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The esteemed 10 2024 | Multidisciplinary Designers

Photography by Pier Carthew

We name our 2024 multidisciplinary design authorities from Australia and abroad.

The esteemed 10 recognises influential voices in the multidisciplinary design community in 2024. Criterion is based on approach, notable achievements and completed and anticipated projects.

This piece originally appeared in est magazine Issue #51.

Proudly supported by Bauwerk

Photography by Pier Carthew

Tom Fereday | Portrait by Mattia Panunzio

Tom Fereday

Gadigal Country / Sydney, Australia and London, England

Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

Within the workshops of the incredible makers I work with – people with decades of experience in a material specialism.

The one thing people always ask me is:

What is Australian design?

Three words that most appropriately sum up my approach to design are:

Natural, material, innovation.

What key influence can we anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

How light beautifully interacts with glass.

What is the one piece of advice you would share with an emerging designer?

Sometimes you have come up with something truly special, and sometimes there is a good reason why someone has not created your idea before. Understanding when to stick and when to twist is an important and challenging lesson.

What’s the first thing you always notice when you walk into a room?

The general feeling of a room – often the lighting ambience, subtle material details and space layout.

What product/s or piece/s do you admire most right now?

South Korea-based silversmith Hyun-seok Sim’s functional sterling silver pinhole cameras.

Photography by Genevieve Lutkin

Toogood

Founder Faye Toogood

London, England

Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

New York – the galleries and museums are exceptional.

The one thing people always ask me is:

Toogood, is that your real name?

Three words that most appropriately sum up my approach to design are:

Sculptural, naive, experimental.

What key influence can we anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

Artist Philip Guston, artist Alberto Giacometti, photographer Martin Parr and Northern Soul music.

What is the one piece of advice you would share with an emerging designer?

Stop looking at everybody else’s work. It will make you feel bad about yourself, and it will make you recreate what others are doing. Stop looking at everybody’s lives, too. It’s unhealthy and doesn’t allow you your independence and individuality. It’s very difficult to stop looking, but it’s very necessary.

What’s the first thing you always notice when you walk into a room?

The quality of the light.

What product/s or piece/s do you admire most right now?

One of my favourite designers/architects is Marcel Breuer. I covet his plywood lounger.

Faye Toogood | Portrait by Genevieve Lutkin

Photography by Genevieve Lutkin

David/Nicolas

Founders David Raffoul and Nicolas Moussallem

Milan, Italy, Beirut, Lebanon and San Francisco, North America

Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the Glass House by Pierre Chareau in Paris, Villa Necchi in Milan and the International Fair in Tripoli, Lebanon by Oscar Niemeyer.

The one thing people always ask me is:

How did you meet?

Three words that most appropriately sum up my approach to design are:

Time, space, poetry.

What is the one piece of advice you would share with an emerging designer?

Explore and nurture what makes you unique in your field. Your individuality is your greatest strength; focus on discovering and cultivating your distinctive style, approach, or perspective.

What’s the first thing you always notice when you walk into a room?

The light and windows.

What product/s or piece/s do you admire most right now?

Pierre Chareau Curule en M stool model No.Sn1.

David Raffoul and Nicolas Moussallem | Portrait by Sara Magni

Photography by Sara Magni

Rose Uniacke

London, England

Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

I travel a lot. There is so much great design to see. I visit interesting architecture whenever I can. Particular favourites include Schindler House in LA and Maison de Verre in Paris. There are so many gems all over the world.

The one thing people always ask me is:

Will you do my house?

Three words that most appropriately sum up my approach to design are:

Atmosphere, beauty, practicality.

What is the one piece of advice you would share with an emerging designer?

Trust yourself; be brave and create your own narrative. Believe in what you love, find your voice, experiment and feel how things work.

What’s the first thing you always notice when you walk into a room?

Is it welcoming? Does it have a strong and interesting point of view? Does it hold you? Is it inspiring?

What product/s or piece/s do you admire most right now?

I have just bought a Japanese chopping board. It’s beautiful, elegant, and simple. Made from Japanese slow-grown pine/cedar, musical instrument grade, it is gently shaped at the edges in a way that it feels light and delicate and lovely to touch. Alongside its beauty, it has a purpose.

Rose Uniacke | Portrait by François Halard

Photography by François Halard

Photography by François Halard

Crosby Studios

Founder Harry Nuriev

Paris, France and New York City, North America

Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

I find it in random places. It could be an old library or hardware store.

The one thing people always ask me is:

How do you find your voice as an artist?

Three words that most appropriately sum up my approach to design are:

One word: transformation.

What key influence can we anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

The French culture of art, design, fashion and craftsmanship.

What is the one piece of advice you would share with an emerging designer?

Don’t wait until someone knocks on your door. Believe in yourself. Be disciplined and do your art. And this art will bring more art.

What’s the first thing you always notice when you walk into a room?

Balance

What product/s or piece/s do you admire most right now?

I’d rather we had fewer products. We are too overwhelmed with products.

Photography Benoit Florencon, Joshua White

Photography Benoit Florencon, Joshua White

Harry Nuriev | Portrait by Benjamin Baccarani, courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery

FormaFantasma

Founders Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin

Milan, Italy

Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design? 

