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Emerging Talent Medal: Marjan van Aubel


The Emerging Talent Medal recognises an individual who has made an impact on the design scene within five or so years of graduation. The 2015 Swarovski Emerging Talent Medal went to Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel, the creator of glassware, a table and a stained glass window that all generate energy from sunlight.

Marjan van Aubel is a designer of materials and objects whose practice spans the fields of science and chemistry. She is a graduate of the Royal College of Art Design Products (MA) and the Rietveld Academy (BA) DesignLAB. Her research process blends scientific precision with sensory responsiveness to develop aesthetic solutions for the future. Van Aubel’s objects make tangible the potential of technology and energy-harvesting for the benefit of the living environment. At the heart of her collection is a series of innovative materials, from foam porcelain to integrated solar cells based on the properties of colour. Intuitive and inquisitive, she believes interdisciplinary practice is the way forward for design.

Van Aubel has collaborated with scientists, designers and manufacturers including Solaronix, The American Hardwood Export Council and Joris Laarman. She has exhibited at world-class institutions such the Victoria and Albert Museum, Boijmans van Beuningen Museum and the Design Museum in London, where she has been nominated for the Design of the Year Awards twice; in 2013 and 2015. Her work is part of the permanent collection of the Vitra Design Museum and MoMA New York. She won the First Prize Dutch DOEN/Materiaalprijs 2012, the ARC13 Chair Award and the Kortrijk Interieur Award 2014. She was shortlisted for the Arts Foundation Material Innovation Award in 2014.

Supported by Swarovski.