Julia Lohmann, of Hildesheim, Germany, will be one of four young designers honored with the 2008 “ Designers of the Future Award”. Lohmann’s work attempts to make us more aware of the amount of animal based products that surround, and touch our lives each day. The shoes you’re wearing, the chair that you’re sitting on, the meal you’re eating, could all very easily be derived from an animal. Lohmann’s use of materials that she describes as,” offal, off-cuts of leather and other meat industry waste products,” combined with her use organic form, reminds us that these “things” were once part of a living being. She turns things that even a meat packer would dispose of into objects of undeniable beauty. A wonderful example of this is “Flock”; a collection of preserved sheep stomachs that she turned into a ceiling mounted lighting installation. What strikes me about her work is that she manages to create awareness of this issue through the use of form and beauty, rather than being blatant and grotesque. In society, most animal products that we use or consume are intentionally made to no longer resemble the animals that they were created from. By not hiding the raw nature of these objects, we are reminded of our dependence on animals, are confronted with notions of sustainability and are forced to recognize the reality of the source of our leather sofa.