The minimalist aesthetic that all but defines functional design is typically associated with the likes of Scandinavia and Japan, yet the design language has become global to the extent that designers from across the globe have adopted those high standards for quality as their own. Thus, Anne Boenisch and Steffen Schellenberger explore a universal approach to understated yet beautiful design as much as the legacy of, say, their fellow countryman Dieter Rams.
In fact, the duo repped their hometown with a felicitous bit of wall text, lest the fairground crowds mistake their work for that of designers from further afield. Schellenberger's "3rdqualityfirst" wall clock highlights aberrations in a smooth porcelain surface—usually regarded as unwanted defects—by recasting the markings as a clock.
Nevertheless, I must admit that Boenisch's "Motion" stool was the piece that initially caught my eye. Like Christian Kayser's "Synkraft Stool," which we saw at Tuttobene's "The New Glint of Things," the form vaguely resembles an African drum, with its thin stainless steel struts.
Where Kayser's frame suggested a spiral, Boenisch's seat looks a bit more the Eames' "Eiffel" chair legs. Therein lies the rub: the "Motion" stool can be flattened into a modernist flower with a two-handed tug to the midsection of the frame—Boenisch likened it to an exercise apparatus. (The side table of the same name is simply a proportionally larger version; not pictured here.)
The design has an uncanny affinity to Boenisch's "Karat" lamp, made from folded aluminum sheets. In addition to the warm glow that emanates from the bottom of the shade—enhanced by its gold-anodized interior—light also limns each vertex, shining through acrylic plates at each edge.
Unfortunately, this was not what their booth in Milan looked like...
Lausanne-based design studio Big Game was founded by Grégoire Jeanmonod, Elric Petit and Augustin Scott de Martinville in 2004. Seeing as they're Swiss, Belgian and French, respectively, I can only imagine that one of those countries was the obvious choice for the site of their studio; the products themselves are produced throughout Europe and Asia.
While there was nothing particularly remarkable about the wares they brought to SaloneSatellite, it is precisely the understated elegance of the work that is Big Game's strong suit. In fact, the "Spot" compact lamp (below), which can be hung as an overhead light or inverted as a table lamp, might be regarded as a literal take on the notion of a 'satellite.'
"Bold" upholstered chair (Moustache, France)
"Bote" floating toy, produced by Materia (Portugal)
"Pen" USB memory stick, produced by Praxis (Hong Kong)
Japan, like Italy, has a long tradition of highly-skilled craftsmen and specialty manufacturers. On trend with the larger design community, Japanese designers and manufacturers are working hand-in-hand to elevate public consciousness about the techniques and artistry indigenous to their native crafts. One organization that is doing just this is Japan Creative. Following last year's tsunami disasters, the organization was founded to, "1) rediscover at a fundamental level in the modern world the distinguished aestehetics and tradition-oriented skills of the Japanese, and 2) create and present ideas and products from a new perspective."
Last week in Milan, the first exhibition of Japan Creative was held showcasing prototypes for six specialty product collaborations: Oigen x Jasper Morrison, Hinoki Kogei x Peter Marigold, Pioneer x Paul Cocksedge, Mihoya Glass x Yeongkyu Yoo, Koubei-gama x Inga Sempé and Dome Carbon Magic x Nacho Carbonell. The exhibition, Simple Vision, emphazies the aesthetics that Japanese design is known for: simple, space-efficient and multifunctional, while examining the possibilities found at the intersection of contemporary design and traditional craft. Check out Japan Creative's website for more beautiful process photography from the designers' visits with the manufacturers.
We wrote about the 160-year-old Oigen Foundary's beautiful and functional cast iron cookware last month at the International Home + Housewares Show. Morrison, who is known for his highly functional designs for everyday objects, created a beautiful collection of cast iron cookware that feels both modern and timeless. I especially like the stove-to-oven pot and lid with an integrated wooden serving tray that holds the lid for elegant tabletop presentation.
Dome Carbon Magic creates lightweight and structurally stable carbon fiber developed for high performing racing cars. Their collaboration with avant-garde design darling Nacho Carbonell, created a beautiful seating collection that, "emits a sound using the resilient properties of carbon fiber."
