This is the kind of weather that inspires us to curl up with a hot cuppa and get stuck into a good book. Here at Dairy Studios, we like to keep our creativity flowing by accessing all sorts of design and art, this morning we stumbled across the V&A book ” 21 Designers for twenty-first century Britain” by Gareth Williams.

In this weeks blog we’ve selected some of our favourite projects, products and designs to share with you. The thing with twenty-first century design is that it is significantly different to the design trends preceding it – even in the decades leading up to the 21st century we’ve seen design trends weighted on the aesthetics or the efficiency to manufacture in a cost effective manner. It seems our focus has turned to functionality and as coined in this book ‘The Social Manifesto’ which is design which is good for the environment and can improve our daily lives. Of course, as a process – great design is evolving and if improvements are built upon over time, then the latest design should (should!) include some of the best design we’ve ever seen.

Whilst it sounds over the top – as designers, we know that good design isn’t necessarily complex – it is intelligent and concise. To us, great design functions immaculately, benefits the user and looks stunning. There is currently a large focus on design that is sustainable, socially aware and meaningful.

The first designer, Martino Gamper pinpoints usability and functionality with his designs whilst creating bespoke pieces of furniture suitable for a fine art installation. His creations boggle the mind by re-working deconstructed and salvaged parts of furniture. The reconstruction and recycling of the furniture is assembled in a beautiful and sculpted manner – sustainable, creative and functional!

RAndom International are a collective whose designs fit under the term ‘Digital Abstract’ – a futuristic vision that brings drama into their simplistic designs. The lighting design they’ve created (see below) is simple yet creates a human response where the feature appears to be swarming, self animating and scattered. This idea of simplicity allowing the user to create the response, is found in Glithero’s portfolio too. The Anglo-Dutch duo create beautiful designs based on simplicity and purity. They embrace the mass manufacturing process by contrasting it with less predictable materials such as melted wax and ink. Their products are sophisticated yet experimental as a result.

The next designer that caught our eye is the skater-product designer Jaime Hyon, whose hobby and skate-scene-subculture infused into his work with some fairly funky and ambitious design outcomes. He describes himself as a product designer although much of his work can be found as giant installations taking over gallery spaces and event Trafalgar Square. His creations are modern, shiny – think lacquered wood and futuristic characters meet functional house-hold objects.

Doshi Levien is a designer born and raised in Mumbai, her work is a beautiful example of simple utility contrasted with celebratory, flamboyant design. Her love of kitsch design and punchy graphic design infused with tradition makes for a Shephard Fairey-esque brand style, whereas her furniture design showcases meticulous tailoring and pattern cutting skills, reminiscent of a high end fashion designer.

The two final designers we’ve decided to throw a spotlight on this week are Industrial Facility who are furniture designers and product designer Simon Hasan. Industrial Facility showcase a portfolio of the increasingly popular Japanese Design infused with Danish Mid-Century design. Their creations are stunningly minimalist, highlighting the absence of ornament with non-colour and no sudden edges. With a similar sort of simplicity, Simon Hasan crafts his products with a highly skilled adaptation of traditional techniques yet delivers them in a vending machine!

Here are some snap shots from the book itself – you can find more here;