It’s that time of year again ~ IKEA’s spring/summer goodies are out, and i’m once again fascinated by what they are doing design wise for low cost outdoor solar lighting. Here’s what they had going last year ~ and to be honest, and an upclose look at them unboxed… and a year later, the ones in my patio, some are holding up ok, some really just dont last long lighting the world up at night anymore. Perhaps i need to swap some new rechargable AA’s in. I’m intrigued by the new additions this year though ~ from floor lamps and desk lamps to pendant lamps and even snake like lighting tubes… do you use them indoors? but in strategic locations that get lots of light? They are apparently approved for outdoors, so it could make for a cute little patio set up… and it looks like you might even be able to turn the table and desk lamps on and off… so charge them up and only pull the switch when you need it outside? (Will this make the battery last longer?)… take a peek at some larger pics on the next page!
While wandering the fiera during Milan design week ~ there were a LOT of chairs. And tables. And objects calling for your attention. Few booths made me feel ready to curl up in to bed, kick back on the couch… and just move in. LEMA did that. I walked in through the chaos, and even packed, it was a relaxing breathe of fresh air (and their flowers made it SMELL nicer than convention center too)… and then i fell in love with the bed. And the side table. and the desk. Take a peek at some of my favorite picks of their collection…
p.s. also noteworthy, they had an augmented reality aspect to their press materials! Check it out here: LEMA T030 Augmented Reality ~ you can print it and spin it around yourself even!
Packaging based impulse buy at Whole Foods when i got home… “Clean Air Tree” ~ a biodegradable potato waste pod containing spruce tree seeds in a soiless growing pellet in a biodegradable growing pot… complete with an FSC paper booklet printed with veg based ink… sealed in a compostable corn starch sleeve… super green packaging? And apparently when you plant/buy one, they do too… but unfortunately their website seems a bit broken, so i couldn’t register my pod yet… See the next page for the unboxing… start at planting… and lets hop there are sprouts soon! And someday perhaps a tree…
While at 10 Corso Como ~ i really wish i had a pack of color pencils to take to the walls of Maison Martin Margiela’s pop up shoppable installation space that is covered in black and white color by number surfaces! All non-fashion lines of the Maison are displayed: home objects (line 13), fragrances (line 3), sunglasses (line 8) and jewellery pieces (line 12). Also memorable ~ the jewelry are all in safes behind paintings… which are all open! And of course, the creepy dolls eyes behind each pair of sunglasses… see lots of pics of the single room on the next page!
While exploring Ventura Lambrate during the Milan Salone 2010 ~ in the dreary weather, we stumble into a run down garage looking space… and get pointed to enter a dark curtain across the lot… like sheep, we follow. It’s DARK in there! But then, quickly i get distracted by these shiny objects… radiators… that remind me of 50’s cars… seriously, its something about those metallic paint jobs with the chrome… it just draws you right in!
These were part of Autofficina (a Dutch Still Life Composition), an assembly of products shown during Salone in the Lambrate area featuring the works of a group of prominent Dutch designers. The exhibitors were looking for international producers, retailers or galleries. All items are either in production or ready to be produced. The space heaters are part of the series, “I am furniture”, designed by dutch design Studio Vraay. See more info, and lots more pics of the radiators as well as the Autofficina exhibition on the next page!
Hope. After a night of endless events, too many people, and walking all over the city… i must admit walking into a room of HOPE lamps really did make me light up… i was just giddy at the sight of them all together! And then i had to go directly under one to see how it looked from below… Luce Plan’s light designed by Francisco Gomez Paz and Paolo RIzzato, and winner of the 2010 red dot design award, Hope was born in 2009 as a modern reinterpretation of classic chandeliers. The design is a combination of a steel structure with polycarbonate arms and plastic Fresnel lenses to create a refraction effect equivalent to that of glass.
There is something so versatile and enamoring about this lamp, in person they just draw you right in… fun to see the way the family has grown and evolved from the original modular design. This year Luceplan proposed four new versions capable of satisfying a variety of demands.The large suspension lamp with 105 pairs of illuminating lenses can be enlarged upon request for special projects. This is the perfect solution for public spaces where a sparkling and joyful effect is desired. The wall model is smaller, with three pairs of lenses, while the ceiling model has 12 pairs of lenses. Finally, the floor version completes the Hope family: polished stainless steel tripod supports 18 pairs of illuminating lenses. See more pictures from the Luce Plan event as well as all the new Hope family on the next page!
p.s. also walking past the dark lobby of a beautiful old milanese office building, i stopped dead in my tracks when i saw a large hope pendant in the center… it looked stunning!
Zanotta Zum Expansion Table by Emaf Progetti… Sure it looks like a sleek simple table, but you have to see HOW it expands! We made the guy open it again just so i could make a video to show you ~ because you really need to see it in action to appreciate how awesome it is! See close ups and video on the next page!
Blofield is known for its inflatable chesterfield arm chairs and sofas… spotted at Superstudio Piu ~ an inflatable BATHTUB! And it was incredibly sturdy! Complete with champagne bucket and wood rack for wine glasses, naturally. Can’t find images of it online at the moment, but you can see my few detail shots on the next page!
