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.”
One of the objects that caught our attention at the Ora-Ito showroom in zona Tortona was the cool looking Furtivo (very appropriate) knife, designed for french knife makers, Forge de Laguiole, with its all black metal minimalist styling and carbon fiber inlays makes it a very desirable pocket friendly accessory. See more pics of it on the next page!
Post apocalyptic techno camps with an 80’s florescent pyramid teepee flair - filled with pillows and and imacs and kids hanging out… this was the scene at Nike’s new art space, Nike Stadium ~ current set up designed by the collective, Super (Thomas Ruff, Richard Previdi, and Massimiliano Buvoli)! I love the way the sections of the pyramids are single florescent bulb lengths… The three pyramids are Green, Yellow, and Red ~ the colors of the subway lines ~ and the graphics are of San Siro Stadium. Additionally the event for the space had live painting ~ and a look at the making of the Mercurial Vapor Superfly II ~ including looks at Ronaldo’s foot molds… I’m excited to see what else will pop up in some of the beautiful gallery/event spaces in the Nike building, it promises to involve more engaging community focused arts and events! Take a peek at pics of the installation on the next page!
Spotted at Milan Salone Satellite 2010 ~ Fresh From The Mint ~ Six graduates from Academy of Art and Design Offenbach, Germany showcased their unconventional and diverse approaches. Loved the material combination designer Nico Reinhardt for his Stooltypes_01-04! Take a peek at closeups on the next page! It’s also fascinating to see how they are put together!
Firstly, i’m not really a crystals kind of girl… but for some reason Swarovski is doing some pretty irresistible stuff this year! (How stunning is the Crystal Palace?!?!?!) Bisazza has always been a fascination of mine, the way they turn tiling into quite the art form is fascinating, and the designer collaborations are always stunning. However, the one thing about tiles i never loved is how FLAT they can feel visually ~ sure you can cover incredibly curved walls with their tiny tiles, but with the new Bisazza Crystal Collection with Swarovski, the crystal tiles add this incredible depth to the tiling! (Not to mention inevitable blinged out effects as well.) To see “flat” crystals essentially is bizarrely mesmerizing up close, since you see them come to a point beneath the surface, it’s as if you’re peering into the wall… The Crystal Collection is a series of decorative patterns “bejeweled with Swarovski crystals” ~ and the most noteworthy is the Skulls & Crown pattern… I’m imagining the interior of a pool with black reflective tiles and crystal/metallic skull markers for the depths…
See images of the cocktail party last night ~ the candle and chandelier lighting create interesting light effects in combination with the Bisazza tiles~ on the next page!
While exploring Milano Salone Satellite 2010, i was taken by Frame Series, the premiere collection of Rends Design, the design duo Masanao Furkawa and Kaori Akiyama! The quality of the pieces feels incredible ~ so strong, yet delicate in the curvature. With simple elegant lines and a strong japanese modern aesthetic ~ the piece i’m most lusting after is the sofa! Sadly, they didn’t have a prototype of that pieces at the show! The Easy chair is even more comfortable than it appears, and they truly had to pry me out of there after a full day of walking the show floor! Take a look at the images of the collection (and a few fun booth pics!) on the next page…
(On a quick silly side note/disclaimer, Leo and I were actually looking for our grad school friend, Masa, and this ended up being his booth! But no one was in the there at the time! But we loved the collection! It was pretty funny when he finally called, and we looped back to find his booth number, only to realize it was his work we already liked while passing by!)
Ahhh, Veuve Cliquot ~ they’ve become one of my design week staples around the world ~ that shade of Veuve yellow is starting to feel synonymous with inspiration, i guess they’ve trained me well! For the salone 2010, they’ve launched two new designer collaborations in their Clicquotsphere. The first is The Tasting Gloriette with the Campana Brothers (a playful modern twist on the gazebo of sorts, using coiled thin metal to mimick and overgrowth of champagne vines on a bent wood base… resulting burning man yurt style contraption to relax under and a central nest cradling a champagne bucket). The second is “Once Upon A Dream” by Mathieu Lehanneur ~ a retro futuristic looking bed ~ that is SO much more than a bed. It’s more of a luxury sleep experience created to help you get the best rest physically possible, optimized for jetlag recovery ~ through special lighting, white noise balancing, ideal temperatures, and curtains to create that womb like effect… there is even a plant hanging beside you which is used to control the lighting (coolest living light switch?) ~ and its even designed in conjunction with sleep scientists! Sadly, the best sleep is apparently alone, so this bed is just for resting! Both of these pieces will be installed in the Veuve Clicquot Hotel du Marc which is opening in spring 2011 (and it’s not a hotel at all, so much as their super guest house in Reims)… and in full Veuve Clicquot fashion ~ the champagne never stopped, the music was fun, the food was delicious, and they had unexpected surprises like keys you could try your luck to unlocking prizes… and even a special mailbox where you could write postcards which they will mail from Reims! See lots of pics on the next page…
One of the most breathtaking things i’ve experienced, perhaps EVER… is this MIlano Salone 2010 Swarovski Crystal Palace. It is a sensory overload in all the right ways, taking the idea of sparkly objects to a new and undeniably attractive new level… each and every piece literally transforms a room, and to be in rooms with others who are standing there quietly in complete awe, it almost feels as if everyone is in the presence of an otherworldly being. It is both incredibly calming and zen while still perhaps impressively luxurious and excessive… So take a look at some of my favorite pieces ~ unlike press photos that tend to have no one in them, you’ll see the photos i loved best ended up being with people! And giving you more of a sense of scale and awe ~ the interaction with the spaces if nearly as fascinating as the pieces themselves! Pics on the next page!
It’s not often that the rear of a sofa draws you in… but with Nika Zupanc’s new Modesty Sofa, its hard not to look! The way the black sateen bow pops off the bent wood is just stunning. As she describes it. “In a world of demanding circumstances, this is a noble move. In spaces hungry for some identity, a discreet black ribbon comes as a pleasurably stimulating theme.” Also check out the black aluminum legs on the modesty sofa~ and the silk upholstered seat and backrest are lovely too! Not to mention they are housed in a life sized dollhouse of an exhibition space in Superstudio Piu covered in golden pinwheels… pics on the next page!
Popped by the De Padova opening tonight and can’t get Patricia Urqiola’s Lavenham Executive chairs out of my head. They describe it as “For dining and meeting tables, or behind a desk. Lavenham Executive reprises the quilted pattern on the back of the chassis of the Lavenham chair. A versatile, transformable seat: nude, with a small cushion, or covered with a matelassé housse, put on or removed with a single gesture. The base plays with the materials and finishes. The legs are in oak-stained ash wood, while the swivel version has a base in aluminium, polished or with white or black satin paint finish.” It’s like hypermodern chanel quilting as you approach it, with a satiny eggshell matte when you settle into it. Each of the different bases give them such a different character… i’m craving them for a fun dining/conference table look. See more images on the next page!