Sunday, 8 May 2011

Milan Furniture Fair - 2 of 3–In the City

Next venturing in to Milan's city centre, filled with grand buildings, designer brands and for one week only design instillations scattered all over.

As a rough guide with where to go I clutched by trusty Interni booklet. Although nearly everything I photographed where discovered more by luck than judgement!

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First stop the new Alessi showroom on via Manzoni, designed by Marti Guixé.

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There was a display of the Foreverlamp project, making the everyday throwaway of a light bulb a more precious commodity.  Having good engineered functionality as well as a good design, that the user can admire, rather than hide away.

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I loved the way the Piana chair was displayed: using only the product to display itself, with the folded chairs creating a graphic striped pattern.

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One of my own personal ‘design Icons’ is the Superleggera Chair by Gio Ponti, no matter what when I walk past one of these chairs, I can’t help but to admire its elegance and lift it up and say “it’s very light”. This display 50 years on beautifully illustrates this!

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Why isn’t there a combined Milan Tube and over-rail map ahh!

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Peppering the Porta Romana design area where these blue bikes guiding the way! Still got lost.

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In the Spaziobotta area the Brits were representing:

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SCP, Case Furniture, Ercol and Pinch Design.

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Launching the de la Espada Windsor chair collection at the event, Matthew Hilton presented five chairs in the range - named Burnham, Fawley, Hastoe, Ibstone and Kimble, after neighbouring villages of High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, where the Windsor chair originated.

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Here the Nest Lounge Chair by Autoban.

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...Where did all the people come from ! It’s amazing how interested in design the locals become when there’s free beer!

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Near our hotel was the New Perspectives showroom/exhibition by Artek. A small but well curated space with small room-set cubes. Each backed with a huge seamless mirror that played with your perception of perspective.

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Minna the the Europe Export manager, kindly took us round, telling us about each design.

Simple and effective, the only issue being you can’t really escape being in the photos!

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Below you can see a never ending line of the design classic Children's Stool Ne60 by  Alvar Aalto.

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As I said at the beginning of this blog, you stumble across a varied range of exhibitions; next to Artek is this exhibition, the title says it all….

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...yep that is what you think it is, we couldn’t believe our eyes either…back to the design!

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From memory, brilliant!

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Nipped into the Kartell showroom where international designers had participated in Kartell♥Milano a charity project connected to the city of Milan. Designers chose one of its brand icons and to re-invent the product with the special theme of love for Milano. Above you can just about see some winged Louis chairs personalised by Antonio Marras.

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Italian designer Luigi Semeraro created SPARVAR, a series of armchairs and pouf made out of  200 empty graffiti spray cans.

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The ever increasing Marsotto Edizioni Collection, or ‘what can we make from marble’, I’m just jealous I can’t afford to do it!  I do quite like the Tray table in white Carrara marble, on the left, by Claesson Koivisto Rune.

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Milan also has an older pay and ride cycle scheme, not an award nominated design like the Boris bike though!

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A little bit of sight seeing, then off to the Triennale. The Triennale is the design museum of Milan, and puts the London one to shame, with indoor and outdoor space and a large range of exhibitions.

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The world's largest Google Maps marker, giant pointed dot and mirrored letters set outside the Triennale, with people personalising the mirror.

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Kristalia was founded in 1994 by young local entrepreneurs joined by two common passions: design and jazz!

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At Light in Progress by Guzzini, 3D glasses were required, as the room radiated through a spectrum of colours; pink was my colour of choice!

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Video by Guzzini of the exhibition which illustrates the show better than my photo!

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Then into the huge retrospective of Karim Rashid’s work, over an established career everyone has really gone Karim crazy in the last few years!

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This was my favourite part of the Triennale, the Yii exhibition, by prolific Japanese designer Nendo. In the installation consisted of 190 10m transparent inflatable tubes. I loved the combination of huge scale and the translucent effect.

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The Bamboo Steel chair above. Below ROCOCO PLAN by Rock Wang, made from motorcycle parts including 140 mirrors.

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A design by Maurizio Galante and Tal Lancman, as an entrance to the fashion and design exhibition, but you weren’t allowed to take photos in there; sorry!

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Campari bar Triennale

Then outside where the Campari bar, set up residence again, where designer Matteo Ragni, designed everything around the classic Campari bottle, designed in 1932. There were new seating pods away from the bar, in the shape of the bottle; they should have spun round, although there would be Campari everywhere!

You’re nearly there only one more Milan post to do, the Salone!

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