Bottega Veneta Home Collection was one of my happy surprises this Salone ~ i showed you the fun pop up shop with an incredible curated selection of goods from Japan as well as exclusive and my new favorite Wine Opener i couldn’t resist there… well here is a look at the beautiful leather seating collaboration with META and Poltrona Frau (with classic Bottega Veneta woven pillows!), beautiful Murano glassware (with the bases etched with the iconic weave pattern), stunning Intreccio Svanito porcelain tea services in collaboration with German porcelain manufacturer KPM (with what almost look like charcoal rubbings of the iconic weave)… Creative director, Tomas Maier says “Many of the new furniture designs came out of customer requests, so they feel like natural next steps. Philosophically, the collection reflects Bottega Veneta’s commitment to meeting the needs of our customers with pieces that are versatile, understated, and beautifully crafted.” I had no idea that you can buy or order these in any of their stores… take a peek at the beautiful pieces on the next page! (I’m lusting after the couch and glassware…)
Magis was incredible this year, so many stunning pieces. Perhaps the most experimental and fascinating was the Sparkling Chair by Marcel Wanders. It’s like the PET water bottle chair of sorts… complete with mock-labels matching frizzante water… There was even a pop up space in Tortona with walls covered in prototypes, sketches, and more, and to see the process to find the perfect weight, colors, concepts were truly inspiring! This is his lightest chair yet, weighing in at under 1kg ~ and it finds its strength not in the material, as much as it does the air and pressure within (imagine your bottle of sparkling water before you open it?) While i’m not sure how i feel about the material chosen, it is interesting to see that its blow molded, and really that the concept plays on the idea of lightweight/minimal material usage in combination with the strength of air pressure… without having that terrible feeling of inflatable furniture? Take a peek at lots of angles of it in person, sketches, prototypes ~ as well as a video of him chatting with Fabio Novembre about it (while seated ON the prototype!) on the next page!
On standouts at the Fiera this year ~ the green and wood combination pulled me right in. Designed by Giulio Iacchetti for CASAMANIA, the BEK is a small but eye catching table. It looks like an excellent option to live underneath my Droog parasol. The main feature of this table is concentrated it is leg, composed of two identical metal elements: the combination of these two halves creates a unique object, perfectly adapted to be mounted between the table and its base. The series, including the BEK chair, were designed in 2009 but now for 2010 they are available in this new shade of green that looks super nice combined with natural wood. Additionally the matching BLOOM bookshelf is adorable as well! See images and more info of both on the next page!
On amazing surprises, i never expected a quick rush out to the Bottega Veneta launch between a cocktail appointment and dinner would prove to be one of the most inspiring experiences this trip! Also… totally tempt my shopping gene… Bottega Veneta featured a pop-up store store filled with unique, pleasing and travel ready items, which are apparently not readily available outside of Japan, as well as a small collection of Bottega Veneta products designed exclusively for the occasion by their creative director Tomas Maier. Simple, beautiful, and irresistible… housed in their new Milan office near Lido… and sadly only open for a few days! The products were absolutely stunning! And i totally gave in and bought an amazing wine opener… so FIRST, take a peek at the pop up shop offerings on the next page… and more to come on the wine opener and actual home collection (which is also totally lustworthy)…
On adorable irresistible impulse buys ~ i’m totally carrying this Ele Funnel back in my luggage. Thai Qualy Design, had the most adorable (and adorably packaged) Ele Funnel! The graphics are great, the plastic feels so nice in your hand… you can even hang it on the wall… see lots of pics unboxing it on the next page!
While rushing to a Molteni/Ferragamo event on Montenapoleone the other night (which was definitely a fire hazard with the number of people crammed in the store!) ~ i was pleasantly surprised and amused by the Citroën DS3 Design Driver ~ a huge red lamp serving as a lounge as you popped out at the Montenapoleone metro. A lamp that sized ~ wow ~ you just can’t help but smile when you see it!
According to FuoriSaloni - “The most refined heart of the city, Piazzetta Crocerossa, on the corner with Via Montenapoleone, will stage Citroën DS3 Design Driver, an original installation which will be used to unveil the latest creation to come out of the Citroën stable, the DS3, launched on the Italian market on the 21st of March. The installation bears the signature of the architect Fabio Rotella, whose aim was to create an “Open Air Living Room” where a six-metre-high lampshade covers and illuminates a lounge area… The large lampshade is reminiscent of the Venini lampshades hosted by Citroën in the lounge area as a valuable testimonial to a major name in Italian design. The unmistakable creations of the historic glass maker illuminate the exquisite chairs, recreating the atmosphere of an ideal lounge in which to meet and share ideas, projects and creativity.”
See more images of the stunning lamp on the next page!
Perhaps one of our favorite finds while running around Ventura Lambrate ~ the amazing AXECHAIR! As part of the Made In Arnhem (Netherlands) exhibition Weltevree presented their beautiful AXECHAIR designed by Floris Schoonderbeek (whose Dutchtub, we loved and lusted after for some time now!) The AXECHAIR is a chair made of wood and cast aluminum, with a surprising use of existing axe handles by Swedish company Gränsfors, Gränsfors Bruks has manufactured axes and hatchets in Sweden since 1902. The unambiguous and powerful joints are directly derived from the way axes are made.
Floris Schoonderbeek on the Axechair: “Gränsfors is an inspirational company in terms of both its technology and its culture. The Axechair is actually a statement of identity - a statement about Gränsfors, the company and the village. And this has produced a practical chair, sturdy yet elegant.
On random ideas ~ i secretly wish they would do a version of this with the American Axes - Best Made Co! Can you just imagine how fun the incredible boxes would be? And the fun colored handles? Ahhh, a girl can dream! But firstly, check out the amazing pics (both from the booth, as well as making of pics!) on the next page of the AXECHAIR!
p.s. Just noticed the standalone page (with minimal information) on the Axechair: “The Axechair reflects this trip to Gränsfors with ice fishing, axe throwing and spending a Sunday afternoon on the ice. Back in Holland, Floris started to design the chair with the gathered materials from Gränsfors. Axechair, a romance between Dutch elegance and Swedish axe construction.”