A New Crop of International Designers to Know

If he weren’t a designer, Norway-born Kim Thomé, 35, might find work as a magician, given how often his creations weave optical illusions. For an installation last year, he placed his large geometric-patterned pedestals within a Louis XIV-style interior, a play on Versailles’s Hall of Mirrors. Play being the operative word here. Even Thomé’s most functional furniture and objects entertain with bold patterns and color. “I stay playful for as long as I can before an object needs to become something,” he says. Every designer relies on imagination, but Thomé’s creativity is particularly resourceful. Consider his range of pigmented furniture colored by ink powder from discarded printer cartridges, which was recently installed in an employee common area at Bloomberg’s European headquarters in London. “It seems I have become known for using bright colors and patterns, but this hasn’t been a conscious decision,” says the Royal Academy of Art graduate, who does not subscribe to any particular philosophy, other than being more inspired by art than design. “I don’t think too hard about my aesthetic.”

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