After Fuorisalone and the plethora of products of recent posts, it is time for Design daily to reveal some of the many highlights of SaloneSatellite and Ventura Lambrate 2015. Both areas are particularly exciting because they feature work by young designers at the beginning of their careers and recently founded studios. The designs are often prototypes or not quite ready to go into full production but that is all part of the anticipation and excitement. Having mentally voted for your favourites and wondered how long it will be before they are picked up by an established manufacturer, it is always exhilarating to discover a few months down the track that one of them is now in production with one company or another.
This year at Salone del Mobile, German designers Kaschkasch, who just twelve months ago were showing their 'FJU' wall-mounted desk on their Satellite stand, are now being interviewed as designers for established Italian company Living Diviani. Similarly Norwegians Vera & Kyte have had their 'Apparel' screen put into production by Opinion Ciatti, and Aust & Amelung's 'A Floor Lamp' has gone into production with Covo. Which all goes to show that good design does get noticed.
With nearly two hundred young designers from all over the world showing their work, SaloneSatellite is one of the highlights of every Salone del Mobile. Without all the glitz of the main halls, Satellite shines through as an honest review of furniture, lighting and product design. The concepts are fresh and mostly highly original with just enough disinterest in commerciality. The designers are all on their stands ready to talk about the designs and the process. It is a design enthusiast's dream come true.
German industrial designer, Kristian Knobloch has previously shown his folding 'The Measure' task lamp at Satellite but this year showed a full stand of mainly timber furniture pieces including the interesting 'Babel' shelving system. The uprights have grooves to take circular bookends made from painted steel that provide a lovely contrast to the geometric grid set up by the horizontals and verticals of the rest of the shelving. The system is modular and can be built long and low or tall as pictured. Knobloch is currently completing a postgraduate degree in Design Products at London's Royal Academy of Art.
K E D (Kairi Eguchi Design) is Kairi Eguchi from Osaka, Japan and Enya Hou from Taipei, Taiwan. Showing at Satellite, the duo presented a delicate showcase of recent work including the highly appealing 'Trans' lamps that utilise handmade paper shades and timber supports in four typologies (floor, pendant and two table lamps, called ‘Wobble’, 'Hook' 'Lamp' and 'An-Don' respectively as the size diminishes.
Meike Harde showed at Satellite in 2014 with a metal mesh storage cabinet called 'Hybrid'. The cabinet had a visual transparency that seemed to defy its industrial origins. This year the cabinet was recreated in black which gave it a totally new appearance - something like a lace curtain in silhouette. Harde is no newcomer to researching process as she has been an intern for the British designer Benjamin Hubert in the past and Hubert is well known for his obsessive material research.
Harde won a commendation for the work shown at Satellite from German magazine, Design Report. It was the 16th year of the awards.
Using real fish heads and bodies along with other natural objects, the moulds were digitally altered to form useful vessels - vases, teapots and cake stands.
The winner of the Design Report Award for SaloneSatellite 2015 was Vittorio Venezia. His stand featured his barbecue grill inspired 'Ferro' chairs made in wrought iron and had dozens of tin objects hanging from an imaginary ceiling. These tin objects were an offshoot of a design he worked on last year for InternoItaliano that were made by a 75 year old Sicilian tinsmith.
One of the most interesting stands at Satellite was that of out for space, or ofs. The group of designers and engineers are working at ways to reanimate rattan, the timeless tropical material associated with outdoor furniture. Through a newly developed process called karuun, colour is forced to travel up the capillaries of the rattan in a highly controlled way, allowing numerous different effects to be achieved that are unachievable with regular timbers. The process also make the rattan (which is normally extremely flexible), retain its shape in a way more akin to steam bent wood. Five products were launched in the material: a clock, coat stand, sofa bench, children's blocks and a pendant light. What is so exciting about the development is that rattan is incredibly fast growing, making it highly sustainable and much more affordable than traditional solid timber options.