To mention some classics: Castelvecchio by Carlo Scarpa, Palazzo Abatellis in Palermo and Studio BBPR at Castello Sforzesco in Milan. 

The one thing people always ask me is:

What is the meaning of your name, FormaFantasma?

Three words that most appropriately sum up my approach to design are: 

Research-based, contextual, political.

What key influence can we anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

There are multiple works with multiple influences. The work of Enzo Mari has significantly impacted our work because of his approach to design, which is never to look at it from a formal perspective. 

What is the one piece of advice you would share with an emerging designer? 

If they want to have their own office and not work for others, do not compromise initially. Compromises are better later in life. 

What’s the first thing you always notice when you walk into a room?

Either great details, or everything that does not work. Unfortunately, we are trained to notice what isn’t working. 

What product/s or piece/s do you admire most right now?

The classic straw broom. It’s made of very little; it’s one gesture. It’s almost all natural materials, and it can be replicated almost globally with natural materials.

Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin | Portrait by Gregorio Gonella

Photography by Marco Cappelletti

Photography by Marco Cappelletti

India Mahdavi

Paris, France

Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

Milan Design Week, although I appreciate exceptional design all around the world.

The one thing people always ask me is:

What is your favourite colour?

Three words that most appropriately sum up my approach to design are:

Polyglotte, polychrome, local.

What key influence can we anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

Less building, more ornament.

What is the one piece of advice you would share with an emerging designer?

Hard work, humility and curiosity.

What’s the first thing you always notice when you walk into a room?

The atmosphere.

What product/s or piece/s do you admire most right now?

Ronan Bouroullec’s ceramic landscapes.

India Mahdavi | Portrait by Antoine Doyen

Photography by François Halard

Photography by Lillie Thompson

Caon Design Office

Founder David Caon

Gadigal Country / Sydney, Australia

Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

Broadly, Italy and Japan are the places I visit with design on the agenda. I visit Salone del Mobile in Milan nearly every year, and as crazy as it has become, it does become the epicentre of design for that one week a year.

The one thing people always ask me is:

What was it like to work for Marc Newson?

Three words that most appropriately sum up my approach to design are:

Honest, functional, simple.

What key influence can we anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

I have been evolving my approach to design in recent years. I am thinking more about simplicity in my work, which is starting to show. There’s probably a growing appreciation of Dieter Rams there, so the focus is to remove detail rather than add.

What is the one piece of advice you would share with an emerging designer?

To focus on the idea and to keep things simple. Modern technology and tools allow for a huge amount of complexity, but this doesn’t mean that it will make a beautiful or functional object. Knowing what not to do comes with experience, which I truly appreciate. Also scale – think about scale and proportion.

What’s the first thing you always notice when you walk into a room?

Probably the lighting and then everything else. Lighting can make or break a space whether it’s natural or designed.

What product/s or piece/s do you admire most right now?

I think the next piece I buy will be the Vitsoe 620 chair in line with my appreciation of Dieter Rams’ body of work.

David Caon | Portrait by Nick Tsindos

Photography Lillie Thompson, Nick Tsindos & Anson Smart

Photography Lillie Thompson, Nick Tsindos & Anson Smart

Studiopepe.

Founders Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara di Pinto

Milan, Italy

Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

We like going to ethnographic and archeological museums around the world. That’s where we find what we call ‘pristine’ design, something that comes right before design and is truly inspiring.

The one thing people always ask me is:

How did you meet? (In Mexico)

Three words that most appropriately sum up my approach to design are:

Balance, material, sculpture.

What key influence can we anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

Costantino Nivola, African folk architecture and surfaces and Tobia Scarpa – we love contrasting dialogue.

What is the one piece of advice you would share with an emerging designer?

Look, study and sketch.

What’s the first thing you always notice when you walk into a room?

Light and volumes.

What product/s or piece/s do you admire most right now?

Andrea Brazi sculptures, LOEWE OBJECTS of research presented yearly at Milan Design Week and the Hermes home collection.

Photography by Silvia Sirpresi

Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara di Pinto | Portrait by Andrea Ferrari

Photography by Silvia Sirpresi

Muller Van Severen

Founders Fien Muller & Hannes Van Severen

Evergem, Belgium

Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

Galerie kreo, Paris

The one thing people always ask me is:

Where do you find inspiration, and how do you work as a couple?

Three words that most appropriately sum up my approach to design are: 

Proportion, appearance, honesty.

What key influence can we anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

Perforation, transparency and repetition.

What is the one piece of advice you would share with an emerging designer? 

Don’t look too much at others; look within yourself and create the language you want to speak.

What’s the first thing you always notice when you walk into a room?

The windows.

What product/s or piece/s do you admire most right now?

The new Bilboquet light by Philippe Malouin for Flos and the new Black Flag light by Konstantin Grcic for Flos.

Photography by Frederik Vercruysse and Fien Muller

Fien Muller & Hannes Van Severen | Portrait by Clara Vannucci

Photography by Frederik Vercruysse and Fien Muller

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