Since 1979, the Nilufar Gallery has been one of the most active and influential Italian design galleries. Founder Nina Yashar has consistently championed fearless designers like Martino Gamper, Bethan Laura Wood and Gaetano Pesce. A signal of the fast-changing times, on the occasion of this year's Salone del Mobile, the Nilufar Gallery launched two new initiatives: Nilufar Unlimited.com and Nilufar Storage.
Nilufar Unlimited.com is an online venture for the gallery that exhibits, advocates and sells reproducible objects. After years of exclusively exhibiting "rare and unique" pieces of 20th and 21st century designed objects, the launch of Nilufar Unlimited.com marks a huge change for the gallery. "Nilufar wants to open towards a wider public...a public being the collector of an even wider and variegated range of proposals by the gallery. Images and objects surveying and innovating the features of materials, lines, shapes, functions, remodelling space, creating unexpected ways to perceive and live it." See more images from Unlimited after the jump.
Nilufar Unlimited - Massimiliano Locatelli "Cai - Ban - Cai Ghe"
Now that you've had your morning coffee, what to do with the leftover grounds? Winner of the 15th edition of SaloneSatellite, Spanish designer Raúl Laurí debuted his DECAFÉ collection last week in Milan. Created entirely of heat-and-pressure treated coffee grounds, DECAFÉ hopes to "give a second life to coffee ground as a biodegradable and renewable material while taking advantage of its emotional aspects."
Laurí's collection includes table, pendant, and floor lamps as well as decorative tableware.
As always, Milan's Ventura Lambrate district was absolutely jam-packed with awesome, avant-garde and otherwise amazing work by designers hailing from all over the world. We'll have more from some of the schools that were there shortly, though recent grads made a strong showing as well. As in Tel Aviv's TLV Express, several young designers from the Hague united to represent their hometown in "Haagswerk."
This year's Salone del Mobile is the first fair Haags Werk is participating in. The designers that are part of the exhibition are: Marlies van der Linden & Raúl Wallaart, Celine van Raamt, Tiddo de Ruiter, Inge Simonis, Barbara Vos and Geanne Welles. Together they will be presenting their newest work in the fields of product, ceramics, textile, furniture design and architecture.
While all of the designers are based in De Besturing, a creative studio complex in the Hague, organizers hope to bring recognition to the city's emerging design talent. Thus, organizers de Ruiter, Vos, Welles and Dennis Slootweg hope that Haagswerk will become a platform "for young designers to be able to participate in large fairs to show the world their newest work."
The Haagswerk booth was an installation unto itself: architects Marlies Van der Linden and Raúl Wallaart designed the modular "Haagse Binckjes" stood out despite their simple construction and aesthetic, which is precisely their appeal. Intended to divide interior spaces, the structures are "easily constructed, [requiring only] two people, two wrenches and a ladder." Besides the exhibition setting, "Haagse Binckjes are also perfectly suitable as small office spaces in a workshop, as a stand and as an entrance desk in a public building."
In the three years since Celine Van Raamt returned to her hometown of the Hague (after completing her bachelor's degree in Delft), she's completed her graduate studies and launched several products. The lamp was inspired by wallpaper, achieving a particularly elegant effect when arranged in sequence (as pictured on her website; I'd also be curious to see it inverted as a wall sconce...).
Inge Simonis starts with the clear and functional aesthetic of minimalism, adding just enough surprise and chance that make for housewares with distinctive details. For example, a pair of decanters—one for red, one for white—was inspired by the shapes of chimney-pots. It comes in two sizes, with cups to match.
Her lighting designs, on the other hand, was inspired by childhood papercraft: "in Holland, children produce garlands for festivities through folding and cutting." Thus, Simonis's pendant lamps alludes to both cultural tradition and design heritage.
Design Facility is a conceptual "design research facility" composed of 3 instructors and 8 students from Singapore Polytechnic's Experience and Product Design program. At this year's SaloneSatellite show, the group presented a collection of thoroughly considered products under the title basic luxury.
In our explorations within the theme of 'basic luxury' it became clear that the notions of 'basic' and 'luxury' are never valid premises within our everyday. Instead, their meanings and definitions are in constant flux, occasionally complimenatry and at other times, perversely contradictory...our pursuit of 'basic luxury' today will be dictated beyond rationality and expectations, driven by eccentricities, hyper-reality and questions that provoke the most fundamental aspect of our inetraction with the everyday.
