Frank Kolkman, Study O Portable and Yosuke Ushigome of Takram 


Basel, June 2018 – Swarovski and Design Miami/ Basel are pleased to unveil the design installations created by the three winners of the Swarovski Designers of the Future Award at Design Miami/ Basel 2018 (12-17 June, 2018). 

Posted 20 June 2018

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Frank Kolkman, Study O Portable and Yosuke Ushigome of Takram were commissioned to create bold, new works that respond to the contemporary need for ‘smart living’, while exploiting the scientific and aesthetic properties of crystal. To realize their vision, the designers have worked closely with Swarovski’s engineers and master cutters to explore how craftsmanship, cutting-edge technology and visionary design can result in imaginative works that will shape future living.
Each designer presents a commission that reflects their individual field of design, but the final works have been installed together in one complete environment at Design Miami/ Basel, bringing to life an interesting and engaging mix of formal and technological expressions. 

The final works include ‘Dream Machine’ by Frank Kolkman, using neuroscience and crystal technology to ease our minds, ‘Slanted Tiles’ by Study O Portable; a series of architectural surfaces that explores the more analogue and emotional properties of crystal and light, and ‘Home Shrine by Yosuke Ushigome, seeking to personalize the relationship between man and technology.
Previous winners of the Swarovski Designers of the Future Award include – Marjan van Aubel (2017), Jimenez Lai (2017), Takt Project (2017), Anjali Srinivasan (2016), Yuri Suzuki (2016), Studio Brynjar & Veronika (2016), Tomas Alonso (2015), Studio Swine (2015) and Elaine Ng (2015). 

Swarovski, Design Miami/Basel
Designers of the Future

Dream Machine, developed by Dutch designer Frank Kolkman, is a stroboscopic flicker device producing visual stimuli that seeks to interface Swarovski crystal with neurobiology, neuropsychology and psychoactivation techniques. The project is an attempt to identify possible strategies that could help us cope with the cognitive demands of our modern lives, looking to create new notions of ‘smartness’ that go beyond the automated dream of making our lives more streamlined and efficient.
Building on the work of artists from the 1950s and 1960s, such as Brion Gysin, Tony Conrad, Bernard Leitner, and Ugo La Pietra, Kolkman has created an immersive crystal ‘Dream Machine’. By generating light and sound patterns that synchronize with alpha and theta brainwaves, this machine allows individuals to enter a state of deep relaxation or ‘artificial dreaming’.
Sam Conran, a sound artist based in London, has created a bespoke 3D composition based on brainwave stimulation in the alpha/theta range. Using binaural beats, the sound design is inspired by diffraction patterns in X-ray crystallography. 

Frank Kolkman

Frank Kolkman

The Dream Machine responds to the trends of wellness and wellbeing, preventative care and alternative medicine where achieving a healthy body and mind has become a major focus in the contemporary world (exemplified by the increase in natural supplements, bio grocers, fitness strategies, progressive healthcare). Kolkman’s design represents the increasing integration of such practice into our daily lives and begins to speak about cognitive science and technology as part of daily health routines using the natural properties of crystal as a source of inspiration. The dream machine was designed with yoga mats and home gym equipment in mind, speaking to the next wave of wellness equipment that moves beyond the treadmill.
Frank Kolkman commented: “Technology today advances very rapidly and sometimes without much consideration or critical thought about how it can be meaningfully implemented in our lives. I believe design can be an excellent sense-making tool amidst these developments and I’m excited by exploring ways for it to do so.”  

For Design Miami/ Basel, Study O Portable builds on their interest in creating work that gives new perspectives on the things we take for granted in our everyday life. According to their design ethos, technology - both new and old - works as a facilitator for these new perspectives, not by deciphering it completely but by giving us a glimpse of what is possible. With this in mind, the designers worked with Swarovski’s cutting technology to explore the blurring of light and color that emanates from the crystals.
The designers associate blurry and fading colours with nature, such as the sunset or changing colors of leaves on a tree, and have created surfaces that can be translated into a series of stunning screens. Embracing the emotional impact of crystals, Study O Portable are pursuing a more analogue route in their response to what smart living entails.
Bernadette Deddens and Tetsuo Mukai of Study O Portable commented: “It’s been really interesting to talk to the team and learn new things about the material, processes and applications of Swarovski crystal. To work directly with set materials and processes is a different way of working for us which has been really enjoyable.”

