It isn’t easy for young designers to get noticed in a throng of competition. To help young creative talents, there are many initiatives and platforms.
Among these launching pads Discovered, organized by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) in partnership with Design Museum London involves a team of young people selected from the annual listings of graduates by Wallpaper and through the AHEC network, to develop an object in response to their personal experiences of the pandemic, utilizing American red oak, maple or cherry wood; the results are on view at discovered.global and will be presented in September at the Design Museum during the London Design Festival.
Next comes WantedDesign, which has always supported up and coming talents with many activities, such as the International Schools Show, from 12 May to 12 June 2021, the new online platform that takes the place – due to the pandemic – of WantedDesign Brooklyn, usually scheduled in May, with the participation of over 150 students from 15 design schools, from the IED in Milan to Central Saint Martins in London, ENSCI in France to the Parsons School of Design in the USA. Among the previews, WantedDesign is preparing for an edition in Manhattan, on 14-15 November at the Javits Center, with a focus on rising design stars.
On an international level, the Swarovski Foundation – with Creatives for our future – implements a program with the support and collaboration of the United Nations Office for Partnerships, to identify and accelerate the coming generation of creative professionals, from 18 to 25 years of age. This year nine young people, including the Italian product designer Daniele Ficarra, have received subsidies of 15,000 dollars, together with education opportunities, access to the industrial network and custom tutoring, provided by the Swarovski Foundation and the supporters of the program, with mentors like Nadja Swarovski, Chair of the Swarovski Foundation, Yves Béhar, founder and CEO of fuseproject, and Rosanna Hu, founding partner of Neri&Hu Design and Research Office.
And there’s more: artsthread.com is a digital platform for creative talents from around the world, culminating in the Global Design Graduate Show 2021, in collaboration for the second consecutive year with Gucci. The initiative is open to all art and design students graduating by the end of July 2021, offering the possibility of free submission of works to be assessed by a jury (there’s still time to apply, until 31 August at globaldesigngraduateshow.com).
Another major showcase on an international level is the Global Grad Show of Dubai Design Week, now at its seventh year, involving young people from 270 universities in 60 countries in the field of technology, science and design. The event is open to students of various disciplines, from engineering to chemistry to architecture, and since 2020 it has also included the Mena Grad Show, aimed at universities in the Middle East and North Africa. Finally, in Italy, besides the SaloneSatellite, the leading showcase directed for over 20 years by Marva Griffin as a space for talents under 35 inside the Salone del Mobile, new events are making courageous strides, such as Seminario during Edit Napoli (29-31 October 2021), organized by Domitilla Dardi and Emilia Petruccelli, a section devoted to talents under 30 and companies with less than three years of existence; to take part: https://editnapoli.com/application-form.