Five key projects by industrial designer and Dezeen Awards China judge Michael Young

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British industrial designer Michael Young has joined Dezeen Awards China 2023 as a judge. Here, he selects five projects that best reflect his work.

Young, who is based in Hong Kong and has worked with industrial design for over 30 years, has a particular interest in technology and discovering new ways to interpret space.

“The core ethos of my work is that I question the value of objects, be it in market, material or technology in the time in which they are required to exist – hopefully as long as possible,” Young told Dezeen.

“I need my clients to be spirited so we can add a little bit of space dust to the atmosphere,” he added.

Currently Young is working on a housing project in Japan, which will launch its first show house in Tokyo later this year. Also in Japan, he is collaborating with traditional Japanese craftsmen to produce furniture for the Craft x Tech initiative.

In China, a series of retail stores called Michael Young Musea have been launched across the country.

Michael Young among Dezeen Awards China 2023 judges

Dezeen Awards China 2023 launched in June in partnership with Bentley Motors. It is the first regional edition of Dezeen Awards, celebrating the best architecture, interiors and design in China.

All shortlisted projects will be announced during the week starting 6th of November, with architecture shortlist projects to be announced on Monday, followed by the interiors shortlist on Tuesday, the design shortlist on Wednesday, and the designers of the year shortlist on Thursday.

The shortlisted projects were selected by our stellar group of judges for Dezeen Awards China, including architects Ma Yansong and Ting Yu, interior designers Ilse Crawford and Andre Fu, as well as industrial designer Min Chen, who joins Young on the design judging panel.

Read on to find Young’s views on the five projects that best represent his work.


“Moke restores and maintains British heritage. I have always been a Moke enthusiast since 2012, when I was commissioned to rebuild a Moke in Australia from the ground up out of old parts.

“This car is from the 1970s, which is a crucial period in many fields of creativity. It has been more than 20 years since the last Moke rolled off the assembly line in Portugal. The world has changed dramatically, so the car’s main requirements actually need adjustments too, including enhancements, improved road-holding, braking, suspension and so on.”


“The quality of sound is tremendous thanks to the engineering team and also the form that is unique in the market.

“KEF and I have been collaborating on various projects including the designs of LSX and LS60 Wireless speakers. The collaborations show our vibrant imagination, sophisticated minimalism and innovative approach where designs achieve a fine balance of form and function with well-considered details.”

Sheffield armchair

“I love classic English armchairs but need my own spacey version, so I set up my own company to manufacture them, which I just launched in Shanghai.

“A key matter in the creation of the collection is the optimisation of sales within China. This involves due diligence to the best standard for current supply chains.

“All materials employed consider environmental impact by using a low-carbon material derived from renewable sources. For example, straw fibre makes up around 30 per cent of the composition in plastics.”

Omura vape

“We wanted to create a product that would step away from traditional vape device typologies to become a visually subtle object, reminiscent of matchboxes or old-school Dunhill lighters, which would help instil a sense of ritualistic approach to the whole experience.

“The design follows natural forms, informed by pebbles to provide an intriguing tactile experience. Its compact soft forms create an innate sense of interaction and attachment. I am very proud of the patented technology that helps make the consumer experience safer.”

Carbon bar stool

“The barstool is a feat of engineering, as well as design – a form which could not be realised in any other material. The cantilever seat is supported by just two thin stems, curving into the cross-shaped junction. Tying all the legs and footrest into one precisely engineered component.

“The result is amazingly light, incredibly strong, and visually fascinating. I think we just knocked carbon fibre out of the ballpark after working with the material for almost 20 years.”

The photography is courtesy of Michael Young.

Dezeen Awards China 2023
Dezeen Awards China is the first regional edition of Dezeen Awards, to celebrate the best architecture, interiors and design in China. The annual awards are in partnership with Bentley Motors, as part of a wider collaboration that will see the brand work with Dezeen to support and inspire the next generation of design talent in China.

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