Archive for April, 2015

Review 5: Salone del Mobile 2015 – Exhibits, Events & Parties

With hundreds of events and exhibits to attend we always feel like we only scratch the surface. A few highlights that made for an unforgettable week.

Wallpaper Magazine and Caesarstone hosted a VIP dinner to launch Philippe Malouin’s installation – a giant swing set – at Palazzo Serbelloni. The guest-list was a mix of design heavyweights, emerging talents, the crews from Wallpaper and Caeasarstone and other Canadians from the Interior Design Show and Azure. We were pinching each other the whole night and super honoured to be Caesarstone’s guests after our collaboration together on the central bar Shed at last fall’s IDS West.

The feature image at the top of the post is Kelly enjoying a pre-dinner swing with a glass of Veuve

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“Jeux Noirs” – black games Dessert by Studio Appetit

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Mario Bellini celebrating after popping the balloon from our dessert – to release salt inside

Nendo’s retrospective took over a huge space, showcasing a wide range of products for Glas Italia as well as showcasing his design process. His exhibits are always a highlight because they show the thinking that leads to the studio’s finished work.

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One of several rooms showcasing the exploration of glass furniture

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Soft glass table

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Design process of a chair

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Kisame – the Japanese word for rain dripping from a tree branch. One of the twenty bottles in a series exploring the relationship between language and design. rain.

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The Tom Dixon VIP party included Tom, with other members of the studio, on stage performing for the crowd.

The Wallpaper Handmade & Afghanmade exhibitions are always highlights – unlikely pairings of designers and manufacturers exploring each other’s talents and expertise.

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The Rotunda Serotina was a dynamic and interactive installation of American cherry: Attendees were invited to take a wooden plate from the structure, creating a digital – albeit slow – effect with the most analog and tactile participation

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David Collins Studio worked with Cutipol on a set of spoons reinvented for modern use

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Nanamarquina developed a new round rug with weavers from Afghanastan

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We spent an afternoon at temporary exhibit with the largest collect of Leonardo da Vinci’s work in Italy. Standing in front of the Vitruvian Man was monumental – the man is celebrated because his process was much like a designer – exploring the meeting point of technology and art, and using a scientific process in creative pursuits.

The week ended with a private party at Barnaba Fornasetti’s home. The atmosphere can only be described as a party scene from a Felinni film set in a wonderland of Fornasetti artifacts.

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Plates in a hallway

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Magazine files Vogue circa 1955

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Until next year Milan…

Review 4: Salone del Mobile 2015 – Emerging Designers

The Salone brings out the best and most successful of the established designers, but it also brings out the young, students and designers who are just emerging onto the international stage. These are the people who will be designing the future, and give us the best taste of what tomorrow might look like.

Lee Broom took over a small space in the city to display his lighting, furniture and objects. The space was decked out like a department store in monochromic grey.

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Sebastian Herkner showed a beautiful pendant for Fontana Arte and a full range of glass containers, lighting and tables for Pulpo

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Philippe Malouin’s collaboration with Caesarstone showed an innovative use of the slab material for a series of vases and tables. As well as the Eclipse sconce for Roll & Hill.

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Apparatus Studio from New York took on their own space this year in the 5Vie district across from BDW. They are capturing the essence of the hand made American craftsmanship with a more refined and elegant bent. No surprise we saw Holly Hunt in the neighbourhood.

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Also in 5Vie Luogo Comume showed a rather comfortable and ergonomic chairs due to a tilting back.

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Review 3: Salone del Mobile 2015 – Lighting & Furniture Favourites

A few more products of note that we’re excited to incorporate into future projects.

Michael Anastassiades showed a selection of new mobiles and pendants for his namesake brand. His work is refined and glamorous but also playful and

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Mobile Chandelier 10

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Happy Together 4 Stack

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Bocci’s stand was again one of the best at the fair – showcasing organic and handmade fixtures among a sea of technical and machined products at the fair. “73” looked amazing in a large installation – like clouds floating in and throughout.

Roll & Hill unveiled a number of decidedly American feel – substance and craftsmanship with a refinement referencing the 20’s

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Castle Pendant by Jason Miller

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Shape Up by Ladies & And Gentlemen

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Mini Farrago by Jason Miller

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Seed 04 by Brec Brittain

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Eclipse Sconce by Philippe Malouin

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Officina Chair by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Magis

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Shimmering series by Patricia Urquiola for Glas Italia

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Table from Glas Italia

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Kaari Collection of shelves and tables by Ronan & Erwin Rouroulllec for Artek

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Cypris Mirror from Classicon

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Foscarini introduced new finishes like this more translucent version of Chouchin

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New vases & colours by Ronan & Erwin Bouroullec from Iitalla

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Sit testing the Roundish lounge chair from Maruni

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Candy by The Campana Brothers for Lasvit

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Polygon pendant by Jan Plechac & Henry Wielgus for Lasvit

Review 2: Salone del Mobile 2015 – Jaime Hayon

Besides seeing him several mornings at our neighbourhood cafe Jaime Hayon seemed to be everywhere in Milan. His designs are soft, optimistic, playful and accessible and even the most expensive pieces have a casualness. Many of his new creations for this Salone have a sense of practicality.

New chairs and tables for one of our favourite Scandinavian brands Fritz Hansen.

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Fri lounge chair, a lower backed companion to Ro.

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The Sammen dining chair

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We’re excited that Fritz Hansen is introducing new colours and finishes to some of it’s most iconic pieces.

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Jamie Hayon’s Mila chair for Magis was the first product he has designed in plastic. It takes a nod from the curves in his chairs for BD Barcelona and Cecoti but renders them in a very accessible material.

