The future peeps in Milan
TANIA DA CRUZ (PORTUGAL)
The Portuguese joyful talent Tania da Cruz took her place in the front line of 2013 Salone Satellite, achieving the first prize amongst many young designers exhibiting in Milan last week.
With her new proposals she stepped into an ecological path, developing a collaboration with Amorim, a manufacturer of expanded cork based in her own homecountry.
The material used to produce the articles she has been presenting is 100% eco friendly and features amazing technical qualities (acoustic, thermal, waterproof, washable, reusable, lightweight and, on top of that, pleasant to touch and cozy).
Tania da Cruz' stand was soundproofed by her own creations, Braque modular tiles, and enlightened by Popcork pendant lamps and also Bole, the 2 stools in 1.
The lamp Popcork mocks its own name, as it is a real tribute to the processing of the material used, expanded cork, which owes its lightness to the type of treatment it undergoes. The blocks that shape this lamp are made of several pieces of raw cork which have been heated, swollen (just like the tasty corn grains) and melted with each other.
Furthermore, the rounded structure, which contains a latest generation LED light, creates a true, soft and aesthetically clean pop style atmosphere.
ROBERT VAN EMBRICQS (HOLLAND)
Robert van Embricqs received his Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Design in 2010 from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy based in Amsterdam. The following year he started basing his own design on movement and transformation, combining small and bigger scales.
The Rising Chair he showed in Milan was awarded with the prestigious Reddot Award and emphasizes the natural shape an object can get through movement, as every piece of the chair has its own task to succeed in this transformation.
The questions Robert van Embricqs asked himself and started from were the followings: to what degree is the object you're creating capable of dictating its own design?
Is it possible for it to tell which form it is best suited for?
And if so, what will the end result be?
Following this train of thought he decided the starting point of any chair is the flat surface people will eventually sit on, so he made several cuts on a bamboo thickness and pulled up the different beam-like strands of surface.
While he was working on it, he says, he still didn't know what shape the chair would have taken in the end: this would be determined by the various arches of wooden beams the chair was made of.
While folding the chair into its definitive form, he felt, as its own creator, a special connection to the material he was working with and saw that the wooden beams eventually gave the chair an organic shape.
VERONIKA WILDGRUBER (GERMANY)
Veronika Wildgruber is an engaging and extremely skilled globetrotter designer.
After graduating in product design at the Faculty of Design and Arts in Bolzano, Italy, she proceeded to Paris to collaborate with renowned studios, such as Gabriele Pezzini's, Pierre Charpin's and Robert Stadler's, as well as starting implementing her own ideas about interior design.
In 2010 her studio for product design moved from London to the new location in Berlin and she was awarded with the Silmo d'Or, followed, in 2011, by the IF Product Design Award.
She is currently working with galleries in São Paolo, Chicago and London and she is the art director of Jacques Durand Occhiali and the head of Veronika Wildgruber Eyewear.
Veronika approaches design through materials, as she explains that craftsmanship and the manufacturing process inspire her. She describes her work as “simple and surprising”.
Amongst what she was presenting at 2013 Salone Satellite, table Janus stood out.
Made with OSB board with high gloss varnish, its rough wooden surface is a smoothly changing gradient in materiality, haptic, colour, planarity and reflectivity.
It represents the complementarity of modern life, supplying both the discipline of an office and the flexibility a limited space requires.
Janus will not only provide room for working, sketching or eating on one side and cutting, model-making and experimenting on the other, but also everything which is in the between.
COMBO COLAB (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)
Mateo Pinto and Carolina Cisneros are two New Jersey based smashing architects and designers, who were born in Venezuela and who have been collaborating since 2006, both in New York and overseas: they love working with non-conventional materials and have a keen interest in the urban environment, focusing on the design of hybrid projects and products of variable scales and temporalities.
To this regard, they have recently developed a project on the Lower East Side in NYC, called Mall-terations, in collaboration with Marcelo Ertorteguy and Sara Valente, creating a series of five rotating benches (Compass Benches) down the mall on Allen Street, overlapping circular neighborhood maps. On top of that, a timeline celebrating the history of immigration and ongoing revitalization of the Allen Street Corridor ran along the concrete sidewalk from one Compass Bench to the next.
Amongst what they were presenting in Milan, there was the XTool, a stackable, storage stool inspired by the casual sitting use of the all-time favorite milk crate. Keeping the storage qualities of the crate and adding a plywood seat and legs, this durable, versatile and playful stool can be used anywhere.
XTool is the first piece of a larger family of modular furniture using custom milk crates and all its main components are being manufactured locally in New Jersey.
XTool is also a brilliant example of upcycling and responsible design: crates are specifically made by Combo Colab and plywood parts have been design to fit this specific crate.
It is perfect to be used indoors and out: on terraces for gatherings, to store toys or books, at the garage or garden, to get extra storage for office supplies or anywhere were you may need additional seating and storage.
The materials used are as follows: 16-quart Milk Crate, 11mm CNC cut Plywood and Velcro Ties.
Assembled dimensions are: cm 33 W x 33 D x 42 H.
STUDIO VIT (SWEDEN)
Studio Vit is the result of a collaboration and creative dialogue between Swedish designers Helena Jonasson and Veronica Dagnert.
Helena has worked in the furniture industry since graduating in industrial design and Veronica has a background in fashion and a Master from Central Saint Martins in London, where they both live and work.
In the past, they introduced their first furniture line at Milan Salone Satellite, consisting in eleven boxes of various sizes.
"11 boxes" is a storage system where each box can be distinguished by its shape and structural elements: like characters in an alphabet, the boxes can be used on their own or grouped together, in the same way that single letters spell words.
A playful and changeable collection, the boxes can form infinite unique compositions depending on the situation, available space and storage needs.
Made from solid maple, the simplicity and minimalism of these boxes is breathtaking, as they all have a single hole for opening and can be used any way up.
Their second collection, "Marble lights" is a proposal in marble and glass.
Originating from an archetypal bulb and socket, it consists of glass spheres and cylindrical marble lamp holders, which can be freely combined.
"Marble lights" includes a table, floor and pendant lights, as well as three floor weights which can be used as counterweights to the suspended lights.
The aim of the collection is to create a mere yet refined product that generates a positive contrast of volumes, materials and weights.
This year, the England base Swedish duo showed "Globe Lights", their third collection, consisting of small globe-shaped pendants and large steel reflectors.
The matt ceramic spheres are used to cast light onto reflectors in gloss painted metal.
The collection explores how geometric volumes relate to each other and, mainly, the juxtaposition of materials and light.
MELBOURNE MOVEMENT (AUSTRALIA)
Melbourne Movement is a talented mix of young Australian designers, determined to build an international reputation for cutting edge Australian design. Melbourne Movement was founded in 1999 by Kjell Grant, an accomplished designer an professor of design at RMIT University.
Grant currently invites young designers whose work is considered challenging and innovative in a world context to exhibit with the group. Melbourne Movement actively assists designers to commercialise their products and its aim is to make manufacturers, retailers and consumers become aware of the excellence of good design.
At last Salone Satellite in Milan, they were showing their 2013 Collection, from which we choose Vivianne Kollevris' extraordinary Ribbon Chair representing.
Made in fibre reinforced concrete, Ribbon Chair exploits the potential offered by this material to create a piece of furniture unlike any other.
At just 22mm thick, Ribbon Chair utilises the tremendous strength offered by concrete of this type to produce a thin and elegant form, in contrast to what one expects to see from concrete.
Its dimensions are: 154 cm L x 80 cm H x 45 cm wide.