Attua Aparicio wins Ralph Saltzman Prize 2024

The Design Museum, London, announces Attua Aparicio as winner of The Ralph Saltzman Prize for emerging designers, and will showcase her work from 1 February until 15 April 2024

Attua Aparicio, winner of The Ralph Saltzman Prize 2024, with some of her work
(Image credit: Still life by Sylvain Deleu. Portrait by Carmel King)

Spanish-born, London-based designer Attua Aparicio is the winner of the 2024 Ralph Saltzman Prize, the Design Museum’s annual accolade celebrating emerging designers. As part of the prize, Aparicio is being awarded a £5,000 bursary, while the museum will present her work through a solo exhibition from 1 February until 15 April 2024.

The award was established in 2022, with British designer Mac Collins as the inaugural winner. It was created as a legacy to Ralph Saltzman, co-founder and chairman of Designtex, the leading company in the design and manufacturing of applied materials for the built environment. 

It is a way to offer emerging designers an opportunity to expand their work and reach, through a financial contribution and the exposure of an exhibition, building on Saltzman’s legacy of championing innovation in design and sustainability. 'My father was an innovator and a pioneer who had a keen eye, great taste and was renowned for his creativity,' says Lisa Saltzman, who created the award on behalf of the Saltzman Family Foundation. 'He was a visionary, and I know he would be proud to be supporting the best emerging design talent through the prize. The Ralph Saltzman Prize is a significant opportunity for young designers to showcase and develop their talent.'

Attua Aparicio: 2024 Ralph Saltzman Prize winner 

totem-like bookcase

‘Solaris de Esgueva’ bookcase

(Image credit: Courtesy Gallery Fumi)

'Attua's work is outside of fashion and does not follow any trend,' says Martino Gamper, who nominated Aparicio for the award. 'It defies readings and twists references to the past to create new forms. Apparicio has the enthusiasm and positivity to confront the future in her own way. She is very experimental and un-afraid, trying things out in new and often radical ways.'

Operating at the intersection between design, craft and art, Aparicio works primarily in clay, which she crafts into organic, experimental forms, often mixed with glass or combined with neon lights (made by designer Jochen Holz). Her pieces vary in scale, from small vessels to furniture, like the ‘Solaris de Esgueva’ bookcase in clay and wood, created in collaboration with her sister, designer Saelia Aparicio, for an exhibition at Gallery Fumi

blue plate with blobs in shape of eyes and mouth

Wedgewood plate and waste borosilicate glass

(Image credit: Sylvain Deleu)

Aparicio graduated with an MA in Design Products from London’s RCA, and founded Silo Studio with designer Oscar Lessing. Collaboration is a key aspect of her design practice: 'The collective creative energy is contagious. [Oscar] was possibly the most influential person in my career together with my sister Saelia Aparicio and my partner Jochen Holz,' she says. 'With them, I share ideas, fears and dreams.' 

But she also credits Gamper for his role in shaping London's creative network: 'With his generous soul and inclusive personality, he has helped to create a very tight community of designers, all of whom I respect and helped me in my development.'

sculptural pale blue vessel, vaguely in form of hand gripping

‘Digit Texture’ vessel

(Image credit: Jixiao Tong)

'Attua’s work is imbued with an energy and creativity that I know my father would have loved,’ adds Saltzman. ‘Her deft handling of a range of materials results in a visually arresting portfolio of work with sustainability and tactility at its heart.’

The work of Attua Aparicio will be on display at the Design Museum from 1 February until 15 April 2024

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.