Formex Nova – Nordic Designer of the Year

Formex Nova – Nordic Designer of the Year

On August 19, the winner of the design award, Formex Nova – Nordic Designer of the Year, will be announced. Formex established the award five years ago to promote high-quality Nordic design. The award goes to a young designer who is working in the Nordic region and has been selected by an expert jury.

The 2015 jury consists of journalist and author Lotta Lewenhaupt, professor in design history Kerstin Wickman, and two new members, Ewa Kumlin, CEO of Svensk Form, and Anders Färdig, founder and CEO of Design House Stockholm. The 2015 guest jury member is designer Emma Olbers.

The award includes an exhibition at this spring’s Formex as well as SEK 50,000 for a sponsored activity for the winner. The nominees also receives a unique, designed diploma. This year the diplomas are designed by illustrator Johan Mets,

The award will be presented in the evening on Wednesday, August 19, in conjunction with the opening of Formex. The event is arranged in collaboration with Trendgruppen PR.

This year’s nominees are:

Ragnheiður Ösp Sigurðardóttir/Iceland

Ragnheiður Ösp Sigurðardóttir is a product designer. The goal of her design is to make unique, playful objects. She wants to entertain people through design and convey new experiences.
Much of her exploration has some kind of a nostalgic reference. She seeks inspiration through her childhood discoveries and works to embed those spirited properties into her designed objects.

The jurys statement: Ragnheiður Ösp is nominated to the Formex Nova 2015 award for her truly individual and playful design. Her talent for design is clear for all to see in Notknot, where she literally knots traditional Celtic and Old Norse patterns to contemporary design, contrasting the knot’s austere, graphic shape with the soft security of the cushion in a design without beginning or end.

Thórunn Árnadóttir/Iceland

Designer Thórunn Árnadóttir’s multi-disciplinary work spans a host of different topics and techniques. In her projects she always tries to see the big picture as well as the context. The links between production, material, culture, society and users are important. Thórunn Árnadóttir is fascinated by “everyday items” – things that have become such a natural part of our lives that we no longer question their purpose or place in society.

The jurys statement: Thórunn Árnadóttir is nominated to the Formex Nova 2015 award for her inquisitive and experimental design, in which process, materials and culture play starring roles.
Her unique style elegantly turns our predictable notions about everyday items upside down, and imbues them with an ingenious, innovative purpose, form and function.

Masayoshi Oya/Sweden

Masayoshi Oya is a ceramics artist. He was born in Japan and works in Gothenburg at the Sockerbruket 33 cooperative workshop. He is also active in the Japan-Swedish design group, YOIN. Masayoshi Oya works with different types of clay and glaze. His design is influenced by both Japanese and Swedish culture and tradition. It is the mix of the Swedish and the Japanese that inspires him and gives him ideas for what he can do and how he can grow as a ceramic artist.

The jurys statement: Masayoshi Oya is nominated to the Formex Nova 2015 award for his ceramic objects that are like works of art. His simple, well-balanced shapes, exquisite color and glaze combinations and Zen-influenced patterns weave together the Japanese and Nordic design expression in a poetic and skillful way to create subtle and beautiful artworks.    

Erik Olovsson & Kyuhyung Cho/Sweden

Erik Olovsson & Kyuhyung Cho are both graphic designers with Master’s degrees from the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design. They met there and discovered that they both wanted to work more with spatial design and designing furniture and objects. Today they work with furniture and product design as well as graphic design and they always try to find roads between these disciplines that can create new expressions.

The jurys statement: Kyuhyung Cho & Erik Olovsson are nominated to the Formex Nova 2015 award for the playful collaboration in their three collections Room, Sine and Numbers. With a fusion of graphic elements and architectural volumes, the creations of these two designers are characterized by contrasts between light and heavy, discipline and playfulness, and 2- and 3-dimensionality, conjuring up a feeling of opposites in perfect balance.

Rosa Tolnov Clausen/Denmark

Rosa Tolnov Clausen is a textile designer whose greatest interest is in how to bring traditional weaving into a more modern context. The social aspect is very important in many of her projects – weaving is used as a tool to help people learn about and relate to textiles in interactive, esthetic and tactile processes. The work process is about experimentation and investigation.

The jurys statement: Rosa Tolnov Clausen is nominated to the Formex Nova 2015 award for her versatile, investigative and expressive creations.This is reflected in her Hands on Woven cushions, where she collaborates with visually impaired weavers who are completely reliant on the sensitivity of their hands for technique and quality. Rosa’s work is an elegant pivot point between the traditional and the unconventional and glances lovingly back in time as well as into the future.

Previous winners
Previous Formex Nova winners include Hanna Hedman and Simon Klenell, Sweden, 2011, Mari Isopahkala, Finland, 2012, Mattias Stenberg, Sweden, 2013 and Line Depping, Denmark, 2014.