This provocation resulted in an interesting if understated show: paint(s), table lamp, chair and decorative objects have an element of surprise embedded in the seemingly mundane. The work of the group is summarized in a similarly understated publication sprinkled with interviews, construction diagrams, quotes and research notes to accompany and contextualize the work.
"Can wall painting depart from mere cosmetic and surface protection?" These three paint concepts explore a new functionality for wall paint, creating unexpected spaces for our daily needs. I especially love the custom paint-brushes for applying the paint.
Texture paint includes "dodecahedron granules" to create small hooks on the surface of the wall:
Italian rug manufacturer Nodus exhibited their beautiful collection of limited edition and high design rugs, befittingly in the courtyard of the Theological Faculty of Milan.
Belgian designers Studio Job are known for their unique storytelling through intricate patterns and playful use of textiles and materials. Their 2008 Bavaria collection for Moss has always been a favorite of mine and we saw their entry into rugs last year for both Nodus and Established & Sons. At this year's Nodus presentation, Studio Job transformed their 2009 stained glass piece, "The Birth" into a hand-woven wool rug (above). The abstracted patterns of organs, blood vessels and bones employed in their more recent "Quack" Cabinet found a new life in the kaleidoscopic Quack rug.
Much has been written already about the launch of IKEA's Uppleva TV furniture units, but few reviewers seem to have interacted with them.
About 10 of them were publicly shown—in a world premiere—at the IKEA PS show in the Lambrate area of the Milan Design Week event, in different colors, sizes, and furniture combinations. The event ended yesterday and the IKEA Uppleva website is expected to go online soon.
This post concentrates on the interface design—an area which has not been covered so far.
On Putting People First (the Experientia blog that I manage), you can also read more on the user research that went into the design.
The demo units in Milan were running a very advanced prototype software, but the interaction and product design provided an integrated and simple user experience, with only minor problems.
The Uppleva home screen has only 8 items—picture, sound, PAP, options, media, smart TV, lock and setup—and direct access to most of the areas is available via the remote control.
Icons are simple and clean: off-white on a blue background.
This theme comes through in all the screens, with the TV (or video) image being turned into a subdued blue-and-white background presence on the internal screens, as can be glimpsed on the screenshots here:
Uppleva options screen
Uppleva setup screen
(Aside from the IKEA-supplied home screen shot, all other photos were taken by me, and this is the reason for the perspective and color distortions.)
The blue background makes it difficult to change the color and contrast settings, as you have to switch between settings and live image to see the effect, but other than that provides a calming and quiet visual experience, very different from the one that sometimes pervades in these types of interfaces.
How do people sit? There are those who flop down on a staircase or on a sawn-off tree trunk, those who prefer a stool with turned legs or a classic straw-bottomed chair. Then there are those who use a chair as a tool, to get hold of something that otherwise would be out of reach.
"Searching for Cassiopeia" is a collection of 12 chairs conceived by the young designers at Fabrica and manufactured by the Italian Chair District, the exhibition is inspired by the constellation, in which "the five brightest stars of Cassiopeia resemble the shape of a chair." (A quick refresher, for those of you who don't know the tale by heart: "A vain Egyptian queen is tied to this chair, condemned to circle the pole star for all eternity.")
To those who have always thought that sitting is a banal and ultimately repetitive gesture, the project shows that a throne is very different from a step, a chaise longue very different from a bench, a stool entirely the opposite of a small armchair. It shows that to relax after a day's hard work, you need the right backrest, and that there is nothing better than falling into a soft padded mat with your loved one.
As for the Italian Chair District?
Located in the heart of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, this manufacturing cluster includes small, sub-contracting artisan firms and big industrial companies highly specialized in the wood/furniture sector and in each individual stage in the manufacturing process...
The Italian Chair District is synonymous with a collective, flexible and efficient system that absorbs contemporary sources of inspiration without betraying its roots, creates a dialogue with international trends, features cultural input by designers from a wide range of backgrounds and training, and grafts them onto well-established techniques and knowledge.
