The esteemed 10 | International Design Visionaries

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    The esteemed 10 recognises a cross-section of visionary international architects and designers in 2022.

    Spanning perspective, aesthetic and intent, the esteemed 10 comprises influential voices in the international design community selected by the est living editorial team. Criterion is based on approach, current achievements, completed and anticipated projects, insights and analytics.

    This piece originally appeared in est Magazine Issue #43.

    Proudly supported by Rogerseller

    Al-Jawad Pike

    Jessam Al-Jawad & Dean Pike

    Founders | United Kingdom

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    Instagram is great to see what people are up to, although it’s very image-centric. Copenhagen is a place where you can really experience a culture of good design. Japan is on the bucket list of places we want to visit.

    The one thing people always ask me is…

    “Who do you use for timber joinery?”

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

    Keep it simple.

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

    Hopefully a bit of Stanley Kubrick and sci-fi.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Follow your instinct.

    Your 2022 capsule collection: what products and materials do you have your eye on?

    We are trying to find ways in integrate new natural and recycled products into our designs, particularly in retail projects. These include using waste plastics in furniture and plant-based bioplastics.

    When you walk into a space, what’s the first thing you always notice?

    The light.

    What does sustainable design mean to you in 2022?

    Probably the most sustainable thing one can do is build quality things that last.

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    Jessam Al-Jawad and Dean Pike

    CO-LAB Design Office

    Joana Gomes & Josh Beck

    Founders | Mexico

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    We recharge ourselves in natural settings, spending time to understand how nature unfolds. We are particularly interested in the beauty of materials in their raw state, how they integrate, harmonise and age. We are also inspired by wabi-sabi philosophy and work developed in this meditative practice, where silence, space and time co-create timeless environments.

    The one thing people always ask me is…

    “Why Tulum?”

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

    Timeless, artisanal, fluidity.

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

    We are extremely limited on materials, labour and accessibility – very few materials endure in this climate and getting quality labour is challenging. We do appreciate the work of Aires Mateus, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Axel Vervoordt and John Lautner.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Learn from experience, be hands-on, trust the process. Experiment more and continuously make things with your own hands to learn more about materials, processing, and discovery.

    Your 2022 capsule collection: what products and materials do you have your eye on?

    Using more natural materials collected from the sites and context themselves.

    When you walk into a space, what’s the first thing you always notice?

    The way you feel in the space, the way the energy flows through the space, what views and special moments were created by the designer and how this is composed through design.

    What does sustainable design mean to you in 2022?

    We are working on a project which aims for net-zero carbon emission and we also hope to explore more with bamboo, rammed earth and organic alternatives to concrete.

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    Casa Areca by CO-LAB Design Office | Photography by Cesar Bejar Studio

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    Joana Gomes & Josh Beck

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    Casa Areca by CO-LAB Design Office | Photography by Cesar Bejar Studio

    Framework Studio

    Thomas Geerlings

    Founder & Creative Director | The Netherlands

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    If you search for it, you will not find it. Keep your eyes open and look around you. Go to galleries, museums, parks, forests, city centres and small villages. Everywhere there is detailing and fascinating natural design around you.

    The one thing people always ask me is…

    “What do you think about my house?”

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

    Context – to us context is everything; defined by the people, object, location.

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

    Detailing. We are focusing more and more on craftsmanship and appreciating the quality of detailing that comes with it.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Learn, listen and try as much as possible.

    Your 2022 capsule collection: what products and materials do you have your eye on?

    We have always worked with quite rough materials yet we now see a change in direction towards more treated materials. However, methods of treating the materials, the sand casting of concrete, water blasting of natural stone, the rough carving of timber and joinery in carpentry will be visible more and more in our projects, enabling the true identity of the materials to come through.

    When you walk into a room, what is the first thing you always notice about a space?

    The layout in relation to the front door and entrance. We choose not to reveal a space all at once.

    What does sustainable design mean to you in 2022?

    Quality. Quality will prevail us, and therefore be our saviour.

