Stanley Ruiz is a Brooklyn, NY based product designer and media artist with an extensive background in craft design and production. In his works, he fuses the industrial with the natural to bring about new meaning and interpretation to familiar object archetypes.

His work espouses an unusual material aesthetic and a raw feel derived from a deep interest and devotion to traditional handicrafts. He has exhibited in Talents at Ambiente–Frankfurt, MACEF in Milan, A+ at Accent on Design-NY Gift Fair, University of Art & Design Helsinki, ICFF, Designboom Mart, Dwell on Design, and Maison & Objet in Paris, where he received the Coup De Coeur award in 2008.

Here are five regional collectives that are making a difference by promoting their heritage and culture in the global design arena:

Vases by Maxim Velcovsky for Qubus

1. Krehký
Continuing the Czech mastery of glass and porcelain, Krehky is widely acclaimed in Europe and received the ICFF Editors Award for Accessories in New York in 2008. Maxim Velcovsky of Qubus and the group Olgoj Chorchoj are just two of the most promising names to come out of the Czech Republic.

Chair by Rodrigo Almeida and skirt by Tatiana Sperhacke

2. Brazilian New Wave
Inspired by the rich culture and megacities of Brazil, a loose group of young designers are taking-off from the platform that the Campana Brothers built: Rodrigo Almeida, Brunno Jahara, Mana Bernandes, Tatiana Sperhacke, are among the emerging representatives of Brazilian  design.

Lamps by Tony Gonzalez

3. Movement 8
The movement that launched Kenneth Cobonpue’s career, this group from the Philippines (including Milo Naval, Tony Gonzalez, Tes Pasola, among others) has exhibited worldwide and won the ICFF Editors Award for Craftsmanship. Their core competency is the innovative application of sustainable materials such as rattan, bamboo, and abaca.

Chairs by Cheick Diallo, pots by Kpando Pottery

4. Design Africa
Design Africa is a visionary initiative dedicated to showcasing and supporting Africa’s leading designers. Reinterpreting their heritage through fresh lens, designers like Cheick Diallo (Mali) and Kpando Pottery (talented women artisans from Ghana) are challenging and changing preconceived perspectives of African design.

Calligraphy Cupboard by Po-ching Liao, Sheng-wen Liao, Wei-wen Lan

5. Yii
Directed by Droog co-founder Gijs Bakker, a team of Taiwanese designers collaborated with some of the country’s best artisans, to create functional objects that exude a contemporary design context while taking narratives from tradition.