Salone Satellite has been the showcase for emerging design talent for nearly a decade and a half now, and Swedish designer Jonas Forsman was one of many standouts at the jam-packed subsection at the end of Pavilions 22 & 24 at the fairgrounds. Designers from neighboring booths had nothing but positive things to say about his work... as did the team from the Design Report Awards, who deemed Forsman's work worthy of an honorable mention.
The "Arc" chair is an elegant update to the folding chair.
The articulation of the "Big Up" desk lamp (left) was perfectly calibrated; the spring (à la Anglepoise) is hidden in the base.
The "Parasol" table lamp, on the other hand, featured a freely articulating shade, thanks to its ball-and-socket joint.
Architects Pascale Wakim and Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte originally founded Carwan Gallery as a pop-up space in Beirut just two years ago. Insofar as the Salone is an excellent opportunity for Carwan Gallery to further its mission to "encourage students, artisans, designers, and the public at large to connect with each other and the world of design in the Middle East," they're presenting "Contemporary Perspectives in Middle Eastern Crafts" at Milan's Ventura Lambrate district.
With a concept that seeks to expand the vocabulary of traditional crafts, Carwan has commissioned a selection of international designers to create a series of new, limited-edition objects in partnership with local artisans in the Middle East. Each designer's project encapsulates the re-imagining of a distinct, time-honored craft, where the specialized technique of each artisan has formed the basis for the creation of a new object by the designer. The designers are Karen Chekerdjian (Lebanon), Khalid Shafar (UAE), Lindsey Adelman (USA), Studio mischer'traxler (Austria), Nada Debs (Lebanon), Oeuffice (Canada), Paul Loebach (USA), Philippe Malouin (Canada) and Tamer Nakisci (Turkey).
Milan's own Oeuffice created "Ziggurat" containers for the show, tapping the expertise of Lebanese craftsmen for the wood inlay of the architectural sculpture (Carwan's Bellavance-Lecompte and Jakub Zak are behind the collaborative effort). According to the designers, "the form evokes a simplification of traditional Muquarnas found in Middle Eastern architecture, and the inlaid ornamentation renders a new study of scale and an unexpected shift in direction of traditional pattern standards." The set of eight boxes comes in two color options (shown open below).
Khalid Shafar's "ARABI" chandelier is a modern pendant lamp composed from "circular handmade wool Egaals, the black headband[s] worn by men in the Arab region to hold the head cover."
Philippe Malouin's "Extrusion" series includes bowls, a stool, a tray and a table. The distinctive pattern of each of the gorgeous objects comes from the intarsia process of assembling wood slats; the form is shaped with a lathe. Both techniques are "ancient crafts that originated in the Middle East around 1200 BC."
Spazio Hayon is a solo exhibition by designer Jaime Hayon. Known for his uncanny gift for combining eye-catching Mediterranean flair with a minimalist design language, Hayon continues to refine his style across an ever-increasing variety of products, created for several manufacturers the world over.
"The Guest" series for Lladró Atelier; "Fantasmico" clock
"Hope Bird" (detail) for Bosa
"FORMA" porcelain by Jaime Hayon for Kamide Choemon-gama
"FORMA" porcelain by Jaime Hayon for Kamide Choemon-gama
Architect Sally Mackereth certainly isn't the first established architect to try her hand at furniture design, but she's made a strong foray into that world of medium-sized design objects—material innovation and all—with CAST001, her first series of furniture, which recently debuted at Tom Dixon's MOST on the occasion of the Salone.
Mackereth has opted to forgo the easy stepping stone of the living room or kitchen and start with two matching articles of patio furniture, with future pieces to follow. CAST001 is an exploration of the aesthetic possibilities of reconstructed stone that has been 'infused' with a small percentage of metal—bronze, silver or gold—which imparts a muted sheen to the highly tactile surfaces. The designer has called on "traditional molding and casting specialists Stevensons of Norwich" to cast the pieces with distinctive textures.
We had the chance to talk to Israeli designer Michael Blumenfeld—one of several young designers who arrived at Milan's Ventura Lambrate district under the "TLV Express" moniker—about his work and that of his colleagues. Their mission statement:
TLV express collective represents a new Israeli design perspective, based on experimental investigation of materials and technologies. Israel is a small country with a small industry in comparison to the world therefore the designer becomes the manufacturer of his own designs.
