Residencies’ rich results

The work of the 2012 crop of the Design Museum’s Designers in Residence is about to be unveiled.

The museum's residencies programme, which aims to develop and celebrate new design talent, selected product and furniture designers Freyja Sewell, Harry Trimble and Oscar Medley-Whitfield, and Yuri Suzuki, and architect and sculptor Lawrence Lek, as this year's recipients of the programme.

They were selected via an open call, with entrants asked to respond to the topic of Thrift, exploring the idea of economy and resourcefulness in an environment or experience. The work of the 2012 recipients will be on show at the Design Museum in Shad Thames 5 September-27 January.

During her residency Sewell investigated the potential of wool fibres as a by-product of the British carpet industry; Medley-Whitfield and Trimble, inspired by Southwalk's history of ceramics production, spent their residency exploring the unused resource of Thames river clay to create a range of products; Suzuki investigated the realms of sound and electronics within design and conducted a series of workshops to show the concept of 'how things work', while Lek continued his investigation into the processes of natural growth and industrial design through modular sculptural objects and environments.

The exhibition has been designed by former Designer in Residence (2010) Asif Khan and his practice Pernilla and Asif.

'I'll be trying to give visitors a feeling of intrigue and excitement,' Khan tells FX. 'All of the Designers in Residence have worked very hard to get this platform, so I want to make sure that their achievements, and in some cases debuts, are celebrated. We should get them as much exposure as possible.'

Khan knows the impact the show can have and wants to make sure he does his best for the 2012 selection. Since 2010 Khan has been named Designer of the Future 2011 by Design Miami and won the opportunity to design the Olympic Pavilion for Coca-Cola at London 2012.

'It's been an amazing time for me,' says Khan, of the two years since his residency. 'It was not only a great endorsement to have the Design Museum's patronage but being given free rein to create the best work I could imagine was the opportunity I'd been wishing for for years. My project Harvest was one of the most challenging I've undertaken, but the environment of the museum and the support of the curators really helped me make the most of it. I think of my residency at the Design Museum as a kind of turning point.'

This article was first published in fx Magazine.

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