American Design Honors

WantedDesign announces Studio Gorm as the 2017 recipient of the American Design Honors

Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, co-founders of WantedDesign, are thrilled to announce the selection of Studio Gorm as the 2017 recipient of the American Design Honors program, presented in conjunction with Bernhardt Design.

Studio Gorm was founded in 2007 by John Arndt and Wonhee Jeong-Arndt. They met when studying at the Design Academy of Eindhoven. After graduating they spent a year in Rotterdam before they settled down in Eugene, Oregon.

Launched in 2010, American Design Honors was created by WantedDesign co-founders and Bernhardt Design President, Jerry Helling, to recognize up-and-coming American designers who embody excellence in creative design and superior entrepreneurial ability. For consideration, candidates must possess a solid body of work that expresses a unique design language as well as a pioneering design business model.  A key characteristic of successful honorees is their ability to innovate their processes and products.

Through the American Design Honors program, Bernhardt Design and WantedDesign aim to promote exceptional American Design in the broader international arena while providing a means of support for designers seeking to amplify their impact and reach.

We look towards the future with positivity and enthusiasm. The US is known as the land of opportunity for a reason. It is a place rich with creative talent, resources, entrepreneurial spirit and opportunity for exchange. Our goal is to support young American talent so that it may achieve its utmost potential on the international stage, we are thrilled to present the third year of the American Design Honors to the world.” Comment the co-founders of WantedDesign, Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat.

“I’m exceptionally proud of the work that John and Wonhee are doing, as it honors a great American art form, while making it relevant in today’s design world.” Jerry Helling.

Studio Gorm

Studio Gorm at WantedDesign Manhattan 2017

The selection of Studio Gorm by WantedDesign co-founders Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, and Jerry Helling, President of Bernhardt Design, speaks volumes to the quality of work and vision of John and Wonhee Arndt. As American Design Honors program recipients, Studio Gorm will create an installation at WantedDesign Manhattan that will showcase the diversity of the duo’s products, furniture and interiors.

As professors in the Product Design department at the University of Oregon, John and Wonhee apply their insightful academic research on culture, history and technology to refocus modern design through the prism of time, effectively exploring the transformation of objects and ideas as they evolve to fit the demands and expectations of modern life.

As designers of functional objects, the designers draw from their background in sculpture and craft to create works that successfully balance function and aesthetic in effortless fashion.  Their methods are deeply rooted in the act of physical making where an object’s true form evolves out of an experimental constructive approach to design. By definition, Studio Gorm’s products are approachable, practical and thoughtful forms designed to fit seamlessly in everyday life.

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Furnishing Utopia Shaker project- photo credit Charlie Schuck

« We are thrilled and humbled to receive this year’s American Design Honors from WantedDesign and Bernhardt Design. There are many talented American designers and studios practicing today including the past recipients, Egg Collective and Steven Haulenbeek, who we greatly admire, so we feel privileged to be recognized for the award. It will give us an opportunity to showcase some of the ideas we have been experimenting with in our studio over the past few years, and share them with an international audience of designers, manufactures, retailers, press and design lovers. WantedDesign is recognized as one of the top destinations during NYCxDESIGN, and this award will give us a platform to meet potential collaborators, expand our relationships with the design community and create new possibilities to develop exciting new work in the future. » comment John and Wonhee Arndt.

Recipients of the American Design Honors are recognized not only for excellence in design; their contribution to design dialog also plays a role in their selection.  Studio Gorm is an exemplary honoree given their masterful integration of insightful academic research on the influence of culture and history on functional objects transposed with hands-on material experimentation and process innovation. The most recent example of their efforts to transcend the boundaries of their own studio is the duo’s collaborative project, ‘Furnishing Utopia/Shaker Reinterpreted’, in which numbers of talented international designers were invited to study Shaker artifacts and history. Designers were asked to study the elements of this quintessentially American school of design and reinterpret them into new objects relevant to the rigors of modern international living. As a group, they successfully created a diverse collection of objects strongly tied to the central thematic idea, but more importantly, they were able to ignite a communal idea exchange and a global discussion on issues relevant to design. This initiative was well received by the design community who participated and contributed to the project despite the considerable commitment and non-commercial intent. This, in and of itself, is a clear testament to the power of the idea posed by Studio Gorm.

studio gorm collection

The New Frontier Work images Charlie Schuck