Selected by the book’s author Gareth Williams, the group includes those working in furniture and products, (like Max Lamb and Paul Cocksedge), well-known commercial designers (Jaime Hayon) and those working in the digital sphere (Troika, Moritz Waldemeyer).
Williams says, ‘Those selected represent a certain way of being a designer: they lead critical debate and regard design as a cultural activity; they are innovators and explorers of new materials and processes, and of different ways of working, even of new definitions of design.
The book, designed by A Practice for Everyday Life with cover illustrations by Martino Gamper (himself one of the 21) features specially commissioned portraits of the designers along with appraisels of their careers so far and examples of their work.
Four of the designers – El Ultimo Grito, Troika, Julia Lohmann and Fredrikson Stallard – take part in a Q&A with Williams.
El Ultimo Grito tell Williams they want to fly the flag for ‘designer-eccentrics’, while Lohmann talks about using animal parts in her designs (including lamps made from preserved sheep and cow stomachs) – ‘The reason I enlisted the maggots was to challenge myself.’
21/Twenty One, by Gareth Williams, is published by V&A Publishing in April, priced at £19.99