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visit to isabel + helen's studio, best design newcomer of THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021

ISABEL + HELEN AWARDED THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021 GOLDEN MADONNINA

 

isabel gibson and helen chesner of isabel + helen receive the golden madonnina trophy of milan’s THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021 in the category ‘best design newcomer’. designboom visited the british design duo for a tour of their london studio, where we got to experience first hand their animated installations and discover the processes behind some of their key projects. the two experiment with movement, materials and mechanisms, and in just a few short years since they founded their studio, they have created works for fashion houses like monclerhermés, and, more recently, bottega veneta, for which they have developed two playful sets of  animations (see more here).

 

‘we met whilst studying at chelsea college of art in london. since graduating in 2012 we began collaborating on projects that highlighted our shared love of analogue design processes and understated kinetics,’ isabel gibson and helen chesner tell designboom in this in-depth interview. ‘process and play has always been integral to the way we work… experimenting with how simple mechanics can be engineered in such a way to bring materials to life and give them new meaning, making things move or perform – creating experiments with what we have around us, almost scientific in their execution.’

 

in the video above, isabel + helen receive THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021 golden madonnina, and take us through the making of their recent works, like the ‘kinetic dresses’ for bottega veneta, while offering a sneak peek at their latest experiments.

 

visit to isabel + helen's studio, best design newcomer of THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021helen chesner (left) and isabel gibson (right) with THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021 golden madonnina | image © designboom

 

 

DESIGNBOOM VISITS THE DESIGN DUO’S LONDON STUDIO

 

located in south east london, the workshop/studio of isabel + helen is a lively space filled with prototypes, experiments and tools of all kinds that assist them in bringing their concepts to life. ‘most of our ideas come about through making and testing and tweaking until we’re happy with the end result,’ the two explain. samples of their large-scale tonal paintings, exhibited at the saatchi gallery earlier this year, are one of the first things visitors encounter as they walk into the studio, before entering the main space where isabel, helen and their team spend most of their time.

 

as a special treat, designboom got to see how ‘kinetic dresses’, one of the two animations created for bottega veneta‘s digital journal, issue 03, was created. through simple kinetics and movement, the duo has abstracted elements of the brand’s collection and captured its fun and innovative nature. the quite analogue process was then translated into digital format, allowing the studio to develop its film work further.

visit to isabel + helen's studio, best design newcomer of THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021image © designboom

 

in recent years, isabel + helen have also worked with fashion brands like dior, hermès, moncler, and craig green, each time coming up unique ideas whether it is for display windows, collection presentations or film animations. ‘our ideas are heavily inspired by each collection. we love hearing about the inspiration and processes that have gone into making the garments and the feeling that is conjured up through the collection as a whole. we then develop our ideas in response…this comes about through physically experimenting with different materials and mechanisms to develop new ideas.’visit to isabel + helen's studio, best design newcomer of THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021image © designboom

visit to isabel + helen's studio, best design newcomer of THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021
THE DESIGN PRIZE trophy, designed by antonio arico, is a mini-size porcelain replica of the golden madonnina statue on top of milan’s duomo | image © designboom

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the making of ‘spinning dresses’, one of the studio’s animations for bottega veneta | image © designboom

visit to isabel + helen's studio, best design newcomer of THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021
video still from isabel+helen’s ‘inflatable bags’ series, courtesy of bottega veneta

visit to isabel + helen's studio, best design newcomer of THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021
‘in orbit’ tonal paintings, exhibited at saatchi gallery | image by jack hems

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‘in orbit’ tonal painting | image by jack hems

visit to isabel + helen's studio, best design newcomer of THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021
isabel + helen, mischievous machines: SS18 windows across all hermés UK stores

visit to isabel + helen's studio, best design newcomer of THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021
isabel + helen, moncler x craig green AW18

visit to isabel + helen's studio, best design newcomer of THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021image © designboom

visit to isabel + helen's studio, best design newcomer of THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021the golden madonnina in the studio | image © designboom

 

 

THE DESIGN PRIZE is an annual award program that celebrates excellence on a global scale. initiated in 2017 and curated by designboom, with patronage by the city of milan, THE DESIGN PRIZE recognizes both the extraordinary achievements and little sparks of beauty and delight that have emerged over the past 12 months.

 

 

 

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