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Announcing the Winners of Launch Pad 2021 at WantedDesign Manhattan

Announcing the Winners of Launch Pad 2021 at WantedDesign Manhattan

WantedDesign is delighted to announce the winners of Best of Launch Pad 2021 in the categories of lighting and furniture/home accessories. The jury, led by Jaime Derringer of Design Milk, selected Echo Zhan and Tomma Bloom as Best of Launch Pad 2021 in the lighting and furniture/accessories categories, respectively. The winners will be exhibiting in-person as part of Launch Pad at WantedDesign Manhattan 2021, Nov 14-15, at the Javits Center in New York City.

One of our signature programs, Launch Pad at WantedDesign Manhattan is an outstanding platform for international emerging designers to introduces new concepts and showcases prototypes of furniture, home accessories, and lighting. The Launch Pad 2021 program is presented with media partner Design Milk and sponsored by American Standard.

“Launch Pad has been such a great platform for designers, and we are proud to be able to bring it to the Javits Center as part of WantedDesign Manhattan. This program is very dear to us,” said Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, co-founders of WantedDesign. “Since we started Launch Pad, hundreds of designers have participated and it has been so rewarding to give them valuable opportunities, to help boost their careers and to follow them. We are grateful to have wonderful partners such as Design Milk to help us spread the word about Launch Pad and to give exposure to the participating designers.”

The Launch Pad jury was lead by Jaime Derringer, founder of Design Milk, who returns annually to partner for the program. “I love doing it every year,” she noted. “It’s such a wonderful experience to learn about all these young designers and their projects, and hear the stories behind all of them.”

Traditionally, the Launch Pad jury makes its deliberations on the trade show floor, but this year, we adapted to an online format, with jury members reviewing designers and their collections via submitted presentations and videos ahead of the fair.

ArtCenter student Echo Zhan was awarded the Best of Launch Pad 2021 in the lighting category for her Revolve decorative wall light that aims to “anchor ourselves among the chaos.”

Jury member Rosie Li of Rosie Li Studio noted that she was particularly taken by Echo’s creative application of dichroic film, and praised her “concept, vision and process.”

“Pairing its color shifting tendencies with motion to project changing light — affecting mood and atmosphere — felt fresh and breathed new life into the material. I look forward to seeing how the concept and prototype develops,” Rosie remarked.

Echo said, “Wow! I was super grateful for the Launch Pad platform already, and now this. It truly means a lot to a newbie designer like me with a student project that wishes to get further development opportunities. I am still modifying the Revolve wall light in terms of material and structure; this motivates me to continue going further with this project.” – Read her interview with Design Milk

Boston-based Tomma Bloom, a multidisciplinary design studio founded by textile designer Tom Lerental, was awarded the Best of Launch Pad 2021 in the furniture/home accessories category. The collection “Sonia and Rene” presents a contemporary interpretation of the Art Deco aesthetic and brings together the essence of Sonia Delaunay and Rene Lalique’s creative practice in a vibrant collection for interiors and spatial design.

Her colorful designs reminded jury member Andrea Cesarman, co-founder of Design Week Mexico, of the desire for “more happiness to the world.”

“Being awarded the Best of Launch Pad is a great honor and I am forever grateful to the panel of judges that believed in my practice and most importantly – in me,” said Tom of Tomma Bloom. “This only makes me want to push harder, and do better in developing my studio and creative practice.”

The jury for furniture/home accessories was comprised of Giulio Cappellini, Cappellini; Andrea Cesarman, Design Week Mexico; Crystal Ellis, Egg Collective; and Jean-Jacques L’hénaff, LIXIL Global Design, AMERICAS.

The jury for lighting included Anishka Clarke, Iskha Designs; Jean-Jacques L’hénaff, LIXIL Global Design, Americas; Rosie Li, Rosie Li Studio; Shant Madjarian, Juniper; and David Obel Rosenkvist, Louis Poulsen.

“Having American Standard as a sponsor this year is an honor, with Jean-Jacques L’hénaff of LIXIL Global Design, Americas, reviewing each and every project as part of the jury for both categories,” noted Odile and Claire.

“It’s an honor to be leading the jury every year,” Jaime Derringer added. “What I really love about this is also seeing what happens afterwards: Watching the designers grow, mature and evolve over time. We’ve had some really wonderful winners, and even ones that didn’t win have gone on to do incredible things.”

The winners will be featured on Design Milk and on WantedDesign channels. They will also receive a free exhibition space at the May 2022 edition of WantedDesign at the Javits Center.

For the WantedDesign team, it’s very rewarding to be part of the career launch for these emerging designers and to see them evolve. Some Launch Pad exhibitors have graduated to being part of Look Book, like Christian Lo of Anony and Bowen Liu, who are both part of Look Book 2021. Launch Pad designers have also gone on to work with great companies.

We invite you to see the collections and meet the winners, as well as more than 20 other talented emerging designers, at Launch Pad at WantedDesign Manhattan 2021, Nov 14-15, at the Javits Center in New York City during NYCxDESIGN. Registration is open.

By Charlene Lam, contributing editor

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