Living in a young country with a short history and little craftsmanship tradition, the self production process becomes a journey to the unknown. Lack of tradition and support from the industry has benefits also,The Israeli designer feels free to experiment with no restrictions from the factory; often the mistakes hold all the surprises and the handmade practice leads to mastery.
As for his own work, Blumenfeld's "Trizin" series of stools and tables are based on a canonical simple machine: the wedge. The design expresses the process with an economy of form and materials.
Process video and work from his fellow Tel Avivites after the jump...
Fabian Dumas, The War of the Lights - Yokozuna suspension lamp (produced by DARK). Atame collection of suspension, table and floor lamps.
Celebrating it's fifth year in Milan, DMY Berlin presents Instant Stories, tauting the work of eleven of the city's finest young designers. Produced and presented as a traveling exhibition, the individual works were shown in "stage-cases" that felt like elevated dioramas—giving each piece a sense of theater. These stage-cases emphasized the narrative aspect of design and allowed each designer to create their own context, identify visual cues as inspiration and, like any good piece of fiction, invite the viewer to participate or reject the premise.
The format of the case-stages corresponds to the 4:3 proportion of digital images. Already pre-configured to be instantly turned into a two-dimensional, mobile and easy shareable medium, the sceneries help the objects to come to life not just within an ephemeral moment on the exhibition's stage, but as a handy snapshot you can take home.
Rasko Naibaf Furniture, This is Not an Umbrella - parapluie table (produced by Rasko Naibaf Furniture).
The pieces and their corresponding backdrops ranged from the predictable (Rasko Naibaf Furniture's umbrella-shaped "Parapluie Table" presented against a background of clouds) to the ethereal (HAW's topographical bowls set against an otherworldly landscape). The challenge of this type of scenographic display becomes the way the storytelling itself can devalue or overextend the framed object.
DMY Berlin presents Instant Stories
via Privata Oslavia 8
Ventura Lambrate District
Through April 22
Mark Braun - Hama Chair & Lounge Chair (produced by Atelier Haussmann). Fortune Drinking set TS 283 (produced by J&L Lobmeyr).
Celebrating ten years of design, food, fashion, "conceptualization and cookery," the creative collective Arabeschi Di Latte welcomed design observers from across the world into their new Milan studios in the Ventura Lambrate district.
Working in collaboration with London-based DesignMarketo, the lovely ladies of Arabeschi Di Latte allowed Design Marketo to raid their archives in anticipation of their move from Florence to Milan. The project, Wundertute, is a whimsical game of chance where participants can play to win a bag of Arabeschi Di Latte memorabilia. For 2 Euros, you purchase a slice of homemade pie. Hidden inside select slices of pie are beans—if you discover a bean (sized small, medium and large) in your slice, then you win a corresponding prize pack off the wall.
The name of the exhibition, Wundertute comes from the common names for these surprise prize packs. Many cultures have a tradition of these grab bags—Wundertute in Germany, Pesca di Fortuna in Italy, Pochette Surprise in France and Lucky Dip in the UK. Divided into three "sizes" of archival materials—odds and ends of a decade-worth of design projects—the small bags are filled with extraneous design materials, medium bags are filled with tools and the large bags are filled with products.
The two fellas behind Sapore dei Mobili are Portuguese and Japanese—and they're based in Milan, to boot—but they've gone French for the first product of their design studio, subverting the old cliché: "Let them eat cake." Rui Pereira and Ryosuke Fukusada have given new meaning to the notion of 'good taste' in furniture with their furniture cakes, a comment on "how consumers are unable to digest the huge amount of new products that companies are launching each year."
To that end, they've created a waffle-press-style mold for tiny cakes... shaped like furniture.
La Chance made its debut at Tom Dixon's MOST, a five-building design extravaganza anchored in Milan's National Museum of Science and Technology. La Chance is a Paris-based furniture and lighting company founded by an architect and financier who met by chance (hence their name). Co-founders Jean-Baptiste Souletie and Louise Breguet hope the brand "epitomize[s] their vision of French design and gives a contemporary interpretation of the ornamental and decorative furniture traditions." Given that their first collection is comprised of work from 11 designers representing the United States (Jonah Takagi), Stockholm (Note Design Studio), Italy (Luca Nichetto), the Netherlands (François Dumas, Susanne de Graef), Poland (Bashko Trybek), Israel (Dan Yeffet & Lucie Koldova), and France (Noé Duchaufour Lawrence, Pierre Favresse, Charles Kalpakian, Vulcain), it's hard to imagine the smart and colorful brand as anything but global.
