From a distinctive footwear designer to a contemporary glass-blower and an unconventional make-up artist, we continue to identify the idea-makers of today – and tomorrow

Growing a Landscape by Daria Jelonek

Daria Jelonek, The Technological Biologist, UK

A graduate of London’s Royal College of Art, Daria Jelonek is a practising digital artist, designer and researcher. Her work focuses on the relationship between nature and technology, and manifests in the form of interactive and immersive installations that often augment ephemeral, sensorial and tactile experiences. She believes that the rise of the digital landscape creates new ways of perceiving our physical surroundings and interacting with them. ‘I believe that a new nature emerges at the intersection of the digital and physical world,’ she explains.

Technological Nature by Daria Jelonek

In Technological Nature, Jelonek experiments with the ‘imitation, recreation and augmentation’ of natural everyday phenomena. She engineers intangible wonders, such as rainbows, the aurora borealis and the rising and setting of the sun, into interiors through digital mediums, aiming to create a new understanding of the ‘hybrid of traditional biophysical nature and the nature of technology.’ The designer takes a holistic approach to tactility in her work, as she explains. ‘Tactility for me is not only the obvious tactile stimulation with, for example, our hands and a material. Tactility for me is the invisible space between my senses, stimulated by unusual connections or experiences.’


Hardcore at Collectible, Brussels

Core Studio, The Disrupters’ Collective, The Netherlands

Core Studio, comprised of Emma Wessel, Tijs Gilde, Hans van Sinderen and Fabian Briels, is a research and exhibition design collective that explores emerging movements and agendas. Their research chapters culminate in an annual exhibition featuring collaborative design outputs that directly respond to Core Studio’s manifesto.


The most recent iteration, Hardcore, explores a counter-digital movement from a design perspective through ‘objects that are physically heavy and digitally light’. The exhibition is based around three themes – Monumental, Hyper Ordinary and Aesthetic of Efficiency – and aims to preserve a tactile connection with the physical world through objects of ritual and materiality. The visual language and atmosphere created is reminiscent of past eras and evokes a feeling of weighty reliability. The Hardcore exhibition revolves around elemental aesthetics and materials that create a more enduring world. ‘We think that today’s technologies are covered in a smooth and complicated language of form, hidden away under a smooth plastic or aluminium layer, like a casing, not visible to the user or understandable,’ Wessel explains. ‘Tactility in design makes us connect again with our products.’


Dynamic forms by Reijnald Kolthof

Reijnald Kolthof, The Footwear Innovator, The Netherlands

A recent graduate of the Artez Institute of the Arts in Arnhem, Reijnald Kolthof creates dramatic footwear with an amped-up artistic quality. Kolthof is fascinated by the representation of human identities in relation to products. His Degreys collection features footwear with exaggerated proportions, constructed using varied methods and an unconventional mix of materials to create a hybridized aesthetic.

‘I like to manipulate materials I use within my designs. By manipulating I like to transform their identity,’ Kolthof explains. ‘Most of the time, things develop in ways I would have never imagined in the first place. This is the reason I like to be flexible during a design process and not fixate too much on my first ideas.’ This shaping of a material’s behaviour is also evident in Kolthof’s Stredge project, which features flat layers applied onto stretched fabric by a 3D printer, in order to transform the material into a three-dimensional, dynamic form.


Words → Amy Radcliffe

Degreys by Reijnald Kolthof