Product Design / 40 Under 40 2016

Aarti Aggarwal, Product Design, 40 under 40 2016
Aarti Aggarwal
Creative head & owner, KNOCK ON WOOD, New Delhi, India

Aarti Aggarwal leads the creative design team at KNOCK ON WOOD (KNW), also known as The House of Design. Her father built furniture as a hobby, inspiring in his daughter a passion for carpentry and furniture design. “The thrill of seeing a log change shape motivated me,” says Aggarwal. “Design for me is a way of life; you don’t choose to design, it just needs to be done.”

Aggarwal studied domestic design at the University of Arts, London, and specialised in chair design at the Danish Skole of Design, Copenhagen. Her designs thus sit at the confluence of an Indian sensibility and a specialised western training.

Among the first in India to cater to clients ranging from global brands in hospitality, residential developments to high net worth individuals, Aggarwal’s strong design sensibility articulates her international exposure and innate love for Indian art and culture. Her dedication, hard work, skill and creativity enabled her to set up a studio that speaks of the intricacy and art of fine craftsmanship.

Caroline Olah, Product Design, 40 under 40 2016
Caroline Olah
Founder, REDDIE, Hong Kong

Caroline Olah is a designer and interior architect who has worked at some of the world’s leading architecture firms in New York, Dubai, and Sydney for over 10 years. In her previous role in New York at Skidmore Owings and Merrill, she led a team to complete the interiors for a new tower project in Geneva, Moscow, and a luxury townhouse in London.

Olah’s passion for design has now translated into furniture and product design in the form of online retailer REDDIE, a revolutionary furniture concept that provides customisable designer furniture online.

Creating REDDIE has been much more than just designing furniture; with years of experience managing large-scale architecture interiors, Olah has applied this knowledge to developing a robust brand. Unlike most furniture brands, REDDIE designs, manufactures, and distributes each item, controlling the entire supply chain to ensure the best quality. Olah believes in being socially responsible, and with REDDIE she ensures that products are made ethically and supports emerging talent at every opportunity.

Darlie Lau, Product Design, 40 under 40 2016
Darlie Lau
Founder, DL by DarlieLau, Hong Kong

DL by DarlieLau was launched after Darlie Lau completed his studies in product design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, having won an award at the Perspective Awards 2013 for his graduation project, Transtroller.

After his graduation, Lau interned at companies such as Innermost Hong Kong and Schneid Lighting & Furniture. He also worked in a team at the Mattel as a toy designer, and in sculpture design with Richard X. Zawitz. He has collaborated on numerous projects in the past three years, with his skill set ranging from sketching to 3D, from objects to interiors and mechanisms. His vibrant imagination and ability to innovate and take a fresh approach to a seamless blending of east and west is what keeps his work relevant and increasingly in demand across all continents.

Last year, his Dax table won an A’ International Design award in the Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design category, and this year, he has won a Young Swedish Design Award for his Carousel stool, the first piece of furniture he ever designed. Most recently, Lau was selected as one of the New Talent winners at the DMY Berlin 2016 international design festival.

Joey Lau, Product Design, 40 under 40 2016
Joey Lau
Director & founder, CreamArt, Hong Kong

Joey Lau, who was part of the Design Incubation Programme at InnoCentre in 2009, recently opened a new concept store fat PMQ in Hong Kong to launch her original kitchen and household brand, Foodware.

Lau has also designed for global brands such as Philips, P&G, Electrolux, Siemens and Toy’R’Us, across a wide range of products including kitchenware, personal care, electronic, mobile accessories and jewellery. Through her company CreamArt, Lau has assisted a number of SMEs to establish new brands and product lines.

Foodware’s products have won a range of awards from competitions such as the iF Product Design Award, Smart Gift Design Award and Design for Well-Being, and were shortlisted in the Shenzhen Design Award for Young Talents (SZ+DAY).

Lau has been Honorary Secretary of the Hong Kong Designers Association since 2014, and also served as one of the judges for Taiwan International Student Design Competition at 2015 on behalf of Hong Kong Federation of Design Associations.

Simin Qiu, Product Design, 40 under 40 2016
Simin Qiu
Senior product designer, Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, Shanghai, China

Simin Qiu is a senior product designer based in Shanghai, China, who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2015, gaining a Master’s degree in product design. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in industrial design from China Academy of Art, 2012.

In London, Qiu worked for the Samuel Wilkinson industrial company, before joining the renowned Neri&Hu Design and Research Office in Shanghai.

Among the many awards he has already won include The Wood Award UK 2015, iF design Award 2014 and Adobe design achievement Award 2014. He has been invited to present his designs at the 100% Design London, iF Design Museum exhibition and Beijing International Design Week, and his projects such as Swirl, End Grain and Artificial Nature have won worldwide media attention, including coverage in Wallpaper*, FRAME, GQ, Home Decor, Dezeen and Designboom.

Vito Selma, Product Design, 40 under 40 2016
Vito Selma
Creative director & founder, Vito Selma, Cebu, Philippines

Since 2006, Vito Selma has dabbled in different aspects of furniture design. Starting out as creative director for Stonesets International, he worked his way to the head design director post before launching Vito Selma as a separate and independent brand.

He earned his Master’s degree in industrial design at the Scuola Politecnica di Design in Milan, Italy, where he began forming a distinct voice in furniture design, crediting mentors such as Debbie Palao, George Haast, Raffaella Mangiarotti, the Campana Brothers and Spanish Studio Cul De Sac.

Awards to Selma’s credit include the Industrial Design Award in the 2010 DOST National Invention Contest for the Geo table and Best Design for Material Innovation at the Cebu Next 2010 show for the Wrinkle lamp, to name a few. In 2013, he was presented with the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry. His work has also been featured in international publications such as Perspective, Elle Décor, Harpers Bazaar, Vogue Living Australia, Habitat (South Africa) and Architectural Digest in Mexico.