committed to supporting the forum in Basel and Miami until 2010 and to continuing to explore new opportunities together with Design Miami/ into the future.

HSBC Private Bank

HSBC Private Bank values connections and its partnership with Design Miami/, initiated in December 2006, is at the heart of its expanding global commitment to design.

HSBC Private Bank is the marketing name for the private banking business conducted by the principal private banking subsidiaries of the HSBC Group worldwide. HSBC Private Bank and the private banking activities of HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt as well as the HSBC Private Banking entities, known collectively as Group Private Banking, provides services to high net worth individuals and their families through 96 locations in some 43 countries and territories in Europe, the Americas, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa. Private Banking and Wealth Management Services in and from the United States are offered through HSBC Private Bank Americas, a division of HSBC Bank USA, N.A., and HSBC Private Bank International in Miami.

Profits before tax were US$1,447 million for the year ended 31 December 2008 and combined client assets under management were US$433 billion.

HSBC Private Bank draws on the strength of the HSBC Group, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations providing a comprehensive range of financial services to more than 100 million customers.

/9/10/11/12/13 June 2009
Hall 5 Messe Basel
Basel, Switzerland