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    Framework Studio | Photography by Thomas de Bruyne

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    Thomas Geerlings

    Hannes Peer

    Founder | Italy

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    In Milan, this is very easy, for example, the Triennale design museum where you have literally the best of the best exhibited. Otherwise, there are amazing museum homes, we call them ‘Casa Museo’ like Casa Boschi di Stefano or the amazing Villa Necchi Campiglio in Via Mozart here in Milan.

    The one thing people always ask me is…

    “Where do you find inspiration?”

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

    Eclectic, functional, bold.

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

    A key influence is the client itself. Our job as architects and interior designers is to create spaces around and for our clients. It is important not to forget our social mission. A project only works if it is made-to- measure, a project cannot be some sort of aesthetic playground to satisfy the architect’s ego. We need to find our roots, focus on materials, comfort and sustainability.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    To research as much as possible, to know as much as possible, to invest in your personal cultural growth.

    Your 2022 capsule collection: what products and materials do you have your eye on?

    Definitely all available types of wood and in particular composed wood, like plywood and chip wood.

    When you walk into a space, what’s the first thing you always notice?

    Natural light: how the space is imbued with it, light and shadow, chiaroscuro.

    What does sustainable design mean to you in 2022?

    The mainstream has shifted. If designers will focus on quality, comfort and sustainability and the customers invest in the same qualities, I can definitely see a promising future in such a pragmatic approach, by ‘making good design’, as Vico Magistretti called it.

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    Hannes Peer

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    Milan Apartment by Hannes Peer | Photography by Helenio Barbetta

    Kelly Wearstler

    Founder | North America

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    Visiting galleries, museums and vintage design stores in my hometown and when travelling. I read every day including magazines, both digital and print, and books that bring historical and contemporary departures of inspiration. Pinterest, Instagram and Tik Tok are also an amazing tool for discovering and connecting with other creatives and designers.

    The one thing people always ask me is…

    “Where do you find inspiration and what’s your advice for finding inspiration for projects?”

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

    Evolution, experiment and play.

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

    I am always evolving as a designer and to do that I will be consistently aiming to push boundaries, whether that be in materials, medium or collaborations.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Every space has a unique and inspired narrative to tell. Although daunting at first, it is important to find your own voice. This is a constant and evolving journey, that is continuously carved and reshaped as you explore new narratives, countries, design eras, the list is endless. Don’t be afraid to take risks, sometimes the most beautiful decor comes from the most unexpected pairing.

    Your 2022 capsule collection: what products and materials do you have your eye on?

    Next year will be an extremely exciting one for my studio; each year we evolve and grow in new ways. Earlier this month we collaborated with Dutch studio Rotganzen on a special, limited-edition series of its Quelle Fe?te collection as part of a new platform on our e-commerce site. Working with artists and creatives on projects is truly the highlight of my profession.

    When you walk into a space, what’s the first thing you always notice?

    The first thing I take in is lighting. It sets the mood for a space. Lighting guides the eye around the room. I love to play around with placement – mixing low, medium and high levels as well as bringing in recessed lighting, table lamps, sconces, and overhead pendants.

    What does sustainable design mean to you in 2022?

    It’s incredibly exciting to see architects and designers use creativity to develop environmentally-conscious elements in their design endeavours. I think technology will continue to be a huge influence on sustainable design and materiality, making interiors more and more refined and comfortable and sustainable.

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    Kelly Wearstler

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    Malibu by Kelly Wearstler | Photography courtesy of Kelly Wearstler

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    Malibu by Kelly Wearstler | Photography courtesy of Kelly Wearstler

    MORQ

    Matteo Monteduro, Emiliano Roia and Andrea Quagliola

    Co-directors | Italy

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    We were all lucky to be born and raised in Rome and enjoy its beautiful architecture and art. The city still has a great impact on our imagination and it is a great deal of influence for us. Australia offers us a completely different scenario and emotions. We appreciate its landscapes and its strong horizontality and vastness. We love it.

    The one thing people always ask me is…

    “Could you tell us about the penumbra in your work?” A bit curious, a bit worried, bit intrigued…

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

    Essential, primitive, Mediterranean.

