Once in a while a designer comes along who takes into account not just form and function but light and dark, graphics and mechanics, positive and negative space - the whole shebang. Daniel Rybakken's expression of all this, in designs exhibiting so little fanfare, has earned him the London Design Medal in the category of Emerging Talent.
The Norwegian designer, who graduated in 2008 with a degree in fine art from HDK Gothenburg, explored natural and artificial light in his conceptual art before shifting into lighting design. His first industrial work, Counterbalance, expands on the brilliance of classics like George Carwardine's Anglepoise or the Flos 265 by Paolo Rizzatto with astonishing flexibility and accuracy, as well as a graphic quality that makes it seem as much a shadow puppet as a 3D concern.
His follow-ups Ricochet and Coherence are similarly spare, but use secondary light sources and mirrors to reflect and diffuse light. This year, Rybakken riffed on his own design for Ascent, a simple bell-shaped lamp that slides up a vertical arm while increasing the intensity of its naturalistic glow.
The Swarovski Emerging Talent Medal was selected by a 13-judge panel including Alexander Payne of auction house Phillips and Martin Roth, director of the Victoria & Albert Museum. They also awarded the Coutts Lifetime Achievement Medal to Dieter Rams, designer of the 606 Universal Shelving System for Vitsoe; and the Veuve Clicquot Design Entrepreneur Award to the wheelchair creator David Constantine.
The Panerai London Design Medal went to legendary graphic artist Peter Saville for his outstanding contribution to the field. Our look at Saville's finest work, past and present, appears in the current issue of Wallpaper* (W*175).