aspect-ratio 10x9 Zhen Bian with the award-winning luminaire "Deformation Under Pressure"

Zhen Bian with the award-winning luminaire "Deformation Under Pressure" (© Zhen Bian)

With his luminaire design "Deformation Under Pressure", Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG) graduate Zhen Bian has won first place at this year's international SaloneSatellite Award at the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in Milan. The work was created last year as a diploma thesis. Every year, the Salone del Mobile at Milan's Fiera Milano exhibition center in Rho becomes the most important hotspot for design and furniture.

Zhen Bian, a product design graduate from the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG), impressed the jury with his 2023 diploma thesis "Deformation Under Pressure" at the Milan furniture fair "Salone del Mobile". For his luminaire design, he was awarded 1st prize in the SaloneSatellite Award 2024, which honors young designers under the age of 35 every year.

The lamp he designed gets its shape from air pressure. The transparent, inflated body of the lamp is held in place by an ingenious tensioning system on wire ropes that allow it to be oriented in all directions. By combining a pneumatic body with contemporary light sources, two lamps were created that demonstrate new material and formal forms of expression in luminaire design.

Under the supervision of Prof. Chris Kabel and Stefan Legner, Academic Assistant for Product Design at the HfG Karlsruhe, Bian tested various materials over several months in order to develop the shape and effect of the product. "My first idea was not to make a lamp," explains the young designer. "In the beginning, it was just about trying out materials and being interested in their properties and possibilities in order to translate them into a product. When I thought one day that my room was still missing a lamp, I knew what I wanted to work towards."

Bian studied industrial design in China before moving to Germany. During his time at the HfG, he worked on an internship with the renowned Dutch designer Marcel Wanders. "The internship, which was made possible with the help of my tutor Prof. Chris Kabel from the HfG, really motivated me to establish myself as a designer. I wanted to design my own product and I was able to do this here at the HfG Karlsruhe under the best conditions," says Bian, summarizing his experience. The current award therefore means a lot to him. "It is recognition of my work as a designer," says Bian.

Around 600 participants from 32 countries and 22 international design schools applied for the 25th edition of the SaloneSatellite Award. The award is regarded as the most important platform for young designers during the annual Milan furniture fair "Salone del Mobile".

The jury, chaired by Paola Antonelli, Chief Curator of Design at MoMA in New York, selected four projects from more than 100 participants. According to the fair's official statement, the winners were particularly successful in "innovating processes and traditions while maintaining a sustainable mindset".

More on the study field of prodcut design at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design can be found here.

Or find them on Instagram: hfg_karlsruhe_pd

aspect-ratio 10x9 1st Price Award Salone Satellite for Zhen Bian 2024

1st Price Award Salone Satellite for Zhen Bian 2024

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