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

    We do believe that in this moment of our life, it is important to “look inside” ourselves more than outside. Therefore, we think that the projects we are currently working on are more echoes of experiences we have lived.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Getting deeper into whatever you are passionate about requires time. Better to start as soon as possible.

    Your 2022 capsule collection: what products and materials do you have your eye on?

    We try to modulate natural light and use certain materials in our work to achieve an atmosphere and feeling, which we can define as serene and pared down.

    When you walk into a space, what’s the first thing you always notice?

    Natural light, proportion and depth of space.

    What is sustainable design to you in 2022?

    Vernacular architecture from the past was already extremely sustainable: careful planning, understanding of the site conditions, orientation, protection from dominant winds, and depending on the latitude, protection from the sun. We believe that they still are the fundamental aspects to consider for a sustainable approach for the kind of projects we are working on.

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    Villa RA by MORQ | Photography by Givlio Aristide & Pep Sau

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    Villa RA by MORQ | Photography by Givlio Aristide & Pep Sau

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    Matteo Monteduro, Emiliano Roia and Andrea Quagliola

    Olson Kundig

    Tom Kundig

    Principal and Owner North America

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    I look to other living architects that I admire, whose work always interests me – Glenn Murcutt, Peter Zumthour, Steven Holl, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. Travel is another way to experience great design.

    The one thing people always ask me is…

    “Will there be a gizmo?”

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

    Rational, intuitive, authentic.

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

    In every project I’m currently working on, there’s an element that hopefully meets a standard of audacious innovation. It doesn’t work to have a building that’s entirely radical, but there are always experiments happening – whether on a tiny, nanoscale or something much larger.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Architecture is hard, slow work. I always tell young architects to have patience – the practice of architecture is complicated and there is so much to learn.

    Your 2022 capsule collection: what products and materials do you have your eye on?

    Throughout my career, I’ve been most interested in working with natural materials. There are some real innovations happening with wood right now especially that are very intriguing. And of course, I’ll continue using other materials like concrete, steel, glass, fabrics and leather,
    always seeking to use them purposefully and in a way that takes full

    advantage of their authentic, natural qualities.

    When you walk into a space, what’s the first thing you always notice?

    I notice my visceral, emotional, intuitive response to what that space feels like. That’s true whether the space is very large, very small, or anything in between. It’s an awareness of how the entire, 360- degree volume heightens your senses, what you can feel in the space even if you’re not looking at it.

    What is sustainable design to you in 2022?

    I often say architecture is the bridge connecting humans to their world. Sustainable design creates a rational response to something that is, as its basis, about consumption. It has to consider what exists already, what could be repurposed or rethought in a disciplined, efficient way. Designing sustainably means engaging a true, holistic understanding of all the implications of your decisions, not just going down a checklist.

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    Bilgola Beach House by Olson Kundig | Photography by Rory Gardiner

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    Bilgola Beach House by Olson Kundig | Photography by Rory Gardiner

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    Tom Kundig

    5 Sólidos

    Daniel Correa, Elisa Ortega, Maria Jose Fernandez

    Co-directors | Colombia

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    Now, more than ever, projects that are being built everywhere are presented to us in real-time, and we have the capacity to learn and adapt these ideas to our own resources. Nevertheless, it is also important to understand how exceptional design can be linked to our own historical and cultural context.

    The one thing people always ask me is…

    “How long do these projects take to complete?”

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

    Sophisticated, detailed, cohesive.

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

    We are currently working on J Balvin’s apartment in New York.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Travel, learn and investigate continuously, this will feed you with the tools you need to build your own voice.

    Your 2022 capsule collection: what products and materials do you have your eye on?

    We are currently working on our own furniture collection and we will be releasing the brand 5 Solidos Objects very soon.

    When you walk into a space, what’s the first thing you always notice?

    Light is probably one of the most powerful elements in a space. It completely transforms the energy that inhabits it.

    What is sustainable design to you in 2022?

