at the Design Museum.

The Design Museum in London unveils works from its latest set of Designers in Residence

The 2017 Designers in Residence are: Studio Ayaskan, Yinka Danmole, Chris Hildrey and Soomi Park

The 2017 Designers in Residence are: Studio Ayaskan, Yinka Danmole, Chris Hildrey and Soomi Park

2017 Designers in Residence: Studio Ayaskan, Yinka Danmole, Chris Hildrey and Soomi Park

The annual programme by the Design Museum offers emerging designers the chance to work in the museum’s dedicated in-house studio

Projects address subjects including homelessness, language and identity, robotics and the changing natural cycles of Earth.

2017 is the tenth year of the Design Museum’s annual Designers in Residence programme which provides a platform to celebrate new and emerging designers at an early stage in their career. Recent alumni include Asif Khan, Giles Miller, Bethan Laura Wood, Yuri Suzuki and Sarah van Gameren.

Responding to the theme of ‘Support’, this year’s designers were the first to use the museum’s dedicated Designers in Residence studio to develop a new body of work. For eight months, the designers have been based in the museum’s studio creating new work, which now forms a showcase for the public to visit until the end of March.

Over the course of their residency, the designers discuss their projects with established practitioners, industry experts and residency alumni, as well as with the Design Museum’s legal, commercial, learning, development, and curatorial teams. Each resident is offered a bursary, commissioning budget and the production costs required to realise their new commission.

Soomi Park is a speculative designer whose practice straddles the fields of academia and design. The project Embarrassed Robots questions whether emerging intelligent technologies will need to adopt human expressions and emotions in order to integrate better into our lives. Soomi Park uses design as a tool to analyse the role of robots, exploring their potential to support us socially. Her project focuses on the expression of embarrassment as a complex physical and mental reaction that is unique to humans. Throughout the development of the residency, museum visitors were invited to question the form, function and material of this robot. Soomi collated this research, and here presents scenarios in which these robots might be active. This enables visitors to consider what this technology may look like and invite them to ask, can robots blush? Her project questions whether robotics can demonstrate a more personal quality, and function as a companion as much as a device.

Studio Ayaskan is the collaboration between twin sisters Begum and Bike Ayaskan. Their experimental design practice draws from different disciplines to produce installations and products that explore the behaviour of materials and technologies. Inspired largely by nature, they are interested in the intricate balance found in cycles. Studio Ayaskan’s project, Transitions, responds to cycles found within nature. The designers are inspired by ecological systems, and how things are connected to one another, either supporting or offsetting the natural balance. The project consists of three evolving timepieces, each one testing and pushing the qualities of its materials. The designers experimented with heat, light, fluid dynamics and chemical reactions to alter the behaviour of these timepieces. Through the use of projectors, optical lenses and light, the objects create installations that transform their environments. The three pieces represent natural landscapes, referencing recurring cycles found in nature. These include the rise and fall of water levels, the refraction and dispersion of light, and the freeze and thaw cycles. The variations within these cycles are unpredictable: different conditions can transform the balance and create spontaneous fluctuations within the work.

Yinka Danmole is a designer working across art, design and architecture. His background in architecture encourages him to consider the space in which people come together and the society in which we cohabit. Sounds of a People, is a project that uses design to celebrate and advocate the culture of Pidgin languages from West Africa. Yinka Danmole observes the richness and unique qualities of this language associated with his cultural heritage. Pidgin is a hybrid of two or more languages, with a simplified range of vocabulary and grammatical structure. This form of speech adapts and morphs along with the individuals depending on their movement. The aim of this project is to cultivate the language and foster it as a means of self-expression. Yinka’s project collects phrases and vocabulary from Pidgin to create a sound installation, in collaboration with the composer, Michael Jon Mizra. The project is presented as a choral arrangement, celebrating the language in its own right and within a spiritual framework. The sound piece is supported with a series of flags that represent pride and as a marker of identity. The symbols incorporated within the flags, exhibit the construction and origin of Pidgin, celebrating its unique quality as a language.


Chris Hildrey is an architect whose work spans a range of disciplines and includes drawings, installations, sculpture and building design. Chris Hildrey proposes tackling a fundamental issue that affects the homeless. The problem is that in order to access the support required to escape homelessness, you need an address. His investigation examines the role of the address system: one originally intended to locate a property, but now essential in identifying people. Through extensive research, his solution is to locate redundant properties and create proxy, or dummy addresses for those without a fixed residence. This enables those who are homeless to reconnect with the services they need. Chris’s project demonstrates the social implication of design thinking. The proposal is the result of direct dialogues with a range of people, from policy makers to homeless people themselves. Through these conversations he gains a full understanding of the scope and scale of the situation, moving towards the application of this proposal in the real world. This proposition demonstrates that a small shift in the infrastructure can offer a transformative solution.


For Designers in Residence 2018 the Design Museum invites designers and architects to respond to the theme of DWELLING. Conventionally, a dwelling refers to the place in which we live and sleep; it describes our homes. However, a dwelling doesn’t have to be a house. In wider terms dwelling describes a way of being and behaving that can relate to any place. It can be applied to how we behave in public and social situations, or the way in which we co-exist in cities. It is a series of rites and rituals that define our relationships and the interactions we have with each other.

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