Relevance meets beauty Talents at Ambiente 2020

Young, bold and provocative. Once again, Ambiente is inviting the new generation of designers to take part in the Talents programme of the world's largest trade fair in consumer goods. This area within Hall 4.0 – the Dining Hall – will focus on products related to tableware, leisure and home accessories. Talents in the Living Hall (Hall 8.0), on the other hand, will feature both highly conceptual and extremely specific approaches to the creation of contemporary habitats. This year's 37 exhibitors come from countries such as Brazil, Germany, the UK, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, the Czech Republic and the United States.

"One of the greatest challenges for the next generation is to develop future-proof ideas in response to today's structural and social changes. The environment, mobility, urbanisation. How do we interact with transformation, and which products provide answers to the questions we're asking? The Talents promotional programme is a way of helping hand-picked young designers to exhibit their work on a prominent platform and to form a wider network across the world", says Nicolette Naumann, Vice President of Ambiente, who founded the Talents programme almost 20 years ago. Since then it has always been a rich source of innovation and highly promising design talents.

Talents in the Living area: the conceptual meets the practical
A new approach to lifestyles and consumerism will characterise the 21 Talents in Hall 8.0. Exhibitors from young design studios and start-ups as well as universities and colleges will be presenting their highly conceptual ideas and marketable products. In fact, the Talents line-up this year includes three participants from the German Design Graduates (GDG) scheme, a programme created in 2019 to focus on diversity at German colleges and universities. Each year it honours the best graduates at twelve of the most prestigious institutions specialising in product and industrial design. One of the three founding members of GDG is Mark Braun, professor at the University of the Creative Arts in Saarbrücken, Germany. The designer, who has won many awards, actually took part in the Talents programme himself at the beginning of his career.

"I'm very pleased to see such close cooperation between the Talents programme and the German Design Graduates. Both platforms offer young designers a wonderful opportunity to make their mark. It's an important step towards success later in their careers. Of course, innovative ideas always contain an element of surprise within themselves – though they're also about drawing the right conclusions from the challenges at the time. Nevertheless, we mustn't forget the essence of product design. Relevance meets beauty: The feedback I get at Ambiente shows me whether I've achieved this, " says Mark Braun.

The three GDG Talents are Shanmei Yao (University of Applied Sciences, Karlsruhe), Marie Radke and Jonna Breitenhuber (both from the Berlin University of the Arts). Shanmei Yao sees her conceptual textile designs as an invitation to reflect upon mobility. Her multifunctional clothing and bag system means that when you go on a journey, you can comfortably distribute small items of luggage around various parts of your body. Marie Radke's Hempel Family is a way of giving more space to clutter. You can actually sit on her clothes' stools, even when you've already put your clothes on them. Radke's clear design language creates a balance with natural chaos. Jonna Breitenhuber's Soapbottle for liquid soap, on the other hand, focuses on sustainable packaging. The solution: the attractive bottles are themselves made from soap and can be used as such until they vanish.

The highly expressive acoustic solution by the Prague studio Lappa aims to create a healthier and more attractive work and living space. The young designers Lenka Sindelova and Anna Leschinger, who founded the studio in 2018, don't just concentrate on the special acoustic qualities of textiles. They intentionally combine functional products with a soft, decorative overall design. Humberto da Mata is a successful and unconventional designer from Brazil. He has worked with the Campana brothers and is particularly well known for his Glove Stool made out of rubber gloves. His contribution as an Ambiente Talent will include Cloud, his latest series of cheerful, colourful stools and chairs.

Talents in the Dining area: Unique items for the dining table
Whether they're from Brazil, Germany, the UK, Japan, Italy, Portugal, the Czech Republic or the United States – the creation of enjoyable elements is high on the agenda among the international design talents. In 2020, 16 exhibitors will be presenting their work in the Dining area of Talents, including the German designer Annika Sparkes. Her Roadie series is the answer to a well-known problem: It doesn't matter how many vases you have, you can never find exactly the right one. Her solution is a modular approach whereby two components can be fitted together to make three archetypal vases. The different-coloured glass components are an elegant way of utilising the building block principle, while at the same time giving the design its special character.

The Talents area in Dining puts a clear focus on artisan craftsmanship, and one such artist is Claudia Issa from Brazil. Her aim is to create the unexpected with her own hands, and so her work reflects her passion for allowing the design to develop organically as well as her background as a graphic designer. Her creations include white porcelain vases randomly arranged on the table like pieces of rubble as well as glass bottles and drinking glasses with bottoms that look like cracked ice. Her collections, all under the Konsepta brand, are truly extraordinary and have been inspired by nature. The Japanese designer Kiyomi Kodama will be bringing to Frankfurt a harmonious series where every piece is unique. Her label, Kodama Toki, concentrates on the beauty of the imperfect, as in her tableware series Level. Haphazard features that randomly occur as she works the clay are given prominence as important elements of her design.

Talents – a promotional programme for young designers
Every year the successful promotional programme Talents chooses about 40 young designers, graduates and labels from across the world to come to Frankfurt and demonstrate their skills. They are also given numerous opportunities to network with manufacturers, retailers and others from the international design scene. Messe Frankfurt allows them to exhibit for free as well as providing them with advice, practical assistance and PR support. In 2019 Ambiente attracted 4,460 exhibitors from over 90 countries. Ambiente 2020 will be held from 7 to 11 February.

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