At a moment when the world grapples with climate change, bold new ideas are needed more than ever. It is with this urgency in mind that eight EU countries came together to announce the second edition of ECO Solidarity (https://www.wanteddesignnyc.com/eco-solidarity-2021/), an international project, movement, and initiative focused on design solutions for some of the most pressing issues of our time.
Eight visionary designers were selected to share products and projects that thoughtfully consider positive social impact, design empathy, and sustainable materials, and narrative designer and architect Anna Horváth is the designer chosen to represent Malta in this project co-organized by Arts Council Malta in New York together with seven other New York based European cultural institutes, in partnership with WantedDesign Manhattan.
Anna Horvath’s project was amongst the proposals received following an open call earlier this year. Her project Sorgi was voted by WantedDesign and the ECO Solidarity Advisory Committee to be the project representing Malta in ECO Solidarity.
“What is most remarkable about Anna’s Sorgi project is how it inhabits that juncture found between community, design and tradition. It speaks an environmental vernacular which though informed by a Maltese (and Mediterranean) narrative, is universal in nature.” Dr Falzon, Arts Council Malta in New York’s representative.
A platform for designers to convene on issues relating to sustainability and the circular economy, ECO Solidarity’s underlying objective is to unite design disciplines and industries around the globe in a resolve to create more ecologically-sound, human-centered designs that protect the environment, our health, and ecosystems - thereby restoring integrity in fractured communities and addressing the current humanitarian and climate hazards affecting our world.
Anna is hoping that “this experience will encourage and inspire her endless search for new ways of recycling construction waste and creating objects which are symbols of the possibility of truly sustainable business.” She believes that her project “has the potential to trigger conversations about sustainability and circularity in the built environment while making a strong critical statement on the fastly-changing architectural landscape of Malta”
Sorġi is an ongoing research project about opportunities for circularity in Malta. Its first outcome is an outdoor furniture collection for public spaces, highly critical of the booming construction industry. Every piece is made of recycled construction waste, contributing to the need for tangible solutions to the sheer amount of discarded materials, thus promoting circularity and raising awareness on environmental issues within a larger audience.
“The ‘Sorġi’ collection (…) acts as a centerpiece for the universal discussion that concerns the delicate balance that exists between man-made and natural landscapes - the dichotomy between urban planning and the environment, or progress and preservation. ‘Sorġi’ acknowledges the fact that construction waste places a huge demand on recycling, and embraces it, so that the same by-product of the irreversible consumption of natural resources, becomes a new resource.” Dr Jevon Vella, Arts Council Malta in NY’s field expert in ECO Solidarity’s Advisory Board
Anna Horváth – Aha Objects ‘s project Sorgi will feature in two events as part of ECO Solidarity.
The ‘Sorġi’ collection is supported by Arts Council Malta - Project Support Grant
A. CLOSEUP 2021 MAY 18, 2021
CLOSEUP https://www.closeup.design/, a virtual trade event organized the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and WantedDesign Manhattan will include design product launches and project presentations.
B. WantedDesign Manhattan exhibition June 15–August 15, 2021
The projects will also be showcased as part of an online exhibition on wanteddesignnyc.com curated by Odile Hainaut in consultation with ECO Solidarity’s Advisory Committee
Anna is very excited and looking forward to this opportunity saying that “to be showcasing at the ICFF – International Contemporary Furniture Fair and Wanted Design CLOSEUP tradeshow, gives me the opportunity to introduce the objects to a new international audience and therefore strengthen the importance of the message locally.”
Anna will present her project at CLOSEUP on May 18th during the session entitled, Design with Empathy: Public Spaces and Social Impact, alongside Atelier Ad Hoc (Romania), EOOS NEXT (Austria), and Herrmann & Coufal (Czech). You can register to watch the trade show here
About the Artist
For more info visit the artist’s website at https://ahaobjects.com/
Anna Horváth is a narrative designer and architect who works in various disciplines of visual arts, also taking into account exhibition, installation, and furniture design.
She graduated with an MA in Narrative Environments from Central Saint Martins - University of the Arts London and has participated in numerous design and architecture projects from small to large scale structures in London, Berlin, Lisbon, Budapest, and Malta.
Anna’s portfolio includes projects like the permanent exhibition at the prestigious Jewish Museum in Berlin, scenography for the Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi, a pop-up store for Hermès'Petit H collection in Lisbon, and her first furniture collection that was launched during Paris Design Week.
Anna forms part of different design teams and multidisciplinary collaborations. She is currently creating her playful design brand, AHA, which is a world of colours, textures, and narratives. Her designs aim to be more than purely functional objects - often there is a hidden social, cultural, environmental, or political commentary embedded within each design piece.
Currently she is working on private projects and her second collection: Sorġi: outdoor furniture pieces made of construction waste for Malta’s public spaces.
ECO Solidarity partnering institutions and their designer nominees
The eight organizing partners, all EUNIC New York member organizations, and their nominees are: Arts Council Malta in New York, (Anna Horvath, AHA Objects); Austrian Cultural Forum New York in cooperation with Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and Vienna Business Agency (Lotte Kristoferitsch, EOOS NEXT); Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA (Sep Verboom, Livable); Wallonie-Bruxelles International New York (Theresa Bastek and Archibald Godts, Studio Plastique); The Czech Center (Eduard Herrmann and Matěj Coufal, Herrmann & Coufal); Goethe-Institut New York, (Renana Krebs, Algaeing); Polish Cultural Institute New York, (Paulina Grabowska, NAS-DRA Conscious Design; and Romanian Cultural Institute (George Marinescu and Maria Daria Oancea, Atelier Ad Hoc).
The projects presented as part of ECO Solidarity have been selected by an international Advisory Board comprised of leading experts in design, sustainability, and social affairs. Malta is represented by Dr Jevon Vella, Deputy Director, MCAST Institute for the Creative Arts