Six new design companies, reflecting a range of design aesthetics from around the world, have been invited to participate in a special exhibition at the winter 2010 New York International Gift Fair. The Young Designers’ Platform is curated by the American Design Club (AmDC), a community of American designers whose goal is to heighten awareness for emerging designers and provide exhibition opportunities. “Our search for fresh and unique design perspectives extends beyond geographical boundaries,” said Dorothy Belshaw, NYIGF director and GLM senior vice president. “We’re delighted to introduce designers from Canada, South Korea, Turkey and the United States to the gift and home industry this winter.” Sangwoo Nam of Appree Co. is a young designer from Seoul, South Korea whose functional home accessories include the “Leaf-it” self-stick memo notes in the color and shapes of tree leaves, and Waterdrop Magnetic, round translucent magnets of various sizes which function as magnets while providing an indirect link to nature. Jung Woo Lee, the principal product and graphic designer at ekdesign in Seoul, South Korea, strives to incorporate expressive design into a variety of functional office products, including cardboard file folders and USB media players. www.ekdesign.co.kr James Minola and Chelsea Green, designers from Bainbridge Island, WA, embrace a mission to unite sustainability and business through design. Grain is a design collaborative which creates and produces home and personal accessories, including the “Ty” recyclable shower curtain, made of ethically-produced, high density polyethylene (HDPE). The new “D.I.Y.” edition comes with an attached permanent marker to draw custom designs on the curtain. Minola and Green, both recipients of several design awards, met while pursuing industrial design degrees at the Rhode Island School of Design. www.graindesign.com Marie-Pier Guilmain and Maud Beauchamp of Loyal Luxe are pet accessory designers based in Mont-St-Hilaire, Canada, whose products are designed and manufactured entirely in Quebec. Their showcase work is the “chalet for cats,” a cardboard house for cats or other small domestic pets. Its innovative yet humorous design is inspired by Canadian-style chalets. Both Guilmain and Beauchamp received industrial design degrees from Montreal University. www.loyalluxe.com JJiyeon Ahn and Jieun Kim, a female design duo of Luca 12:00, Seoul, South Korea, create playful lighting and other home accessories in which everyday objects become meaningful in a new context. One of their newest designs is “Soap, a portable light,” through which a unique light lamp – in the shape and color of a bar of soap – is controlled through touch. By rubbing the lamp in the same manner as a bar of soap, users can adjust the luminous intensity, and the soap’s holder acts as a charger. Munire Kirmac is an industrial product and spatial designer based in Brooklyn, NY, who designs home accessories as well as interior spaces. Her signature piece is “Salt and Pepper in One,” a stainless steel container which stores and dispenses both salt and pepper in one piece. Kirmaci received a Bachelor of Interior Architecture and Environmental Design from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, and a Masters of Industrial Design from the Pratt Institute. The exhibition showcases emerging talents alongside some 200 established contemporary design resources at the show, allowing young designers and new companies the opportunity to expose their concepts, prototypes and finished products to the wholesale marketplace. The Young Designers’ Platform, which launched in 2008, accepts applications from nascent designers, including students, recent graduates, or new companies in business for one year or less. Participants are selected on the basis of design concept, creativity and originality. The show runs Sunday, January 31, through Thursday, February 4, 2010, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Fair hours are 9:00am-6:00pm daily, except for Thursday, when the Fair closes at 12:00 Noon.
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