Maxwell Ashford is a young British designer living in Switzerland who is fast emerging as a name to watch.

His practice revolves around the ecological impact that accompanies the production and consumption of objects, centring on sustainable innovation. Among his concerns is the prevalence of recycled material of poor quality that serves to perpetuate the demand for virgin materials.

In his award-winning graduation project at ECAL in 2021, Ashford articulated a vision of technology at the service of circularity in presenting a concept shoe designed to be recyclable with complete accuracy by the use of robotics. The shoes constituent parts were embedded with digital instructions and material information allowing robots to “unmanufacture” the shoe – disassembling and separating materials complete accuracy to create recyclable material.

Ashford’s work has been recognised in the 2022 Swiss Design Awards, US Good Design Awards and Japanese ‘G Mark’ Good Design Award and in the international James Dyson Award.

ReThink project