Bernadette Deddens and Tetsuo Mukai of Study O Portable 

Yosuke Ushigome 

For Design Miami/ Basel, Ushigome is exploring the future of Artificial Intelligence in domestic settings. Based on his interest in how our behavior is changing due to the emergence of AI home assistant devices, Ushigome asks what happens if we insert a more cultural and mythical interface between us and these assistants.
In fact, interaction with the voice-activated assistants and smart-home devices is shaping the way we – and especially children – communicate. His concept imagines a world where Swarovski crystal takes the role as a cultural mediator between human and machine intelligence by inserting ritualistic, culturally-rich, but yet intrinsically familiar interactions between the two. With this in mind, Ushigome has created a home shrine which delivers data in an eccentrically conversational and ritualistic way, intended to counteract the direct, robotic exchange typical of most smart home devices. The home shrine also calls to attention how we integrate technology into our homes and what those methods symbolize - what meaning does a traditional Japanese butsudan hold vs an Alexa device? 

At the exhibition, Ushigome will present his vision of how this may look in the future alongside an animated film produced by Mute Animations, which explains the evolution of technology and smart living.
Yosuke Ushigome commented: “The future is full of tough problems when it comes to our relationship with technology. Designers get to work with emerging technologies before they get embedded deep in our culture, and this can play a tremendous role in shaping our future and imagination.” 

Frank Kolkman, Study O Portable and Yosuke Ushigome of Takram 

The 2018 Swarovski Designers of the Future Award winners were selected by a jury of leading figures in the design world, including Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board; Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, Creative Director Design Miami/; Yves Behar, entrepreneur and founder of fuseproject; Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum, London; Jonathan Margolis, Contributing Editor of Financial Times and Karen Wong, Deputy Director of New Museum NYC.
The resulting works have been unveiled today to an influential audience of collectors, curators, designers, critics, gallerists and journalists at Design Miami/ Basel 2018. For Design Miami/ and Swarovski, the award offers the opportunity to promote new talent and contribute to the wider design conversation through work that challenges traditional design approaches. 

Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board, commented: “We are thrilled to return to Design Miami/ Basel with the fourth edition of Swarovski Designers of the Future. This year’s innovative, dynamic and thought-provoking creations use crystal to explore our relationship with technology and the home. It is also our pleasure to showcase the inspiring work of the past winners of the award, much of which has been translated into amazing commercial products across lighting and home décor.”
“Our ongoing collaboration with Swarovski continues to uncover emerging talents who are expanding the limits of design," said Rodman Primack, Chief Creative Officer of Design Miami/. "This year's award winners have brought to the table unconventional ideas that demonstrate both how design is evolving in a technological era and how it can connect us more closely to each other and our environment. Their inventive use of Swarovski's crystal technologies truly articulate the brand's unique commitment to innovation in the design world. I am so excited to see these revolutionary concepts developed at our fair."

