The “Formex Nova — The Nordic Design award” was established in 2011 with the intention of promoting Nordic design created by a yet-to-be-established artist within the interior design sector. The award includes a certificate, an exhibition during the spring’s Formex, as well as a sponsored activity worth up to SEK 50,000. Meet the winner for 2017: Qian Jiang.
A 3D-printer hums in the corner and beautifully formed, wooden, metal, and plastic pieces sit on a little table in the middle of the room. We are in the small, yet functional studio of the industrial designer, Qian Jiang, in Liljeholmen. The pieces are just a few of the products he’s working on at the moment. In August, Qian Jiang, often referred to as “JQ”, was named winner of 2017’s Formex Nova Design award.
“I was at the bank when I got the phone call. At first I thought it was a joke, but when I rea lized that it was real, I was obviously overjoyed and proud. This award isn’t just for one single product, but for my entire portfolio. It’s confirmation that I’m taking the right approach, even if I’m always trying out new things.”
Something JQ has noticed is that more and more people are beginning to recognize his name, and that he now gets more replies to his emails from di.erent design companies.
JQ, who has just turned 31, was raised in the Chinese town of Suzhou near Shanghai. After four years of studies and three years as a professional designer back home in China, he moved to Lund in 2011 to pursue his master’s degree in industrial design.
“I’m doing well in this country and with Swedes, and I appreciate the Swedish balance between work and free time. I would definitely like to stay here.”
Electrolux, where JQ is currently working as an industrial design consultant, hopes that he will stay in Sweden. Currently, he is working on a secret dishwasher appliance that will soon see the light of day.
JQ is also running his own design company, Studio Dejawu, where he gets the chance to explore his own artistic expression.
“I want my products to feel familiar but also not, it all goes along with my motto, ‘unfamiliar familiarity’. That motto is even reflected through the company name, Dejawu, which is a play on words; ‘wu’ means ‘object’ in Chinese.” As of now, only one product is available, Bell Opener, which is a bell and a bottle opener all-in-one, and is being sold by Denmark’s Normann Copenhagen. The candlestick, Lightop, is also in the works, while the table, Tjena Kina, the mirror, Go-penhagen, and the tape dispenser, Ballet, are still waiting for the right producer.
Thanks to his Formex Nova Prize, JQ got the chance to attend the prestigious Design Frontiers during London Fashion Week in September, together with the Stockholm-based design studio, Form Us With Love (FUWL) and their project, Prototypa.
“It was a really fun and gratifying experience and I received a lot of interesting feedback. I got many ideas about how to progress my work moving forward.”
Part of the Formex Nova award is the designer’s own, personal showcase during the Formex Show in January, but what exactly JQ will show will be a surprise for all visitors.
The Vice President, Jonas Pettersson, of the design studio, FUWL, has only good things to say about JQ:
“He is extremely curious, ingenious and passionate. JQ doesn’t give up but keeps on working until he feels that everything is completely finished. He’s also a lovely person and it’s a joy to work with him”.
JQ’s participation in Prototypa was a collaboration between FUWL and Formex.
“Prototypa was intended to be a platform to highlight the prototype as an important part of the creative process. To date, we have displayed Prototypa in Stockholm, Milan, and London, and in November, it will be taken to IIDEXCanada in Toronto. We invite along a number of industrial designers we find interesting, and they each get a day to show o. their work and their designs.”