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A series of side tables for Cassina

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Hayon’s pavilion at the Garden of Wonders – a series of micro exhibits that where designers created environments related the scents of leading perfumeries.

Review 1: Salone del Mobile 2015 – The Italians are Back

This was our most Italian trip to Milan. Not just because we hired a car for a pre-fair getaway at Villa Rosmarino on the Ligurian coast – though watching the sunset from hilltop villages, scaling cliffs to a picture perfect monastery and dining with the weekenders at Puny’s in Portofino all helped set the Italian pace rather quickly.

At the fair and throughout the city there was a feeling that the best Italian manufacturers had made it through a difficult few years and were ready to put their best foot forward again. There was a quiet confidence in the air.

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We spent an hour with Andrea at the Agape showroom learning about the company’s newest innovations. Their perspective on the bathroom is less utilitarian and more experience – a spa atmosphere both relaxing & rejuvenating.

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Ell, a vanity solution with small slats in crystal plant that is both countertop and sink at the same time

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Solid, a mirror that looks like a drop of mercury on the wall when the hand blown glass isn’t illuminated like it is here.

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Canal Grande, a gentle tup resembling a washbasin with a shelf at the perfect height

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In Out tub in Nero Marquina marble

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Flos has elevated LED to a level where we’ll feel a lot more comfortable using it, especially in decorative fixtures. Clara by Piero Lissoni is a wall or ceiling LED panelled disc, with beautifully consistent diffusion.

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Superloon by Jasper Morrison

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Copycat by Michael Anastassiades in four metal finishes

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Notch by Michael Anastassiades

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The Salinas Kitchen by Patricia Urquiola for Boffi

B&B Italia introduced a number of stunning new chairs

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Papilio Shell chair by Naoto Fukasawa

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Charlotte chair by Antonio Citterior

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Butterfly outdoor sofa by Patricia Urquiola

Milan design firm Dimore Studio exhibited their sensual perspective on design in an apartment, Dimore Gallery, filled with products they collect or produce themselves. Colour, pattern, texture with a heavy dose of fashion inspiration.

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Milan – from our Instagram

Collaborations between designers and craftsmen are one of the most exciting aspects of Milan Design Week. Design icon Patricia Urquiola worked with the expertise of the Czech glass company Lasvit to create these unmistakably soft and brilliant vases.

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The Leclettico studio is showing an unusual and eclectic curation of collectible objects and bespoke craft. Jim Hannon’s three piece nesting table is cut from a single block of Carrara marble.

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Admiring the simplicity and craftmanship of the Cypris Mirror from Classicon.

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Diesel’s stand for Moroso is undeniably rock-star. This bent and perforated steel cabinet combines an edgy masculine form with a feminine colour beautifully.

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One of the many reasons we come to Milan is to see and feel (and sit…) so many products aren’t on show in local showrooms. Maruni‘s Roundish lounge chair passes the comfort test with flying colours.

Milan – from our Instagram

LED is coming into it’s own with applications that respond to the small size of the light source. Nebra, by Sebastian Herkner for Fontana Arte replaces the sphere with a disc of pressed cast glass which changes from a circle to and oval as one moves around the pendants.

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Mounted as a wall light, Clara, by Piero Lissoni for Flos, is a super flat light source. The polycarbonate lens diffuses the light to a gentle and consistent glow, hiding the panel of diodes shown here.

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Film, from Davide Goppi, is both a wall light and a personalized art installation with gently flashing LED’s behind the client’s own photos processed onto slides, somehow marrying the essence of digital and analog.

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We were pretty intrigued by the Weeble Wobble base of the table and floor lamp versions of Pin, by Lchiro Lwasaki for Vibia. High output LED in a super compact and practical package.

Milan – from our Instagram

We’re huge fans of Vancouver’s Bocci Design, who have one of the most beautiful stands at this years Milan Solone del Mobile. The new “16” is the result of pouring 3 separate layers of molten glass on a horizontal plane with an LED. Configurable with infinite possibilities.

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Several lighting companies are releasing tubular lights this year and Lee Broom was no exception. His Crystal Tube Light is one of the best we’ve seen, but the version in Carrara marble is simply stunning, and priced accordingly.

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Also by Lee Broom, a series of tables and objects combining layers of black & Carrara marble with acid yellow glass. He explained that an internal steel structure provides both strength and the intriguing contradiction of lightness of stone.

Milan – from our Instagram

Milan’s Salone del Mobile is the world’s most important design fair. 350,000 people pour into the city for the week to see the newest furniture & lighting from designers both established and emerging. We make the yearly pilgrimage to glimpse into the future – not just to see and touch new creations, but the join the conversation of how they will impact our lives.

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One of our favourite lighting designers Michael Anastassiades unveiled a new series of mobiles for his namesake brand. Pure and poetic, with layers of subtle detail – Mobile Chandelier 10 with a folded mirror.

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Foscarini is showing new interpretations of their most successful lamps, including an inverted, mostly translucent, version of the Chouchin pendant – top right.

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New York based Roll & Hill has carved our a niche in the luxury modern lighting with a distinctly American perspective – the lights all have a sense of substantive materiality and form. The Mini Farrago, by Jason Miller, is inspired by the masts of tall ships.

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Bocci’s stand was a highlight at Euro Lighting, the biannual focus on lighting at the Salone. Two new products unveiled including 73, which has a fabric texture achieved from blowing molten glass into a ceramic textile.

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Getting in a quick swing on Philippe Malouin’s installation before dinner hosted by Wallpaper Magazine and Caesarstone – thank you for a brilliant evening! Please note the palace required holding on to our champagne glasses at all times…