A Year At Glance: 2021 Edition - The Design Alchemist
A Year At Glance: 2021 Edition - The Design Alchemist
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A Year At Glance: 2021 Edition

A Year at Glance: 2021 Edition

Hello, my dear Collective,


I believe that looking back at how many beautiful moments we’ve shared and created during the year, really helps us realize how much we as humans are capable of accomplishing, and it can even fuel the fire which burns inside of all of us to keep going.

With every experience comes a series of emotions which are essential for self-worth and self-growth. As you know, every year I perform an introspective exercise to look back, take in, and contemplate. As nostalgic as it gets sometimes, remembering the process and the intention behind every publication on this blog reminds me of my purpose and intentions towards you, my collective.


I took a deep dive into my favorite blogs from 2021 to help us remember and rejoice in those moments that we’ve spent together. The Design Alchemist would be just a dream to me without you, so thank you! Thank you for being part of my family. 


Now, I  reach out to you to take a stroll down memory lane and see the things that made me happiest.


Architecture ~ Design ~ Urban Planning ~ Industrial Design ~ Travel + Leisure 


Design on, Michelle Witherby COO + Design Director

Todd Webb in Africa: Outside the Frame

Can you imagine finding a complete art collection lost in a basement for 40 years? Well, that’s exactly what happened when a lifetime of Todd Webb’s work was found. This #ManForChange proved to me -to us- that his art really is timeless. The vibrancy he captures in his subjects will take your breath away like it did mine. Step into our time machine and join me in 1950’s Africa 🇿🇦.

When life gives you lemons, make scotch.

This year I couldn’t stop dreaming about going to Balblair. It will absolutely be on the top of my new year’s bucket list for 2022 ✈️. For all my scotch lovers out there, this one’s for you! Prepare your palettes for citrus notes and allow the malt and barley to take you through time. 1790’s Scotland here we come!

Black Alchemy: Celebrating Black Empowerment

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” 

– Martin Luther King Jr.


The road for change has been a long one in our fight for equality around the globe. The #BlackLivesMatter movement brought forth a momentum we ALL felt, and for me, it was one of the most important events of this century. 


We must continue to be brave and talk about the uncomfortable, highlight the wonderful and join the conversation always. Remember we are ONE and the same: we feel the same, we breathe the same, we bleed the same.  Yes, there’s still a lot of work that must be done within our very own society to be where we all hope to be, but the sun is rising and the horizon is blooming with hope and opportunity. 


In hindsight, I needed to remind myself to be part of the change, so I leave you with this blog, a compilation of a few stories of black Americans that have enriched our history and that continue to inspire me deeply. I hope they inspire you, too.

Paint it Yellow: Bringing Happiness Back for Autumn 2021

For me, yellow = 😀. I wanted to touch base on how colors have an emotional effect on us. For one, they remind us of a time, a place, a person, a scent.


The strength of the PANTONE® 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and the hopefulness of the PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating gave us the perfect balance that we all craved for this 2021.⁣⁠


We definitely transitioned in tones of grays and yellows this year and I truly believe that an even brighter future awaits for all of us this 2022.

Scrolling Towards Creativity

Do you think it is possible to find a balance between endlessly scrolling through the internet and using it as a creative resource? It sounds difficult, believe me, I know! But the truth is that WE CAN use the internet to fuel our creative instinct. 


Throughout the year, I have found inspiration via different IN-CRE-DI-BLE accounts on Instagram and it’s motivated me to explore and imagine new concepts for our collective. I have encountered a vast community of artists who are thriving in their medium and creating an insanely nourishing content for all of us to enjoy, share, and engage with. 


Here’s what you’ll find in our repertoire of insta-worthy creators:


Miniature & mitate artist: Tanaka Tatsuya (@tanaka_tatsuya

Photographer: Simone Hutsch (@heysupersimi)

Artist & Photographer: Paul Fuentes (@paulfuentes_photo)

Stop motion animator, director & fiber artist: Andrea Love (@andreaanimates

Photographer & creative: Victor Cheng (@veeceecheng

Felt artist & cat lover: Wakuneco: Sachi (@wakuneco

Of Grandeur and Intellectual Gold; Int’l Museum Day

Museums play a crucial role in preserving culture, as they are so much more than buildings cradling relics and historical storytellers. ⁣⁠ That’s why this remarkable blog post shines a light on a museum to always remember, and honour; The Museum and Library of Alexandria. 


A very warm thank you to @antuanart and @curatorial_labs for inspiring this post!

C’est une Affaire de Famille

In the 1960’s, French sculptor Odile Mir began working in a lighting factory in the south of France. Odile was the only female designer at the time working at the factory, producing light fixture prototypes to be sold to major department stores around France. ⁣⁠


Now, Mir’s granddaughter, interior designer Léonie Alma Mason, of Paris-based LA.M Studio, is bringing her beloved’s designs retour à la vie (back to life).


Stories like these warm my heart -especially when they involve female interior designers-, it simply inspires me and motivates me to continue my life’s work for T-Concept Solutions. There are such similarities in our stories, in the end… c’est une affaire de famille.

Michelle Witherby
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