Compiled by Chris Curtland, Kadie Yale, and Robert Nieminen
We here at i+s have had the honor of meeting so
many wonderful and talented designers over the
years, and now we’d like to return the favor. Every
month we will be introducing a design student
recognized by their institution for going above and
beyond. Today they’re stunning their professors in the
classrooms; tomorrow they’ll be stunning the world.
Åsa Bollvik is a Sweden-born
designer that embodies Scandinavian
aesthetics in her work, which is highly
influenced by nature with open layouts,
muted colors, and natural materials.
Inspired by the work of Roman &
Williams and “their unique way of
creating designs that are bold yet
serene, rough yet refined,” Bollvik’s design concept for a
Visitor Center for Urban Archeology in Manhattan’s Lower
East Side pays homage to both her muses and roots.
The center will be located in the Delancey Underground,
an abandoned trolley terminal situated beneath Delancey
Street. The location will literally speak to Urban Archeology
as revealing history hidden below ground, where the center
in itself will function to demonstrate building rehabilitation
and adaptive reuse, and serve to connect the past with
the present with restaurants, retail, library, and exhibition
spaces situated among cobblestones and exposed steel
beams and columns.
Eddy Tao’s vision for urban growth is demonstrated
artfully in his work, Urban Growth Strategy, a project
aiming to create different ways of experiencing New York
City utilizing multiple access points. By means of walking
and cycling, the Points offers multiple bike stations as
well as visitor centers that connect each neighborhood.
Through the use of vacant lots within the city, the Points
are meant to be dropped on site as self-contained units,
where each kit of parts differs on its location and community needs.
Tao reimagines a new, welcoming visitor center in the heart of Times
Square/Theater District as a place of gathering and waiting with a
reception area, offices, group tour location, and storage and bathroom
amenities. He also introduces Downtown Brooklyn to a new welcome
center with reception, food service, bike station, and other amenities that
serves as an introduction to the surrounding neighborhoods of Brooklyn
Heights, BoCoCa, DUMBO, Fort Greene, Park Slope, Prospect Heights,
Williamsburg, and Bushwick. Finally, Tao tackles the sprawling and barren
feel of Long Island City’s extra-wide roadways by adding astounding
public works adorning the fences, walls, and sidings of Long Island City’s
warehouses and factory buildings.
As research is increasingly relied upon to inform the design process, it’s encouraging to know that today’s graduate students and young
professionals are already integrating it into their work. Thoughtful solutions to
design challenges are hallmarks of innovators and part of the reason we’re
highlighting Fashion Institute of Technology/SUNY graduates Åsa Bollvik and
Eddy [Kuan Chung] Tao as our Designers to Watch this month.
FIT Associate Professor Susan Forbes, CID, ASID, DLF, IDEC, helped
identify these two emerging professionals because “both are excellent
examples of budding young designers who take their work very seriously, work
very hard to express themselves clearly, and base their solutions on in-depth
research and accomplished presentation skills,” she said. During their time at
FIT/SUNY, “both Åsa and Eddie made the most of the time allowed to produce
work that showed their knowledge and interest in raising the bar of their
solution to include an interesting and/or unique aspect of the specific client on
which they based their work.”