The Fusion Funnel: (Detailing) Michael Young

Esha Aphale | April 15, 2024 | Life

Michael Young, an award-winning British designer is known for his sophisticated minimalist style. Initially gaining recognition in the UK for his unique minimalist approach, Young’s work stood out against the elaborate style prevalent in London. In 2006, driven by his passion for pioneering technology, he moved to Asia and established a studio in Hong Kong. Today, Michael Young Studio is a leading Asian design company, renowned for creating timeless, icons exhibited in museums worldwide. Young’s latest collection, launched at Commune in Mumbai this February, reflects his lifelong passion for international travel and design. Inspired by Mumbai’s vibrant culture, Micheal Young in conversation with Svasa Life talks about his designs blending East-meets-West aesthetics, embodying an eclectic yet timeless style.

EA: What inspired you to launch your new collection at Commune in Mumbai?

MY: I admire the Commune brand for its ability to create spaces that perfectly complement and enhance my work. Commune’s design philosophy resonates deeply with me, as it embraces a harmonious blend of modern aesthetics and cultural heritage. The brand’s commitment to creating environments that tell a story and evoke emotions aligns seamlessly with my design ethos. Being showcased at Commune allows my work to be experienced in the ideal context, surrounded by thoughtful design and curated elements that elevate its beauty. The synergy between my designs and the brand created a dialogue that enriches both, resulting in a cohesive and impactful presentation. Their attention to detail and dedication to craftsmanship mirror my values, making it a privilege to collaborate with such a respected brand. Together, we have aimed to create spaces that showcase my designs that inspire and captivate those who experience them.

EA: How does your new collection embody the essence of East-meets-West design philosophy?

MY: I have truly fallen in love with the rich history of India, especially the vibrant craft, captivating colours, and profound spiritual essence of Mumbai. There is an undeniable beauty in the intricate craftsmanship and cultural heritage that resonates deeply with all of us. My extensive travels around the world have inspired me to create a collection that captures the imagination of like-minded individuals. This collection is a reflection of my eclectic tastes and embodies the idea of collecting beloved items over time to create a warm and inviting home environment. It’s about bringing the world to your doorstep, allowing you to experience different cultures and traditions without leaving your home. Through my travels, I have discovered the electric nature of human existence and aimed to create a home collection that reflects this diversity. Each object in the collection has its own story and adds to the tapestry of multicultural living. These objects, when placed in a home environment, offer not just beauty but also a sense of comfort and belonging, making us feel like we have lived a truly multicultural life.

Hacker Watch; Corian Studio Shanghai

EA: In what ways does your new collection reflect your progress as a designer and the marriage of traditional artistry with cutting-edge innovation?

MY: In my work at Michael Young Studio, I approach design as a dialogue between the past and the future, seeking to create pieces that not only pay homage to tradition but also speak to the contemporary world. This involves carefully honouring timeless aesthetics while integrating modern technology and perspectives. Each design is a reinterpretation of heritage, where familiar motifs and forms are reimagined with a contemporary edge. This process involves not just updating materials and techniques but also considering how today’s society views and interacts with objects. By infusing historical designs with the psychology and sensibilities of the present, we create pieces that feel both familiar and overlooks forward-thinking. This approach allows us to connect with a new generation of consumers who value both the craftsmanship of the past and the innovation of the future. It’s about more than just aesthetics; it’s about creating designs that resonate with the values and aspirations of today’s world, ensuring that they remain relevant and cherished for generations to come.

EA: What message or emotion do you hope your new collection evokes in those who experience it at Commune?

MY: Exploring the culture of Mumbai has been a fresh and inspiring journey for me. Mumbai’s unique understanding of art and design, coupled with its rich history in design, is truly fascinating. It’s a city that pulsates with creativity and innovation, and this collection captures a glimpse of its vibrant essence. I hope that the designs I create elevate spaces aesthetically while offering something deeper to the human spirit. By infusing elements of Mumbai’s artistic heritage into my work, I aim to create pieces that resonate with people on a profound level, evoking emotions and sparking imagination. With Commune, this collection finds its perfect setting. Commune’s commitment to creating environments that tell a story and evoke emotion aligns perfectly with my vision. Together, we have endeavoured to create spaces that showcase beautiful design and enrich the lives of those who experience them, offering a meaningful connection to art and culture.

Through his designs, Michael, like an alchemist, transforms spaces into emotional landscapes, inviting viewers to embark on a journey of discovery and imagination. His creations are not mere objects; they are portals that transcend time, offering a fresh perspective on heritage and tradition. Each piece tells a story, echoing the rich history of Mumbai while embracing the spirit of contemporary design. Every element is thoughtfully curated, enhancing the allure of Michael’s designs and creating an immersive experience for the beholder. Together, Michael Young and Commune are crafting spaces that are more than just aesthetically captivating; they are transformative, enhancing the lives of those who inhabit them.

Words by Esha Aphale.
Image Courtesy Michael Young Design.

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