It’s that time of year… London’s Design Museum has announced its annual Designers in Residence, and will be throwing its doors wide open to welcome the public to wander the grand space and soak up the new, creative and inspiring pieces that fill the space, hang from the walls, and sit behind exhibition display cases.
The four designers in residence are Enni-Kukka Tuomala, Abiola Onabule, Cynthia Voza Lusilu and Ioana Man, who were all selected to develop projects based on their timely and pertinent design explorations around the theme of ‘care’.
All four of the designers operate across different fields, and will be supported by the London Design Museum to develop a project that will culminate in an exciting installation that will be unveiled in March 2021.
Now in its 13th iteration, the Design Museum aims to support designers at the start of their career, and give them the financial and practical means, along with industry support, to develop crucial artwork. And these four female designers in residence will be creating ‘care’ pieces that look to improve some of the social and environmental challenges that we are facing today.
This coronavirus climate is an important time for creatives to consider our post-pandemic world and explore how the world is evolving and can be so significantly shaped by such things as digital technology and the internet, human connection, the environment and our mental health.
“At a time of upheaval and tragedy, design has shown itself to be up to the task of equipping us to face adversity, with designers manufacturing vital PPE and other equipment during the pandemic,” says Priya Khanchandani, the Design Museum’s newly-appointed Head of Curatorial and Interpretation.
“In a post-Covid environment, it is more important than ever that we support emerging designers whose work has the capacity to solve problems, grow empathy and build bridges of understanding.”
The all-female designers in residence will bring their multidisciplinary talent to the forefront of the museum, representing a new generation of creative thinkers who are equipped to explore this strange and surreal climate and the concept of ‘care’ through their diverse artistic specialisms.
“Right now, it is imperative that designers are engaged in conversations about care as we enter a period of greater social, political and ecological uncertainty,” says Sumitra Upham, the Designers in Residence Project Curator. “These designers are proposing tools and systems to help us navigate this landscape.”
One of the designers in residence, Cynthia Voza Lusilu, has always had a focus on care in her design work, with her personal manifesto reading ‘put care first, always’.
“My recent research is centered around ways of engaging with people through community-based participatory practices,” says Voza Lusilu of her work. “I explore care and repair as vehicles to support emotional wellness and sense of place.”
Her project at the Design Museum will focus on people’s mental health in Black British communities, through a range of restorative tools and a new support system to promote resilience and the creation of healing spaces.
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