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MWA in Stockholm

We are launching our new collection of designs at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2015. Come find us at stand B11:15 from February 3rd through 7th.

Ethos


Design is acts of love. Of care. Of commitment. Of desire.


At Makers With Agendas, we are dreamers and we are makers. We re-imagine the status quo. We ache for challenge. We ask the right questions. We get annoyed by the wrong answers. We are problem solvers.


MWA - left William Ravn - middle Julien De Smedt - right Wouter Dons - by NAHM

Makers With Agendas was born out of our passion for design and our loathing of its abuses. We’re on a journey for change because we care.

Makers With Agendas is a new design capacity engaged in thinking, producing and distributing design.

We explore new design typologies for a new society.
  • “At Makers With Agendas we’re trying to work with themes and problems rather than just entertain ourselves with a cool design.”

  • “We will engage in everything we want to and in nothing we don’t need to. ”

  • “I see beauty in the procession that links a design to an experience.”

    Julien De Smedt
  • “The culture of making is linked to the culture of curiosity. This bizarre alchemy links curiosity to productivity.”

Design-is-Made-web

Design Is Made


This photograph was taken from the Los Angeles Observatory and shows layered silhouettes of alternating trees and buildings evaporating into the smog.
The world we inhabit is an amalgam of manmade interventions over natural residues. This partially natural, partially artificial system is today unbalanced. Design agendas should re-engineer a balance where the manmade, paradoxically, reinstigates nature.

Photo by Nikolaj Møller for MWA
Design Is Evil

Design Is Evil


Said to be the biggest death count since World War II with 6 million killed, the conflicts in Congo are partly stirred by financial interests in blood minerals like coltan used in our mobile phones and in almost all other electronic products (here photographed at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen).

Photo by Nikolaj Møller for MWA
MWA-canyon-small

Julien De Smedt and Karen Wong part 4

JULIEN DE SMEDT, co-founder of Makers With Agendas in discussion with
KAREN WONG, deputy director of the New Museum, New York and co-founder of IDEAS CITY
This is the 4th and final part of this interview. Read the entire interview here.

JDS: It’s a universal design. It addresses issues of urban mobility that are the same in Europe and in the US. I’ve designed it and yes I’m European, but as you know I’ve been a very big fan of the Knicks ever since I saw them first when I was 13 and it’s obvious that I had New York in mind when this project came about. New York probably triggered it. I was commuting to Europe every second week and this on top of my European commutes made me realize how difficult it is to get to an airport if you want to avoid using a car or taxi. So it started with the idea of a bike that can transport carry-on luggage sizes, helping the local commute to a train or bus station. Since then the design has acquired some 15 other incredible and integrated features…

KW: Okay, so Mike is a global citizen. In various interviews, you point to your inability to ride a bike with your carry-on luggage to a train station or airport as the impetus to design this bike. Is that where best design starts – when you are frustrated?

JDS: I think it’s definitely a decisive factor. Frustration gears you up to action!

KW: On partnerships … you and Bjarke Ingels famously started PLOT in your mid-twenties – a studio that existed for five years. You and 22-year-old wunderkind William Ravn are founders of MWA. What is it about this partnership that excites you?

JDS: Bjarke and I are, I suppose, talented architects. We are highly ambitious and love to do what we’re best at: address issues through design. William is a true entrepreneur in the sense that he doesn’t focus on the design outcome but rather on the business concept. It’s a crucial part of Makers and it doesn’t mean that he discards the outcome of our designs: we are both involved in both aspects but with our own focus. William started his first company at 13 and interned at JDS at 15. I was always fascinated by his drive, his motives and his age. As an architect you’re young at 60. I’ve struggled to make my way through a profession that at first sight only respects grey hair and suits. I think that the reasons for my success have more to do with daring to really take up the important discussions, and somehow shift the focus away from my (lack of) experience – than just my design skills. I always saw our profession as a place of research, experiments and discoveries, rather than a place where I would impose my signature. With William I feel he has a similar attitude from a business perspective.

KW: What’s up your sleeve? Can you tell me about the next series of designs you are working on?

JDS: There are some that we can and others that need further research to be certain of their definition, their typology, their design briefs. At Makers we’re trying to work with themes and problems rather than just entertain ourselves with a cool design. Though that’s fun to do once in a while. In the coming months we will address the following topics: education, obesity, mobility, demography, urban safety, human displacement and food. We will analyze the problematic conditions within those different topics and find design answers. We’re not claiming to be able to resolve the obesity problem in society with a single object, but we believe that by taking design capacity in that direction we might get closer to new solutions and therefore add partial answers through design.

KW: Makers With Agendas. I love it because it says you have guts. There is no room for apathy. Bring it on. I am ready for a drink. I mean a cup of tea….


Photo by Canyon Castator.
Design-Is-Flat-1

Design Is Flat



This photograph was taken overlooking Sweden at the Øresund Strait, one of the busiest waterways in the world.
The polluting emission from 15 container ships is equivalent to that of all cars in the world and unlike power stations or cars, they can burn the cheapest, filthiest, high-sulphur fuel. A simple amendment in the law could change that.

Photo by Nikolaj Møller for MWA
Design-Is-Collective-1

Design Is Collective



On June 30th 2013 Vladimir Putin signs a bill making homosexual propaganda to minors illegal in Russia. This photograph was taken during the ‘To Russia With Love” demonstration held on August 20th 2013 in front of the Russian embassy, Copenhagen. The colors on the rainbow flag were designed to symbolize life, healing, sunlight, nature, harmony and spirit.

Photo by Nikolaj Møller for MWA