"Rocky" shelving unit by Charles Kalpakian
For their debut collection, Jekyll and Hyde, La Chance worked with their designers to create a collection fit for a demanding, if not bi-polar client. Hyde uses bright primary colors and natural woods to convey a whimsical optimism. Jekyll, on the other hand, has a darker, more sober feel employing classical luxury materials like marble paired with metallic finishes.
Check out the video above where co-founders Jean-Baptiste Souletie and Louise Breguet introduce La Chance and share the stories behind some of the pieces in their first collection.
La Chance, Jekyll and Hyde
National Museum of Science and Technology
via Olona 6
Through April 22nd
Tom Dixon, the British designer known for not only designing the modern classics that make up his lighting and furniture collections but also manufacturing them, kicked off Milan with a bang. On Tuesday Tom Dixon threw open the doors to the National Museum of Science and Technology for his first solo satellite show in Milan, MOST. Interwoven with the museum's vintage transportation exhibitions and robotics labs were five buildings worth of design ranging from London's Designers Block to North American favorites Blu Dot and Molo.
We were particularly excited to see the new lighting Tom Dixon presented at this year's show. A departure from his highly finished signature metallic fixtures, I loved the primitive shapes and finish of the Lustre collection. Handmade ceramics give an iridescent glazed and twice-fired to create a shimmering effect that Dixon describes as, "reminiscent of hidden colours in nature, seen in peacock feathers or oil slicks on water." In this year's Milan shows we've witnessed a renewed interest in ceramics by designers across the board and it's refreshing to see the material in lighting as well.
A new typology for Tom Dixon, the Fin collection was also quite arresting for its unique combination of materials and shapes. Not one to shy away from exposing the "messiness" of design, the Fin lights expose the inner workings and electrical components of the light, making the circuit board, "the hero of the design." A heat sink forms the body and sturcture, a lens magnifies the exposed circuit board. Dixon calls this collection his, "ode to engineering and an introduction to new and rapidly changing lighting technologies."
Ceramic Vase cast using woven straw, by Katja Pettersson
A universal design and build material employed since the dawn of agricultural societies, straw has been used to construct everything from roofs to baskets, carpets to ceremonial objects. Today, the material is considered at best, nostalgic, and is currently one of the most challenged crafts in the Nordic region. Due to the low cost of labor and handwork in foreign countries, what was once a commonly performed skill by women in the Swedish city of Dalsland, is now rapidly disappearing.
Farmer's Gold investigates the possibilities of straw and craft in a contemporary market. Editions in Craft invited a group of European designers to participate in a workshop with local artisans in Dalsland. As a resource, straw has many advantages; it's environmentally friendly, locally-grown, cheaply sourced and widely available, it presents an interesting window of opportunity for those who choose to work with straw. Through an exchange of ideas and techniques, the designers and artisans explored the material and created new products that, "challenge the traditional distinctions between design and craft."
Amsterdam's Transnatural is a multidisciplinary organization that offers, among other things, a selection of well-curated design objects "in which nature & technology come together in unison without damaging the planet." (They also host public programming and workshops, mostly in the space "between nature and technology with a combination of art, (speculative, future) design, and emerging technology.")
Their group exhibition at the Salone occupied the very first space following the all-but-immersive maze of the MOST's headliner (and 'instigator,' per the press language), an installation by Tom Dixon himself. A series of mirrors by Lex Pott & David Derksen ostensibly echoes ('mirrors,' perhaps) Dixon's aesthetic, though the "Transcience Mirror" is more properly construed as an illustration of degradation over time, where the designers have accelerated the oxidation process with sulfur. Following their initial material exploration, Pott & Derksen have quantized the patina into geometric shapes in the finished products (above).
The mirrors are adjacent to Jólan van der Wiel's "Gravity Stools," which are produced from a homogenous mixture of iron fillings and a plastic compound that cures in half an hour once he has extracted the material from the mold.
