NEW YORK—ECO Solidarity, a collaborative project by EUNIC NY, the European Union National Institutes for Culture, was awarded the ICFF Editors’ Award 2022, one of the design industry’s premier accolades. Presented by WantedDesign Manhattan, the project introduced leading designers and studios from nine European Union countries showcasing transformative solutions as collective response to the global climate emergency through acts of innovation and intervention by design.
The ICFF Editors’ Awards are judged by editors from invited design media and recognize the top designs in 12 categories. ECO Solidarity, which brought together a diverse group of design practitioners whose work explores radical sustainability in architecture, urban planning, product design and development, energy and waste, received the award for Best Booth. The exhibition was designed and curated by Deborah Wang, architect and artistic director of DesignTO, based in Toronto, Ontario.
“We imagined the exhibition as a choir of voices,” explained Deborah Wang, “It was a challenge and pleasure to assemble the collective voices of visionary designers to address the pressing issues of our time.”
“Thanks to the collaboration between the members of EUNIC New York and the support of EUNIC Global, the project presented at WantedDesign Manhattan brought representatives from the emerging generation of European designers who are taking a personal responsibility to climate change by finding innovative and out-of-box solutions to environmental concerns,” said Miroslav Konvalina, President of EUNIC New York and Director of Czech Center New York. “These designers push the boundaries in their respective fields and carefully consider the full life cycle of their products. I am very pleased that the exhibition was recognized for outstanding work and that the two talks found a receptive and engaged audience in New York.”
“All designers united in ECO Solidarity reach out beyond the field of design, to science, economy, and other disciplines, to redefine what sustainable design is, to humanize the industry's buzzword “green” or “eco-friendly” by demonstrating that a closed-loop economy with maximum use of waste is realistic with practical solutions and meaningful, ready-to-implement, aesthetically alluring products,” added Izabela Gola, Visual Arts and Design Curator at the Polish Cultural Institute New York, initiator and co-curator of this project. “The role of cultural diplomacy in this day of age, when the Earth’s life-supporting systems on which we fundamentally depend are in jeopardy due to our human mistakes, is to raise awareness and sensitivity around the key environmental issues, to provide space for thought and dialogue, to inspire, and to educate.”
Participating designers and studios included: EOOS NEXT (Austria), Herrmann & Coufal (Czech Republic), Livable Platform (Flanders, Belgium), MOYA Birch Bark (Germany), AHA Objects (Malta), NASDRA Conscious Design (Poland), SUSDESIGN (Portugal), Atelier Ad Hoc (Romania), crafting plastics! studio (Slovakia).
ECO Solidarity was initiated in 2020 by the Polish Cultural Institute New York in partnership with WantedDesign and joined by eight European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC NY) institutions in 2021, including the Austrian Cultural Forum New York in cooperation with Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and Vienna Business Agency, Delegation of Flanders to the USA , Czech Center New York, Goethe-Institut New York, Arts Council Malta in New York, Romanian Cultural Institute New York, Polish Cultural Institute New York, the Consulate General of Portugal in New York/ Camões, I.P., Consulate General of Slovakia in New York, and the European Union Delegation to the United Nations.
WantedDesign is a NYC-based platform dedicated to promoting design and fostering the international creative community throughout the year. Founded in New York City in 2011 by Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, WantedDesign has established itself as a constant and staunch supporter of U.S. and international design. Focusing on emerging and new ideas in design, its main trade event WantedDesign Manhattan was acquired by Emerald in 2019 and is now co-locating with ICFF at the Javits Center. wanteddesignnyc.com
The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) is where designers, retailers, developers, and architects converge to exchange inspiration and ignite a competitive drive for contemporary residential and commercial interiors. With a selection of both established and emerging designers, the ICFF delivers a selection of the globe’s finest, most creative, individual and original avant-garde products showcased in one venue. Exhibitors from 36 countries come to the ICFF each year to showcase the newest frontier of high-end, contemporary interiors. Icff.com
European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) is the European network of organizations engaging in cultural relations. Together with our partners, we bring to life European cultural collaboration in more than 100 countries worldwide with a network of 133 clusters, drawing on the broad experience of our members from all EU Member States and associate countries. EUNIC advocates a prominent role of culture in international relations and is a strategic partner of the EU, actively involved in the further definition of European cultural policy. EUNIC is a platform for knowledge sharing and for capacity building amongst its members and partners.
Dalia Stoniene, StudioStripe NYC
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