Top 7 emerging designers to watch in 2018

| Martina Pardo | Archive

Hello design lovers,

Every time I visit a trade fair or design event, I look forward to meeting all of the emerging designers. Here is where I find the most interesting and daring ideas. The downside is that usually many of the exhibited products are just prototypes (but this is also useful, otherwise I'd want to buy too much stuff!).

As you know, I've recently been at IMM Cologne 2018 (and described my experience at the fair in this post). Would you like to discover who my favourite emerging designers were? This post is all about them!

emerging designers 2018 infographic

1. Urban Terrazzo | TFOB

This innovative material brings traditional terrazzo to a whole new level, in terms of environmental sustainability.

Traditional terrazzo consists of a mix of small pieces of marble and granite scraps scattered in concrete. First of all it's a low cost solution to get a visually interesting flooring, and secondly it minimises material's waste. Born as the typical marble flooring of Venetian houses in the ‘500, it made a come back in 2016 with a more striking look. You can read all about modern terrazzo flooring in this article by Elisabetta on Italianbark.


Photography: Hannes Wiedemann & They Feed Off Buildings  © TFOB

The peculiarity of Urban Terrazzo (and the reason why it's so innovative) is that, instead of marble and granite, it incorporates poor wastes such as concrete, bricks and other urban materials. The result is a modern terrazzo that gives new life to disposed architectural remains. Considering that the UK construction industry is responsible for 32% of all landfill waste (source), you can see why I am so excited about it!

The material is developed and ready for us to shop, so you can already order samples on

If you fancy more inspiration about modern terrazzo, check out how the Dutch startup DUS Architects uses 3D printing to make minimal-waste terrazzo flooring.

2. Ayosha Kortlang and Marcel Bauerfeind

These two emerging designers have developed ergonomic products with the help of the UDK - Universität Der Künste Berlin.

They started their study with the following question: "Can our hands understand what we see?". The idea is that people grip things to use them and this should affect how objects look.

emerging designers 2018 ayosha kortlang 01

emerging designers 2018 ayosha kortlang 02

Images © Ayosha Kortlang


Thinking this over, Ayosha was able to present a pair of pliers while Marcel developed a pen. The objects were free to use and, despite the unusual look, I could immediately realise that the pliers were really comfortable.

emerging designers 2018 marcel bauer enemy 01

emerging designers 2018 marcel bauer enemy 02

emerging designers 2018 marcel bauer enemy 03

Images © Marcel Bauerfeind


But it was the pen that actually blew me away: it was so simple to hold and use that I really spent two whole minutes staring at it and wondering why no one had designed it before!

3. Studio Faubel

Studio Faubel was created in 2014 in Munich with the aim of making furniture that is at the same time figurative and solutions-oriented.


Images © Studio Faubel


I really liked the mix of industrial production with traditional craftsmanship, which results in a very peculiar look. They develop their products in cooperation with selected manufacturers and are currently open to new collaborations (so ring them if you want to produce some of their great pieces!). Also, most of the products were developed for specific clients (like the black and blue chair above, which I personally love). And later on, they became part of a permanent collection. Watch them out :)


4. Erde Wachs Stift

Benno Brucksch is the creative mind behind Erde Wachs Stift: a "humble example of the many possibilities that lie at our very feet". He basically creates crayons out of the soil. At IMM this year he presented a collection called Sachsen Anhalt consisting of the soils of his region.


emerging designers 2018 erde wachs stift 04

emerging designers 2018 erde wachs stift 01

emerging designers 2018 erde wachs stift 05

emerging designers 2018 erde wachs stift 02

emerging designers 2018 erde wachs stift 03

Images © Benno Brucksch

Benno considers the emotional impact that soil has on people (epitomising home, fertility, the past, and the future). As a result, he brings a poetic touch to the creation of crayons.

ErdeWachsStift – crayons out of soil from Benno Brucksch on Vimeo.

5. Eigenart Designstudio

Jan-Peter Eicker and Fabian Fern are two designers who graduated at the Academy of Design in Münster. Due to their craftsmanship background (they are both trained carpenters) they have already started to design beautiful products, mainly working with metal and wood.

emerging designers 2018 eigenart 08

Images © Eigenart Designstudio

I was attracted by the minimalist style and the recurring touches of black colour. I love black so it was quite good to see it as the protagonist of this fair, but I'm also aware that - if it's not used properly - it can kill a project. Eigenart Designstudio brilliantly mixes it with natural wood, thus the edgy colour becomes just an added touch to give a distinctive look.


emerging designers 2018 eigenart 03

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emerging designers 2018 eigenart 05

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Images © Eigenart Designstudio

The guys have already created many prototypes and are collaborating with brands to produce their pieces. Nevertheless, they are just starting out so there's plenty of room for new collaborations: come forward if you want to implement their designs!

6. Minimalhome

As the name suggests, Minimalhome offers practical solutions for minimal spaces, mobile furniture for a life in motion, and multifunctional furniture ideas.


Images © Minimalhome

Dealing with small spaces and multi-functional items, is a topic that designers are going to explore more than ever, according to the increase of nomadic lifestyles. I talk about it in this post where I explain the latest design trends discovered at IMM Cologne 2018.


Images © Minimalhome

Michael Hilgers is the solo-designer behind Minimalhome. As an architect and designer, he is very committed to this mission. Therefore he likes to come up with "clever solutions for a complex life". Different manufacturers are currently producing his products and I've already noticed some that I'd happily put in my own home!

7. Caussa


Images © Caussa

Last but not least, Caussa is a German product design company committed to challenge tomorrow’s design landscape. Hence they want to create contemporary design solutions that are useful, have great originality, and challenge the status quo.


Images © Caussa

I especially like the fact that they mix modern technologies with traditional craftsmanship. In fact, their most innovative product is the Wedge table and it's born from the idea to create a three-dimensional table out of flat plywood elements. The characteristic aesthetic is the result of three interlocking legs. The production is consequently very simple (as it's all made out of flat elements) while the final result is surprisingly interesting.

So, what do you think? If you went to IMM as well and really liked some other emerging designers, share your finds in a comment below!

Martina Pardo

Written by: Martina Pardo

I am Martina, an Italian designer based in London. I spend most of my time designing interiors or writing about it. I also love travelling. You may find me walking around the East End of London, drinking coffee and stopping at every single bookshop I bump into.


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