Milan Design Week 2018 - Design Gems
After five hectic, long, exciting and exhausting days in Milan for Milan Design Week, it seems like the thousands of design pieces and dozens of exhibitions have become a multicolored blur at this point. There were, however, a number of pieces and collections which we could not get out of our mind. This year we discovered an upcoming trend of iridescent finishes, functional sculptures, and form following process. We put a few of those favourite design gems here below !
March 16-22, 2018
Apparatus never fails to impress us, not only with their beautiful collections but with their immersive environments. We were particularly captivated by their Shiraz Khatam Series which "blends a modernist interpretation of classical western forms with the intricate, geometric style of Persian marquetry called Khatam." Unfortunately, due to current US sanctions against trade with Iran, Apparatus can not currently continue to produce this limited edition collection in the forseeable future.
You may have remembered seeing some of Arthur Hoffner's work on say hi to_, when we discovered him last year at Villa Noailles Design Parade in the South of France. It was such a pleasant surprise when we stumbled upon this installation showcasing a new collection of his fountains, curated by Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte of Carwan Gallery.
Bloc Studios with Valentina Cameranesi, Nick Ross and Objects of Common Interest
Let me say loud and clear, Sara Ferron Cima, the mastermind behind Bloc Studios is not only a master curatrice, but has one of the keenest eyes in the Design industry for spotting up and coming talent. Each year she not only blows us away with her choice of collaborations (remember last year with Sabine Marcelis and Carl Kleiner? Swoon.) but with her overall art direction around each collection. We were so excited to see one of our alltime favourite contemporary artists/designers, Valentina Cameranesi as well as the brilliant Nick Ross and Objects of Common Interest in this year's collaboration.
PANORAMA by Valentina Cameranesi
We've featured Valentina Cameranesi a few times, since our first discovery of her beautiful vases in Toulon, South of France last year during the Design Parade. Not only does she create sensual and feminine sculptural vases but with her background in scenography and art direction she always seems to effortlessly create all encompassing, environments for her pieces. Panorama did not disappoint.
We actually stumbled upon Bohinc Studio completely by chance, while quite literally running through an exhibition to grab a coffee for the road. I had to do a skidding stop when I saw this luxurious 1970's Jetsons-esque chair and then sea of sculptural; geometric vases.
Unsighted by Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte
Robert Sironi’s ruins at Unsighted
Jeonghwa Seo’s Table at Unsighted
Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte is one of our favourite design curators in Europe, with his talent to spot some of the most innovative talents of the young generation of designers. We knew when we saw that he was curating a show entitled 'Unsighted', it would be a must-visit. The juxtaposition of Nicolas' selection of innovative collectible furniture design set against a backdrop of a beautifully decaying, old world Milanese apartment was brilliant. We saw a favourite discovery of ours from our series of design trips to Seoul last year, Jeonghwa Seo and new favourites like Robert Sironi.
We knew there was a thriving design scene in Australia but unfortunately have not yet had the chance to discover it first hand ourselves. 'Local Design' a show curated by Emma Elizabeth, showcasing 26 Australian designers, was the perfect opportunity to do so. We not only had the chance to discover the playful and skilfully crafted work set up in a series of vignettes, but had the pleasure to experience some warm hospitality from designers showcasing, chatting design over the course of an hour or two on the sunny balcony out back.
Local Design - Daniel & Emma
Local Design - Hava Studio
Local Design - Henry Wilson
Local Design - Anna Varendorff
Local Design - Tom Skeehan
Local Design - Volker Haug
Odd Matter not only always launches playful yet sophisticated collections, but my friends and creative couple Els Woldhek and Georgi Manassiev, the masterminds behind OM are equally kickass. Seeing them around various design weeks is always a highlight with their totally unpretentious and fun spirit.
Their most recent collection, which we had the pleasure of discovering while they were mid set-up, reminds me of some type of luxurious stone-aged acid trip. It was easily one my favourite finds during all of Milan Design Week.
Olympia by Candice Blanc and Ulysse Martel. Photo by Raphaëlle Mueller
I'm not going to lie, I walked into Rossana Orlandi and walked directly out as it was so packed with people I literally couldn't see anything. I later saw this geometric oilspill-dream by Candice Blanc and Ulysse Marten, in a friend of mine, Debika Ray's Milan Roundup from Rossana's exhibition and had to include it here...
Ventura Project's came back this year showcasing the best of emerging designers in a new format this year with Ventura Future. We absolutely loved the compact apartment building of design and discovering so many new talents all at once. We were lucky enough to snag a spot on a private tour organised by The Design Release, a global design calendar platform.
Ventura Future - Bellamoli Studio
We were super impressed with Bellamoli Studio's research and development into producing extremely sturdy yet paper thin marble for their newest collection. The collection was reminiscent of relic's belonging to a temple alter with a contemporary, minimalistic spin to them.
Ventura Future - Ekin Kayis
Ekin Kayis' collection 'Nordic Mood' was born out of extensive material research, combining ceramics and glass through the glassblowing process.
Ventura Future - Forever Studio
Forever Studio's 'Sign Series' was inspired by light advertisements. Depending on where you are standing, the light path will deform and change direction.
Ventura Future - Lorenzo Cereda
Milennial Pink, Brass, Green Plants, Minimalisitc Tribal Art and a shiny barely functional daybed? Count me in! I loved my time hanging out in Lorenzo Cereda's Italian Dream room.
Ventura Future - Lukas Peet + ANDLight
Lukas Peet and ANDLight's vignette showed off playful and futuristic lighting fixtures throughout a series of different collections. Something I loved about what they presented was that the collections were fun and imaginative, yet still contemporary and minimalistic enough to be applied to a plethora of different types of interiors.
What captivated us about Skonne's unique carpets was the use of technology to make the customer apart of the creative process. Each rug is completely unique as the customer chooses a custom crop of a larger image to create their ideal pattern for the rug.
Ventura Future - Stine Mikkelsen
Stine Mikkelsen at Ventura Future
By now you should be well aware that functional fine art is our thang. Young Danish designer, Stine Mikkelsen was one of our favourite finds during design week with her mix of innovation, texture and hand-made techniques in her raw collection 'Solid Formations'.
Ventura Future - Studiofoam
Why is it that we always find the French design gems while abroad? Vous-êtes où mes amies?! Studiofoam's collection 'BLUSH', a trompe l'oeil, leads us to believe that the vases are are made up of soft, malleable foam when up close are rigid and structured vases made from a material innovation using foam, porcelain and cotton.
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Check out what else we discovered during Milan Design Week 2018...