Meet the Designers Making up Atelier100's Class of 2023

We get to know some of the rising stars behind Atelier100’s Drop02 collection, launching today.

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Last year, Atelier100 launched with a cohort of promising designers, each receiving the funding and exposure to make their ideas into reality. Backed by H&M and IKEA franchisee Ingka Group, the program was not only a chance to spotlight up and coming talent, but a view to how hyper-local production can work in a major city.

As such, from the submissions, a cohort was chosen – all living in 100km of London. “By focusing the initiative within a 100km radius, we can nurture a network of local creatives, makers and manufacturers and encourage real-time collaboration between them,” they said at the time.

Now, Atelier100 launches its next group of selected talents. Disciplines across the creatives are varied, from furniture and homeware, to fashion and jewellery. Their objects come together to form Drop02, which will be available to view and pre-order during the London Design Festival as part of the Shoreditch Design Triangle and the Dalston to Stokey Design District, as well as via Atelier100.com and the Hammersmith store.

To coincide with the reveal, we sat down with some of the cohort to find out more about their practice, and how design came to be the pathway for them. Read on for more, and head to the Atelier100 website to see the full line-up.


CAN – Mat Barnes, Walid Bhatt & Malltwen Freeman

The three members of CAN describe themselves collectively as an “architecture and ideas studio”. Made up of Mat Barnes, Walid Bhatt, and Malltwen Freeman, they produce anything from exhibition designs to private homes. But for Atelier100, they’ll be designing a chair named Mudlark, which is based on the eclecticism of London and its communities. “I grew up on a small, brick estate in Little Venice,” Bhatt says. “On our weekly visit to the local grocery market we would pass an art deco building that stood out amongst the grey,” Bhatt says.

On the city’s people and specifically its design scene, Freeman adds: “It’s pretty inclusive, which is great; it draws in many people and is diverse, making for a unique condition. On the other hand, it’s ruthless, and you’ve got to work extra hard to get where you want when it’s not handed to you on a plate.” When it comes to creating

Beyond its concept, the Mudlark chair brings London in through its physical form – every piece is crafted from anodised scaffold frame that is held together by 3D printed rocks found on the Thames foreshore. Wooden elements come from London Plane trees brought down in storms at Soho Square and Denmark Hill. “I am always keen to produce something that is wholly different from what we have designed or made before because every brief has very different design parameters and cultural contexts and it keeps things exciting,” Barnes says.

Favorite design object: Monobloc patio chair. It transcends status and class – Mat Barnes
Dream client: a kebab shop – Walid Bhatt
Object you’re desperate to make: a modular shelving system – Mat Barnes
Advice for designers starting out: Personal lived experience is as valid as any reference – Malltwen Freeman

Mario Serrano Puche

The family shoe factory in Columbia provided the foundations of Mario Serrano Puche’s interest in design. “I’m not sure why something as mundane as shoes moved me but it really did,” he says. Later, his creative path led to studying architecture – a subject he saw as holistic, given that it “includes everything from small objects to buildings and even cities.”

For his Atelier100 project, the larger side of architecture will take a back seat – and the designer will create something on a much smaller scale – he will create a pair of 3D Printed Square Toe Mules. His experience in 3D printing and algorithmic modeling came from his time at architecture school, and is a skill he now employs under his own practice titled “Body Amplification Devices”. “Body Amplification Devices feeds from my experiences growing up around shoes and career as an architect/digital designer to create a new language of wearables,” he adds.

Favorite design object: Mickey Matter Robotically Assembled Furniture
Dream Client: Arca
Object you’re desperate to make next: athletic shoes
Advice for designers starting out: keep it fun and fresh.

Jess Flood Paddock

Jess Flood Paddock is no stranger to London’s creative scenes, having practiced as a sculptor with works exhibited the likes of Tate Britain, the V&A and Glasgow International. Now, though, she is jumping from art and into design, on the lookout for something that speaks to her earliest influences. “I remember looking at images of Shigeru Ban’s humanitarian shelters built for survivors of the Rawanda Genocide,” she says. “His ability to empathise with those in need and motivate other architects to join him I found very moving and beautiful in his use of simplicity to ensure his level of skill is used most effectively for others.”

Her first foray into functional object making manifests as a seat. Inspired by the shape of bike saddles, each section is crafted from sustainable materials that come from within 100km of London. “I use observation as means to notice tiny instances that stay with me –from the use of bicycles in London changing from riders being in the minority to the current situation of cycling being freedom, carbon neutral and fast mode of transport for commuters and more,” she adds.

Favorite design object: Bialetti’s stove top coffee pot
Dream client: someone who keeps my work for a lifetime
Object you’re desperate to make: hand-etched float glass windows
Advice for designers starting out: Write all your ideas down. It’s important they don’t stay ethereal.

Elliot A Greenfield

There needs to be more programmes like Atelier100, says designer and jeweller Elliot Andre Greenfield. “Something missing in London is the ease of access,” he says. “I feel that it can be very hard for some people from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue a career in design without having to make major sacrifices.” With his funding, Greenfield will create the Garnet statement ring – a piece he creates through a process of 3D printing and casting.

Recycled sterling silver is paired with a garnet stone, with cracked motifs surrounding the setting. “In my design work, I draw inspiration from the future, infusing each piece with a futuristic aesthetic,” he says. “Yet, I balance this modernity by using intricate ageing techniques, infusing my creations with a sense of history as if they were artefacts discovered in a distant location or showcased in a museum after descending from a far-off world.”

Favourite design object: trainers – they are militant and blocky with strong futurist motifs
Dream client: someone who can take inspiration from anything
Object you’re desperate to make: a variation on the Gunpla Kits from Gundam, using a mixture of silver & semi-precious stones.
Advice for designers starting out: Patience is needed, especially when first starting, London is a huge city and everyone is starting at slightly different levels, so it’s key just to focus on what you want to achieve and not get sucked into looking at what other people are doing too much.

Stephanie Sommet

Stephanie Sommet’s first foray into creativity came at a very young age, in a very adorable way. “I remember drawing a horse at 5 years old, the teacher had put it up on the classroom wall, I was so proud and never stopped creating things since,” she says. Having always known a creative career was the only option, she ended up heading towards graphic design, but eventually switched over to ceramics.

For Sommet, problem solving is the driving force behind creativity. Working with clay can be challenging, but she says that it’s the challenges that make it her material of choice. For Atelier100, she is creating “Bouée” – named after the French term for a floating buoy. A dish deisgned to be a home for your loose objects, the stoneware piece is glazed in a buttery yellow, and features chubby proportions. “I look to challenge my craft and innovate its forms,” she adds. “I think like a problem solver, where a problem is not really a problem but a source of inspiration.”

Favourite design object: Alexander Calder’s mobiles
Dream client: the council of Vallauris in the south of France, who would commission me to recreate the entire interior of a house in ceramics
Object you’re desperate to make: a series of translucent face mask shaped appliques
Advice to designers starting out: make contacts, participate in as many shows as possible and even move studios around to build a community

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