Right from when you open up the hand-drawn area map you know that the Ventura Lambrate design district does things differently. The area is about a fifteen minute metro journey on the MM2 green line from Milan's city centre then a further 15 minute stroll from Lambrate station. Incorporating around ten streets made up of old warehouses, mechanics garages and contemporary studio spaces, Ventura Lambrate is the brainchild of a Dutch group called Organisation in Design and is now in it's sixth year.
With 36 design schools showing this year, the emphasis is on youth and creativity, rather than sales and marketing but the young designers are generally pretty good at marketing themselves regardless. In addition to the schools there are plenty of young studios showing off new designs or forming collaborations with groups of like-minded designers.
Mathilde Porté and Victor Prieux are from HEAD (Haute école d'art et de design) Geneve otherwise known as the Geneva School of Art & Design. A first year Bachelor's student in interior architecture and a first year masters student in fashion and accessory design respectively the duo teamed up to create 'Billy Plug', a rodent cage that clips on to the ubiquitous 'Billy' bookshelf from Ikea. The design was just one of twenty five pieces created by students from HEAD Geneve, in response to this year's theme: The Animal Party.
Two of the more aesthetically pleasing pieces from HEAD Geneve's The Animal Party show. There were some far more unusual illustrations of animal fascinations. Click the image to view the full credits.
We Make Carpets is a group of Dutch designers who create temporary carpets from all sorts of the most amazing (and ridiculous) materials from pasta and crayons to firecrackers and foam. Check out the website for a good laugh and to marvel at their amazing attention to detail. These carpets take serious patience to put together.
Dutch duo rENs (Renee Mennen and Stefanie van Keijsteren) showed within Ventura Lambrate again this year - this time displaying their 'reddish' porcelain vessels whose unique decorative element is achieved by allowing red dye in a a dish to soak into the biscuit fired clay over a period of days and weeks creating a type of ombre effect. The vessels are made by Dutch ceramics specialist Cor Unum. The colour experts also revealed their treatise on the effect of fading on colour in the form of graphic prints of squares (see above right) where three squares were printed with quality inks while the fourth was printed with an inferior ink that was exposed to sunlight. The resulting composition therefore always had an element of chance. I'm hoping it is produced as a book because the compositions and colours had a Joseph Albers quality to them that was exceedingly beautiful.
Fog design is the studio of Kentaro Kudo. His delicate porcelain work was shown as part of a Japanese collective show called Material Experiments that featured designers such as Ryosuke Fukusada and Tsukasa Goto. Inspired to reinterpret the ceramic lace dolls of his local area of Seto in Japan, that have been produced for over a hundred years, Kudo used knitted garments that were soaked in slip and fired to produce vessels with intricate textures.
'Surfactants' is a range of glazed porcelain by Studio Sybrandy (Nienke Sybrandy) that uses soap bubbles to carry a blue glaze and distribute it randomly onto the bowls, cups and plates. A childlike (who doesn't like blowing bubbles?) but magical solution.
Denmark's Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KADK) presented an exhibition at Ventura Lambrate where 14 students produced work in rattan. Presenting a range of work in one material worked beautifully and showed the special unified language dictated by this incredible natural material.
Australian designer's CZYK (Nikolai Kotlarczyk) who is partly based in Denmark and Glen Baghurst who splits his time between Australia and Sweden, showed side by side in Ventura Lambrate. It might seem like a planned two-pronged Aussie attack but was actually quite by coincidence. It was heartwarming to see some good Australian designers showing amongst the sea of talented young Europeans.
Alexander Lotersztain also exhibited at Ventura Lambrate this year, revealing his highly polished limited edition seating collection 'QTZ'. In the last couple of days it has been announced that QTZ Limited will be exclusively represented worldwide by Rossana Orlandi. Congratulations to Lotersztain for securing such a prestigious reseller.
Ventura Lambrate features lots of good food and bars in the form of pop-up style restaurants and cool food vans like this one - making a day spent looking at design all the more enjoyable. Add beautiful spring weather and the whole event was amazing yet again.