Milano Design Week 2019 Selects
From Cascadian chandeliers to artistic interpretations of minerality, there’s plenty to see at Milano Design Week 2019, with the creative minds behind names like Yabu, Artek and Swarovski getting their chance to sparkle.
André Fu, a luxury hotel designer who’s recently been focused on décor accessories, is bringing his new lifestyle brand into existence at Salone 2019. Andre Fu Living’s inaugural collection, Modern Reflections, celebrates life as a nomad, drawing on early memories of cultural experiences.
A Scandinavian design firm with a love of technological improvement, Artek is considering the give and take between Finland and Japan while over in Italy, this year. That means tapping Aino Aalto, Alvar Aalto, Buaisou, Company, Koichi Futatsumata, Akira Minagawa and Jo Nagasaka for an installation by Linda Bergroth. Plus, designer Jo Nagasaka merges the Japanese practices of Udukuri and Tsugaru-nuri for a surface finish he refers to as ColoRing.
Their first ever product Bocci made was a cast glass pendant. Now, the Vancouver / Berlin company, which has drawn inspiration in equal parts from modernist painters and Zen masters, is bringing forth a new lighting designed by founder and creative director Omer Arbel. They employ a utilitarian format of numbering their collections, ordered by creation date. It has the interesting effect of helping the shopper to understand, immediately, the history of the works on display in Milan: 74, a new LED spotlight system, would be more recent than 73V, an oblong blown glass ceiling light, and 57 is being brought back in a new opaline remix.
Slinking its way through the 16th century Palazzo Isimbardi, 3D printed bio-plastic modules rock the return of London fashion brand COS. The installation is the vision of French parametric architect and artist Arthur Mamou-Mani, meant to draw the attendee from the courtyard to the garden. You’re probably more aware of COS than you know. Owned by the H&M Group, its “reinvented classics and wardrobe essentials” are available in 270 stores worldwide. According to company officials, art and design commissions of the sort on display in Milan, are a way for it to explore its aesthetic.
The finalists for the 2019 Lexus Design Award come into view during the seventh year of the competition. The theme this time, Design for a Better Tomorrow, nudges designers into an optimistic interpretation of a world that can all too often seem cruel, mechanical and terrifying. Revered designers will select a Grand Prix winner by jury process. In addition, Japanese creatives Rhizomatiks, will drop some design, art and tech-knowledge bombs with their characteristic light play and advanced robotics, as part of the 12th annual Leading With Light expo.
If you’re a sofa lover you might be persuaded to take a gander over to the Vitra corner of the design fair. Or should I say Salone del Mobile - Hall 20 (specifically Stand B07/C12) April 9 – 14. That’s where the Vlinder Sofa, a Hella Jongerius creation, will show off a unique fabric meant to stretch what weavers these days can do. This Swiss family business speaks of the intelligence of furniture and the importance of concentrated effort in luxury goods production. You’ll be wanting to examine the next wave of items from this business that, as Financial Review reminded us earlier this week, has “changed the way we work.”
If you want to get deeper into it, hit up The Politics of Design, at the Vitra Design Museum. Essentially it’s a conference, curated by Amelie Klein, that expounds on how design can act as a political and social tool. Paola Antonelli, Danah Abdulla, Jan Boelen, Claudia Chwaliz, Etienne Turpin, and Indy Johar will even be on hand for a free chat April 10 at Triennale Milano, Teatro dell’Arte (pane at 2, open until 6 p.m.)
Gentle curves and lithe shapes typify the materials worked on by Yabu Pushelberg in recent days. You could see both business-class Wallpaper* magazine fans and minimal atmospheric techno heads both digging their aesthetic, the way the company draws inspiration from the serenity of nature inherent in a tree canopy. They’ve been working with materials such as burnished brass and pumping out collabs with Henge, Glas Italia, Lasvit, Marsotto and Tribu.
Danish textile company Kvadrat will furnish the S-Project area with new offerings at a 400-square-meter stand. You can expect upholstery textiles, curtains and accessories across the Kvadrat / Raf Simons, Febrik, Kvadrat and Sahco brands. The aforementioned Kvadrat / Raf Simons is even dropping its sixth collection. They’re going with an installation titled No Man’s Land, which you can find over at Garage 21, Via Archimede 26. That’s where Rochelle Canteen will hold down a week-long residency and Margot Henderson and Melanie Arnold will serve a classic canteen menu for breakfast, lunch and aperitivos.
Speaking of the glistering of Milano Design Week, how could we forget Swarovski? They’re revealing new lighting for Euroluce, including designs by Marjan van Aubel and Tord Boontje. Head over to Rho Fiera for a glimpse.
If you’ve been keeping tabs on what apparently black shirt-adoring designer Tom Fereday has been working on, then make sure to check out what’s in store at the Lane Crawford booth. It’s an interesting marriage of sorts, as the Hong Kong and China-based company is featuring work from this young Aussie. That’s because he won their Creative Call Out and is presenting his global exclusive furniture collection over at Galleria Manzoni.