    Sustainability can take on a lot of shapes, so we like to understand it from a holistic perspective. The use of natural, local materials and craftsmanship is a way to understand sustainability through its socio-economic impact. Meaningful and timeless design will always eventually translate into sustainable living practices.

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    Casa dos Aguas by 5 Sólidos | Photography by Mateo Soto

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    Daniel Correa, Elisa Ortega, Maria Jose Fernandez

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    Casa dos Aguas by 5 Sólidos | Photography by Mateo Soto

    Studio Arthur Casas

    Founding Architect | Brazil

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    The Milan Design Fair. I go almost every year. What’s new or surprising will certainly be released there.

    The one thing people always ask me is…

    “How did you start your career?”

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

    Comfort, aesthetics, innovation.

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

    I live in a city, Sa?o Paulo, that’s very dense and very grey. I’m looking to create sustainable architecture that includes aesthetics and the abundant use of vegetal mass.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Give up the profession if you don’t feel restless or aren’t losing sleep. It is a profession that requires a lot of talent and resilience.

    Your 2022 capsule collection: what products and materials do you have your eye on?

    I don’t know about the products, I design according to the demand of those who hire me. As for materials, each company usually works better with a certain material and I like to work with everyone, especially those I haven’t worked with yet.

    When you walk into a space, what’s the first thing you always notice?

    Everything: I notice the floors, the walls, the ceilings, the finishings. Observing is a fundamental characteristic of the profession.

    What does sustainable design mean to you in 2022?

    I don’t think about the conceptual meaning of it much, I worry about the origin of the materials I use. I express my concern for the planet through my actions, how I behave, my choices and certainly through my work.

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    DS House by Studio Arthur Casas | Photography by Ricardo Labougle

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    DS House by Studio Arthur Casas | Photography by Ricardo Labougle

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    Arthur Casas

    Walker Workshop

    President | North America

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    When I’m inspired by something, I turn to books: tactile, slow, and permanent. Of course, the best of all is to see the work in the flesh, whether that be a visit to a special house or to see a piece in a museum.

    (Finish this sentence) The one thing people always ask me is…

    “Can you create something that nobody has ever seen before?”

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

    “Attention Attention Attention”

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

    Naoshima Island in Japan.. A place with rich dedication to art, architecture and nature in balance. Tadao Ando, James Turrell, Lee Ufan all moved me to consider simple platonic and boolean forms, triangular shapes, cubic shapes and generally pure geometries.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Keep a measuring tape in your bag, or better yet a laser measuring tool and measure every space you encounter that inspires you or even just a space that simply works well. I still travel with a laser and do the same.

    Your 2022 capsule collection: what products and materials do you have your eye on?

    Copper and bronze not only have beautiful patinas as they age, but they also possess anti-microbial and antiviral properties – critical in this era. I’m also paying attention to circadian lighting systems that can subtly modulate colour temperature to better fit the living patterns of inhabitants.

    Mass timber construction and 3D printed houses. I’m currently fond of Mutina tiles, especially the Bouroullec Brothers, Nordic Knots carpets, Pelle lighting and furniture and sculptural furniture by Jeanguillaume Mathiaut. Lastly, “Outsider” art and architecture.

    When you walk into a space, what’s the first thing you always notice?

    What a room sounds like is often an indication of how well it’s built and maybe, this also has to do with my passion for music. There’s architecture, but then there’s also the architecture of sound, how it becomes, how it’s received, how it fills a space.

    What does sustainable design mean to you in 2022?

    Be smart with passive environmental techniques. Try to design homes that use as little energy as possible in Southern California, where the weather is often almost perfect and easier, this means designing homes that can open up and breathe. Try to be smart about reclaiming and re-using; source products wisely and ecologically. Finally, take a cue from the fashion world, which is thankfully starting to reject “fast fashion”. “Fast architecture” should also be rejected.

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    Mandeville Canyon by Walker Workshop | Photography by Joe Fletcher

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    Mandeville Canyon by Walker Workshop | Photography by Joe Fletcher

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    Noah Walker

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