New Phaidon book celebrates the world's best designers

Designed for Life: The World’s Best Product Designers by Phaidon celebrates the rich contemporary landscape of product design

Phaidon book Green structures and a red chair
Left: Charlotte Kidger, London, UK. Browns Fashion Column and two Side Tables Green window display. Various materials. 2020RIght: Moisés Hernández, Mexico City, Mexico. Grana Chair. Maple, cochineal dye. 2021
(Image credit: Left: Charlotte Kidger . Right: Moisés Hernández)

Delve into the world of design with Phaidon’s new monograph Designed for Life: The World’s Best Product Designers. The landscape of contemporary design has never been more diverse and experimental. Covering 100 of the most innovative designers working today, the hearty tome journeys through 30 countries accompanied by 500 images and a distinct narrative that captures the essence of the modern world of product design.

Phaidon's 'Designed for Life: The World's Best Product Designers

Designed for Life. The World’s Best Product Designers. Introduction by Kelsey Keith. Phaidon

Designed for Life. The World’s Best Product Designers. Introduction by Kelsey Keith. Phaidon

(Image credit: Courtesy of Phaidon)

The forward by brand creative director at Herman Miller, Kelsey Keith, pre-empts the contents of the book. Showcasing explorative designs, to products with classic foundational principles, the 300 page monograph provides inspiration for aspiring designers, or admirers of great design. Photographs capture the diverse approaches to form and materiality, from jellyfish cases to sofas mimicking pebbles. There are benches composed of silkworm cocoons, and tables sculpted from rocks.

Inga Sempé, Paris, France. Matin lamps. Cotton, steel wire, brass. HAY. 2019–23. Picture credit: © Inga Sempé (page 227, right)

Inga Sempé, Paris, France. Matin lamps. Cotton, steel wire, brass. HAY. 2019–23

(Image credit: Courtesy of Inga Sempé)

The breadth of design and perspectives come from the diverse variety of designers featured, carefully selected by a panel of design critics, museum curators, journalists, and gallerists. From the 100 designers chosen, expect to see front runners carving their way in the industry, including Jasper Morrison, India Mahdavi, Jonathan Olivares, Misha Khan, Jomo Tariku, Max Lamb and Faye Toogood, among others. There are also up-and-coming creators like Nifemi Marcus-Bello, Minjae Kim, Mimi Shodeinde, and Mac Collins.

Stephen Burks Man Made, New York, USA. Stephen Burks: Shelter in Place, Private Seat. Foam core, silk ribbon. 2022. Picture credit: Caroline Tompkins, Courtesy of Stephen Burks Man Made (pages 240-241)

Stephen Burks Man Made, New York, USA. Stephen Burks: Shelter in Place, Private Seat. Foam core, silk ribbon. 2022. Picture credit: Caroline Tompkins.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Stephen Burks Man Made)

Designed for Life celebrates the rich tapestry of contemporary design, while nodding to traditional styles and crafts that have been evolved. The pages display a harmonious balance of functional, yet aesthetic products, which embrace overlooked materials, forms and processes. From playful innovation to rejuvenating timeless traditions, it highlights how spaces and environments can be enriched while celebrating designers of today.

Designed for Life: The World’s Best Product Designers is published by Phaidon

Available from Amazon

Fernando Laposse, Mexico City, Mexico. The Dogs bench. Sisal-covered bench. AGO Projects. 2019. Picture credit: Courtesy of Fernando Laposse (page 148, bottom)

Fernando Laposse, Mexico City, Mexico. The Dogs bench. Sisal-covered bench. AGO Projects. 2019

(Image credit: Courtesy of Fernando Laposse)

Sabine Marcelis, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Mirage Mirrors. Layered glass, LED. 2021. Picture credit: Rami Mansour, Courtesy of Studio Sabine Marcelis

Sabine Marcelis, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Mirage Mirrors. Layered glass, LED. 2021.Picture credit: Rami Mansour,

(Image credit: Courtesy of Studio Sabine Marcelis)

Materra-Matang, Colombes / Varengeville-sur-Mer, France. Pleyel Interior, sofa, bookshelf. Birch, earth lime plaster. 2021. Picture credit: Arthur Crestani, Courtesy of Materra-Matang (page 178)

Materra-Matang, Colombes / Varengeville-sur-Mer, France. Pleyel Interior, sofa, bookshelf. Birch, earth lime plaster. 2021. Picture credit: Arthur Crestani

(Image credit: Courtesy of Materra-Matang)

Tianna Williams is the Editorial Executive at Wallpaper*. Before joining the team in 2023, she has contributed to BBC Wales, Ford UK, SurfGirl Magazine, and Parisian Vibe, with work spanning from social media content creation to editorial. Now, her role covers writing across varying content pillars for Wallpaper*.