Joey Zeledón is the Jury Captain for the 2024 Furniture & Lighting Category. This category features furniture and lighting products and systems for private, public, commercial or industrial use.
"Your product should embody the story you're telling." That theme has driven designer Joey Zeledón's work throughout their career. It's also the advice they offer to entrants in the Core77 Design Awards: Tell a cohesive product story that catches the jury's attention and continues the narrative thread throughout the submission.
If it sounds simple coming from Joey, it's because they've had plenty of practice.
Coat Check Chair - 2011 Speculative Concepts Notable Entry, designed by Joey Zeledón
Joey's goal as a designer is helping objects find their purpose in life. That means creating "aspirational narrative identities – sticky stories that drive meaning – for object archetypes." It might mean reimagining an object's purpose – like reframing a printer as 'furniture that prints,' or a coffee maker as a 'barista in your kitchen.'
To pursue this approach of creating purposeful objects for people and market differentiation for clients, the designer founded Joey Zeledo´n Studio after spending the previous decade-and-a-half bringing a wide range of products to market for companies including Clarks, Continuum, Smart Design, Steelcase, and HP. Designs created by the "proud RIT alum" have won more than 40 awards and been featured in leading publications.
Field Trip Table Lamp, by Gantri - designed by Joey Zeledón
Joey believes in the power of design to challenge social norms and change the status quo. They love creating new stories for "old product archetypes… especially unsexy product categories," increasing their value in the process. In Joey's practice, storytelling matters, and they caution designers not to become "too obsessed with the shiny objects and not enough with the stories around them that give them meaning."
Last year's winner in the Core77 Design Awards Furniture & Lighting category was Carousel by Pablo Designs. This ingenious offering combined ambience and utility in the form of a wireless charging tray for mobile devices with warm, glare-free illumination – for use on the floor or tabletop. If you've created work that could light up this category, we'd love to hear the story. Enter your work in the Core77 Design Awards today.
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