THE DESIGNER WHO JUST GETS IT: OLIVIA LEE
Who she is: The 32-year-old industrial designer (@visuallyolivialee) who made international news with her “future-proof” furniture range, The Athena Collection, shown at Salone Satellite, 2017 Milan Design Week. Why know her: The forward-thinking Lee creates in anticipation of an individual’s needs, not the other way round. Her pieces are decorative (think soothing pastel hues and soft curves), functional (the Altar vanity table comes with a flattering ring light), intelligent (the Arena carpet comes with tactile ridges so the mobile-obsessed can gauge a “safe parameter” and avoid collisions with walls or furniture), and quirky (the Books of Dreams, a series of leather-bound books in collaboration with Bynd Artisan, are leather-bound books with concealed piggy banks). It’s no wonder that Dezeen named Lee as one of its eight most promising designers of the fair. Ultimately, Lee’s designs show that you don’t need technology to make a “smart” home – you just need to think out of the box.
What’s next: Lee’s getting involved with The Balvenie Connoisseurs of Craft, an initiative that promotes craftsmanship in South-east Asia. She’s also in discussions with multiple brands, and will be showing at Milan Design Week 2018.