Swarovski has contributed to the Design Miami/ program over the past decade with commissioned installations by influential designers and architects including: Ross Lovegrove, Greg Lynn, Toika, Fredrikson Stallard, Erwin Redl, Eyal Burstein, Asif Khan, Guilherme Torres, Jeanne Gang and James Balog, and most recently Fernando Romero, Architect and Founder of Fernando Romero Enterprise (FR-EE).
The Swarovski Designers of the Future commissions will be exhibited alongside Design Miami’s gallery program for the duration of the fair, which runs June 12 - 17 in Hall 1 Sud, Messeplatz, Basel, Switzerland.
Design Miami/ Basel
Public Show Days
June 12-13: 10am-8pm / June 14-15: 10am-7pm / June 16-17: 11am-7pm
Preview Day: June 11 (by invitation only)
Collectors Preview: 12-5pm / Vernissage: 5-7pm
Location: Hall 1 Süd, Messe Basel, Switzerland
@swarovski / @designmiami / @studyoportable / @takram_ / #frankkolkman / #swarovski / #designmiami / / #smartliving / #innovation
The Swarovski Designers of the Future Award honors a select group of promising young designers and studios who exemplify new directions in design culture. These young creatives work beyond pure product design and represent conceptually or technologically vanguard approaches, often assimilating ideas from multiple disciplines. The objective of the award is to offer these next-generation design talents the opportunity to present newly commissioned work to an influential audience of collectors, dealers, and journalists at Design Miami/ Basel.
This is the fourth year that Swarovski and Design Miami/ Basel have collaborated on this prestigious award, which was established in 2006. The previous winners of the Swarovski Designers of the Future Award are: Marjan van Aubel (2017), Jimenez Lai (2017), Takt Project (2017), Anjali Srinivasan (2016), Yuri Suzuki (2016), Studio Brynjar & Veronika (2016), Tomás Alonso (2015), Studio Swine (2015) and Elaine Ng (2015).
Swarovski has previously contributed to Design Miami/ l with commissioned installations by influential designers and architects including: Ross Lovegrove, Greg Lynn, Troika, Fredrikson Stallard, Erwin Redl, Eyal Burstein, Asif Khan, Guilherme Torres, Jeanne Gang and, most recently, Mexico City-based global architecture and design practice Fernando Romero Enterprise (FR-EE). 

Frank Kolkman


Frank Kolkman (NL) is an experimental designer whose latest projects include: an out-of-body experience simulator, a Domestic drug screening kit, a DIY Surgical Robot and proposals for a Humane Caviar Extraction Super Yacht & a Synthetic Rhino Horn Growing Device. Trying to combine his curiosity towards the inner workings of things with analytical thinking and intuitive making, Frank aims to challenge our understanding of current and near-future technologies and their sociopolitical implications.
Frank holds a Bachelor degree in Product Design from ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem (NL), and a Master degree in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art in London (UK).

Study O Portable, founded by Bernadette Deddens (NL) and Tetsuo Mukai (JP), is a research based practice that makes objects about the designed environment, and our relationship to the cultural landscape that enables it, with a particular interest in the transitional nature of our ideas towards objects. Since 2009, the work of Study O Portable has been presented internationally at Design Miami (Miami Beach, Basel), London Design Festiva, Design Parade (Hyeres), Gallery FUMI (London, Porto Cervo), Caroline van Hoek (Brussels, Knokke), Phillips de Pury (London, New York), Dutch Design Week (Eindhoven), PAD (Paris, London).

Study O Portable

Yosuke Ushigome

Yosuke Ushigome (JP) is currently working at celebrated Japanese design studio Takram’s London office as a creative technologist. His primary interests are centred around emerging technologies. He probes future visions that they promise, reveal the cultural and political mechanisms behind them, and illustrates the insights through making physical and digital prototypes. By doing so, he aims to facilitate in-depth understanding of the implication of emerging technologies, and encourage better-informed decision-making on our future. 

Design Miami/ is the global forum for design. Each fair brings together the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators and critics from around the world in celebration of design culture and commerce. Occurring alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami, USA each December and Basel, Switzerland each June, Design Miami/ has become the premier venue for collecting, exhibiting, discussing and creating collectible design. For more information, please visit 

Swarovski delivers a diverse portfolio of unmatched quality, craftsmanship, and creativity. Founded in 1895 in Austria, the company designs, manufactures and markets high-quality crystals, genuine gemstones and created stones as well as finished products such as jewelry, accessories and lighting. The Swarovski Crystal Business is run by the fifth generation of family members and has a global reach with approximately 3,000 stores in around 170 countries, more than 27,000 employees, and revenue of about 2.7 billion euros in 2017. Together with its sister companies Swarovski Optik (optical devices) and Tyrolit (abrasives), Swarovski Crystal Business forms the Swarovski Group. In 2017, the Group generated revenue of about 3.5 billion euros and employed more than 32,000 people.

A responsible relationship with people and the planet has always been an integral part of Swarovski’s heritage, and is embedded today in the company’s well-established global sustainability agenda. In addition, global Swarovski Waterschool education program has reached 500,000 children on the world’s greatest rivers, and the Swarovski Foundation, set up in 2013, works to support culture and creativity, promote the rights and wellbeing of women and children, and conserve natural resources to achieve positive social impact.


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