We'll have more on him from his exhibit at Ventura Lambrate shortly, but the original production video (after the jump) is well worth watching:
Call it "Things That Look Like Other Things," with a twist: designer Katja Pettersson's "Features of a Material" series consists of objects that are what they look like—a stool, a table, a chair and a pendant lamp—but have more to them than meets the eye:
A designers fast hand made sketch of an object. A craft that involves parameters, imposed by the material, tools, scale and the physical body of the maker. The objects gets tweaks and have a specific expression in their hand made imperfection.
Some of the objects are left with no practical function and some are made in a durable aluminum material lending the fragile cell plastic expression.
Pettersson is currently a Senior Lecturer at Beckman's College of Design; she is also a founder of Stockholm design collective FRONT, who are currently exhibiting at a half a dozen locations in Milan.
Features of a Material
Spazio Rossana Orlandi - Basement
via Matteo Bandello 14/16
Through April 22nd
"Dexter" by Andreas Farkas. An interlocking stool with a strong graphic silhouette, the "Dexter" recalls the string-like, metal furniture found in personal and publis spaces in Sweden. Can be used as a stool, bench (when connected) or shelf (when stacked).
Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, the Stockholm-based design school, showcased 13 student works at Spazio Rossana Orlandi under the exhibition theme Design for a Liquid Society. The show took inspiration from the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman's phrase "liquid modernity," an observation that individuals are more and more involved in planning their lives and careers through short-term projects and episodes.
This shifting terrain creates an interesting challenge for designed objects, putting into question their core functionalities, and demanding both nostalgia and future thinking from the same objects. The students of Konstfack explore the implications of a liquid society—as commentators, navigators and dreamers through a vivid collection of furniture that addresses the demands of today while considering the possibilities of tomorrow.
Design for a Liquid Society
presented by Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design
Spazio Rossana Orlandi
via Matteo Bandello 14/16
Through April 22nd
"Warp" by Oscar Sintring. A shelf and hanger system that pays homage to craft and the DIY movement by employing a simple wood and yarn system that packs easily, but requires the owner to weave all the supporting shelves and surfaces. "The process is similar to weaving the surface of a chair," explains the designer.
"San Francisco" by Asa Agerstam. Crafted from solid foam, the "San Francisco" takes the brief of a Liquid Society quite literally. Based on a popular gin cocktail with the same name, the "San Francisco" is a nostalgic piece for Agerstam as she recalls the special cocktails her parents would make for friends and family—the gradient color of the stool looks like a tropical cocktail.
Clockwise from top right: The Cugino.IT has magnets to hold the streamers in place; the "Bubo" lamp can be set on either of two feet with mirrors on them, such that the lamp can be upright or more horizontal; the "Topoluce" light is suspended by its 'ears'
Designer Roberto Giacomucci takes the notion of "small things design" refer not to the physical size of his work but to those details that matter most in the interest of simple, straightforward universal design. Yet his focus on usability is complemented by his willingness to experiment with form and material. Taken together, Giacomucci creates unpretentious design objects that are both beautiful and inviting.
The "Expander" iPod/iPhone dock
The "NBA" bookshelf is a personal favorite
"The Little Designer" is currently on exhibit at the Triennale di Milano through April 22. From the website:
More than an anthology, this exhibition wants to explain the effort, the mistakes, the surprise, the delusion and the satisfaction you feel while creating and trying to bring to life something which still does not exist. They are some little steps that permit to develop a thought and to have those visions without which it would not be possible the change.
The exhibition starts from a fixed point in my way of designing: the simplicity, the simplicity meant as essential, immediate and plainness, as a design which does not need names, but thoughts...
Marco Ferreri has been called to curate the exhibition because of his multisectorial experience and his ability of distinguish the concrete from the noise. The coherence, the constancy and the ethic of his work, make him an authoritative designer, able to reject the fashion and to prefer the real life with critical consciousness, typical of the today best Italian design.
"Fly Fly" teabag holders
"Zoowood" toys are set on rounded bases so they can rock back and forth
Tucked in a corner of the basement of Spazio Rossana Orlandi's magical exhibition space, we found Dennis Parren'sColourful Mysteries of Light. The two lighting fixtures, a wall light and a pendant lamp, projected a mysterious rainbow of colors that the Eindhoven graduate explained is, "designed not to be understood but to show that light is the only rightful owner of colour."