The recipients of Maison&Objet's Rising Talent Awards: The Netherlands were announced at an intimate event at Cosentino City Amsterdam this week.
As part of the next edition of Paris trade fair Maison&Objet, taking place from 8 to 12 September 2022, up-and-coming Dutch design talent will be honoured. The beneficiaries of the organization's Netherlands-centred Rising Talent Awards were unveiled earlier this week at Cosentino City Amsterdam, in the heart of the city. The announcement of the awards marks the reinstatement of the biannual show, following a two-year hiatus, which proceeded this March.
The forthcoming September edition of the lifestyle and design show falls under the theme ‘meta sensible’, blending aspects of the digital and physical worlds. ‘At Maison&Objet we like to have an authoritative voice about innovative trends and creations,’ says the show’s marketing and communication director, Caroline Biros. Honouring new Dutch design talent bolsters this position.
Talents were nominated by four well-established Dutch designers, including Wieki Somers, Kiki van Eijk, Hella Jongerius and Ineke Hans. The jury members elected the recipients of the awards for their innovative approaches to design, with many of their works positioned as solutions to some of our most salient, collective issues.
The awardees were presented by Franck Millot, partnerships and special events director at Maison&Objet. ‘It’s not a competition,’ he said. ‘Instead, the idea is to paint a picture of the current design scene in the Netherlands.’ Hanna Kooistra, Atelier Fig (Ruben Hoogvliet and Gijs Wouters), Théophile Blandet, Seok-Hyeon Yoon, Visser & Meijwaard (Vera Meijwaard and Steven Visser), and Simone Post were honoured with the Rising Talent Awards while Sanne Terweij received the Rising Talent Craft Award.
Each of the awardees embodies the qualities of being ‘experimental, critical and conceptual, which are synonymous with Dutch design,’ says Hella Jongerius. But what is Dutch design? Frame founder Robert Thiemann pinpointed its ethos during the event: ‘The heart of Dutch design is problem-solving. It’s ingenuity, it's creativity, it’s material-based and it’s inclusive – you don’t even have to be Dutch because this mentality is present in everyone,’ he said. 'Dutch design means doing as much as possible with the least possible resources, and without making a big imprint on the planet. This approach is on the rise because we must deal with serious problems like climate change, housing shortages and refugee crises, among many others. This problem-solving mentality has become relevant again.'
And that shines through the awarded designers’ works. ‘I always want to be responsible for our society and environment,’ said Seok-Hyeon Yoon. ‘Every time I create something, I always think about its impact. ‘The objects I’m making are reflecting on current topics,’ fellow awardee Théophile Blandet supported. ‘They’re not about giving a clear solution. They’re about opening up a discussion. And there are qualities that many examples of Dutch design definitely share – originality, cleverness and a sense of delight.'