I love exploring graphic design, and identity design in particular, rendered in non-Latin scripts. I am familiar with the Cyrillic script, which is not far removed from the Latin alphabet, but Chinese characters, the Arabic script and Brāhmīc scripts, for example, remain a mystery. The beauty of not speaking a particular language, or understanding a writing system, lies in the capacity of being able to take a step back and admire its aural and aesthetic qualities without them being obscured by the content of what is being said. Increased attention has been directed towards non-Western design in recent times—a welcome and timely development in Western design publications, writing and exhibitions.
With this in mind, I have just been introduced to the work of Ray Yen, a Taiwanese designer who has completed a Masters in Visual Brand Design at Domus Academy. His portfolio is characterised by an understated elegance. Yen’s focus in on branding and identity design, and his talent is apparent in the intelligent, detailed approach demonstrated in the featured projects on his website and Behance profile. Check out his collection of logotypes, they skillfully combine Mandarin and English languages in inventive ways. Packaging design, illustration, zines and publication design also make an appearance, all sharing a similar uncluttered aesthetic, accentuated by illustrative and textual elements.
Ray Yen is a semifinalist in Print Communications category of the 2014 Adobe Design Achievement Awards, having been scouted from thousands of entries (you can see the project here). Yen’s no stranger to awards, having won his fair share, including the prestigious Red Dot Award for Corporate Design and Identity. In amongst all this he manages to supply his Flickr account with a steady stream of dreamy photographs—definitely worth setting aside some time for.
So who is going to Milan this summer?
We at Frontier and the panel of judges at the schools both in Milan and San Diego were blown away by the number and quality of the portfolios entered to this competition. We decided to announce the winners for each locations separately, starting with Milan now.
The two schools in Milan NABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti and Domus Academy decided to reward your enthusiasm generously. This means that next to the ‘grand prize’ winner they are give out ‘special merit scholarships’ to three more entries. Yes, this is 4 people all together with the opportunity to get to Milan this summer!!
Now, on to the winners.
The grand prize, that includes a 50% scholarship and an iPad Mini goes to Evelyn Witono Putri from Indonesia. Evelyn’s architecture and interior design portfolio showed a great variety of creative designs responding to social challenges, sustainability and making the most of small spaces. She wants to go to Milan to further her expertise with the ‘Designing the Shopping Experience’ course. Congratulations Evelyn!
The schools in Milan decided to give away three additional ’special merit’ scholarships. The winners are:
Danica Raznatovic from Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro. Her gorgeous interior design portfolio gave her access to a scholarship to the ‘Design for All’ course in Milan. Well done, Dancia, your ‘Origami Chair’ was a big hit with the Frontier team.
Catalina Albertini from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her impressive fashion design portfolio caught the attention of the judges in Milan, so she is invited to attend the ‘Advanced Jewellery Design’ course with a special merit scholarship.
Pamela Suryadjaya from Jakarta, Indonesia get’s to go for the ‘Drawing and Visual Arts’ course. The young animators uniquely cool illustration style won our hearts. Well done!
Congratulations again to Evelyn for winning the grand prize! The three special merit scholarship recipients will be contacted with details about the scholarship soon. Look out for the San Diego scholarship announcement next week.
There are not too many compromises with outdoor furniture design. They have to resist all sorts of weather and environmental damage, while they have to stay light, comfortable and inviting. This is why we adore this smart and elegant design from Patricia Urquiola, designed for Kettal.
Italian designer Patricia Urquiola is also mentoring the Masters in Interior and Living Design course at Domus Academy — empowering students while driving her highly active design practice.
In this outdoor furniture set she is taking inspiration from modern architectural facades. The mesh frame filters the surrounding environment without breaking the flow of light and air. Hard and soft materials transparently layered to create a nice contrast. The metal mesh gives strong support for wooden elements and the overlay of cushions. The elegantly curved shapes and the wooden frames and generous upholstery recalls the comfort of a living room and transfers it outdoors.
Another great example where the creative use of shapes and different materials create a perfect balance between form and functionality.
Photos: Kettal blog
There is something about raw natural textures that make a bathroom warm and ‘homey’ while keeping it functional and ‘pure’ without the unnecessary clutter. The bathroom is integral part of your daily life and connected to your most private and intimate moments, so creating (a not just functional but) comfortable and stylish environment there is key.
This is why I like this bathroom furniture design from Ryosuke Fukusada, a graduate of the Master in Interior and Living Design program at Domus Academy in Milan, Italy. Next to natural materials like red clay and cork he is using sliced tiles to achieve the desired effect. He named this concept ’Tile sashi’, sashi meaning ’slice’ in Japanese.
Modern tiles can basically simulate any natural texture or appearance and for this project Fukusada used granite tiles that mimic the feel of natural stone. He sliced the tiles to thin strips to form the friendly curved shapes of this concept. He mixed pastel colour, cork and clay to soften the hardness of the ’stone’ tiles.
Friendly comfort and minimalism is blended so nicely in this project! Have a look at some more work from Fukusada here.
Photos by Alfredo Dante Vallesi
Domus Academy graduate Jean Louis Sabaji has made quite an impression with his first runway show in Dubai.
The son of a Lebanese couturiers has fashion in his blood. Nurtured by the family practice, he did his postgraduate studies at Domus Academy in Milan, the home of Italian design. While at Domus Academy, he had the opportunity to share his creations with some of the most famous Italian designers.
His spring / summer collection was inspired by nature, the extravagant bursts of insects and flowers.
The young designer’s eclectic collection (of over forty garments) shows that he had room for playful experimentation with confidence and creative freedom. We have so much going on here! Bugs and bees, flowers, vertiginous silhouettes, sculpted fabric, generously applied appliqués, cascading fluid skirts, gorgeous colours and excellent craftsmanship.
The audience saw two entirely different directions clashing within the collection. A strong futuristic silhouette with panels and shiny fabrics competed with a sort of bucolic ‘close to nature’ couture.
Jean Louis Sabaji gave everything on his first runway show and got certainly got the industry excited. We look forward to see where his style will mature.