Wallpaper* and American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) present Discovered, a new project to support and promote the work of 20 next generation designers from 16 countries, in partnership with The Design Museum. Selected from Wallpaper’s annual Graduate Directories and through AHEC’s own network, the designers have worked alongside design mentors and AHEC’s global manufacturing partners to develop a new object made from a choice of three sustainable hardwoods.
Howard Desk by Mimi Shodeinde
Woods: American red oak, soft maple
The pandemic world is all about newness, observes Shodeinde: new dangers, new ways of interacting, living and working. ‘In designing furniture for this new paradigm,’ she says, ‘we should lean into the familiar, the comforting, we should seek freedom, connection, stability and strength.’ These qualities are to be found in her design: a solid desk whose light forms contrasts with the rigorous construction and the weight of the wood. The designer looked at a vast pool of cultural references, from the compositions of British sculptor Barbara Hepworth to the modernist architectures of Lina Bo Bardi, and the aerodynamics of flight (pilot Howard Hughes inspired the name of the piece): these influences converged into a sinuous silhouette, a design that challenges the familiar but also offers a sense of safety.