Pham Kim Tuyen (VN)
I have worked as a product designer with artisans in the Mekong Delta, Binh Duong and Dong Nai Provinces since 2004. I realize that Vietnam has big potential for handicraft production. For that to happen, it is necessary to stimulate the collaboration between management, design and producers to get more effect. "Sustainability" is the big word in my mind, but the "how can we get there" is the answer I am looking for. I graduated from Ho Chi Minh University of Architecture, and I would like to design products from natural materials that facilitate the balance between economical development and the environment. I hope I can help artisans improve their lives and increase the value of handicraft for people. The craft sector is the one I choose to focus on in Vietnam. Joining Future Living Studio, I would like to define what craft-designers need to further the design discipline by linking the knowledge of sustainable design to the cultural identify of Vietnam.
Vo Thanh Khanh Nhi (VN)
I just graduated from the HCMC University of Architecture in Vietnam in 2011 where I majored in Industrial Design. To me, the design world is a huge and colorful world in which designers play such a powerful role that they can change the future of the world. However, complex and unpredictable changes in the environment make us rethink design problems and pay more attention to design sustainability. Throughout my five years of studying at university, I oriented myself early in product design towards projects which applied natural, clean and safe materials. Recently, the design field is in high demand in Vietnam since the country is moving closer towards urbanization and the achievement of a global economy. Nevertheless, serious shortages of specialists, in addition to inadequate experience in industrial design may cause a significant decrease in the design competence of the country and affect the orientation of production development in Vietnamese enterprises. Therefore, It is truely a great opportunity and motivation to take part in FLS so that I can learn more about strategic approaches in this challenging field and come constantly into contact with reality to design sustainable products for people life.
Le Thanh Loan (VN)
I am Vietnamese. Although I was born in Hanoi, I have grown up, studied, worked and absorbed all culture of the South at HCMC. Graduated with distinction in Product Design at Architecture University, I worked for some of advertising worldwide companies with the dream of exploring the new horizons. After 8 years worked like a workaholic, I decided to go ahead to discover people and Asian continental. I joined the volunteer campaigns in Vietnam, traveled to some of provinces from South to North of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, watched the world full of interesting things. From what I saw, back to Vietnam, I've realized that I want to do something meaningful for my country. I have opened a small design company and spare time to do my favorite projects. Try myself in teaching and working with young designer students through some semesters in the Architecture University, I realize that creating meaningful products for human being and environment is the important responsibility of all designers including myself. So I am happy to join into the sustainable design project of FLS. I am very exciting when thinking about some collections which can somehow help bringing about “peace” to this chaotic world.
Alexandra-Joy Jaeckel (GR)
My heart beats for handcrafted, authentic products and sustainable development. I started in 2009 as a volunteer designer for a women’s artisanal cooperative in Ngara, Tanzania. Working with the artisans in Tanzania and having lived for six month in the community very much changed my attitude as a private person and as a designer. Since then I try to focus more and more on sustainability believing that product design can be a strong tool for sustainable development. Design can help to empower artisan communities by strengthening their market position through a unique, authentic, yet contemporary product appearance. Products which are conscientiously built on local craft skills and materials and cultural heritage. I believe that designers have the responsibility to think far beyond "increasing sales" and "making things pretty," so I founded "DesignGuide- Product Design for Development" in 2011 and also started lecturing at the "Ecosign-Academy for Sustainable Design" in Cologne.
Andrew Nguyen Miller (USA/VN)
My perspective is shaped by a mix of Vietnamese and American social values and a belief in balancing creativity with traditional understanding of culture. I believe in genuine sustainability, and that FLS provides the potential to investigate this possibility in product design. I am interested in exploring different spheres of sustainability more effectively, and truly getting at the root of what being "sustainable" really means. I am interested in social change through design. Most of what we see today that is labeled as "green" design are products that have less environmental impact, create sustainable economies in poor communities, or promote a perceived social equity or empowerment. What is generally left out of the discussion is cultural sustainability. New products change how we interact with each other and our environments, both for the people purchasing the products, and for the people making the products. Future Living Studio enables this kind of investigation, in a unique cross-cultural environment that allows me to explore my bi-cultural roots and perceptions. I want to do good things, make good things, and find like-minded people to create positive change.
Francesco Brutto (IT)
The main value my parents have ever taught me is: “if you want to understand the real needs of people and help them, you must listen to them”. This quality has totally influenced my design approach and the future direction for my career. In Africa, I started to work and collaborate with some people that are strongly changing in better my way of thinking and designing. A community‐based country like Kenya taught me how important it is to work in team in order to successfully face and achieve your objective. Joining Future Living Studio’s team would definitely offer me the chance to keep feeding this feeling and sharing my enthusiasm within the group. Furthermore, all the knowledge and skills acquired on field, both from an academic and humanitarian point of view, make me feel suitable and ready to be part of this experience. In all my projects, users and contexts have a central role: they both are sources of insights and guidelines for a successful final proposal. My design mission is definitely to co‐design valuable solutions with the people that are going to benefit from them. It’s not just giving them a passive solution, but it’s building it together.
- Shauna Jin (USA) - Project Manager
- Trinh Ha Giang (VN) - Office Manager
- Le Si Duy (VN) - Translator
- Claudine Tran (CA) - Public Relations/Writer
- Tran Thi Hai (VN) - Advisor
- Linh Tran (VN/US) - Designer at large
*first names in bold. By Vietnamese convention surnames are printed first; by Western convention given name is printed first.