What to experience in Milan–Salone del Mobile 2018
Part 1 of Many
New materials and sensory experiences, eclectic installations resting on the pillars of advanced construction and cutting-edge technology, and catalytic collaborations between diverse brands and designers–we can expect all this and more from Milan Design Week 2018.
While the MaterialDriven team will be on the ground, reporting through our social media over the next few days, we already have a few moments in Milan on our mind. These will be on our 'must do/must experience' list, and hopefully yours as well.
Finally, if you're far from Milan (as we have been many times before), but would like to know more about a project we post about or use one of our images for a spring-board blog of your own, feel free to write to us for information/images.
1) Alissa+ Nienke: Interactive Interior Collection
What: Dutch materials and design studio Alissa+Nienke are launching their Interactive Interior Collection at a solo show in Milan.
Why: The design duo has mastered a unique form of surface design–hinged on extremely lightweight materials, and strategic cuts and forms of surfaces, that allow their objects and installations to respond to subtle changes in indoor/outdoor environments, and the movements and moods of users or viewers.
This solo show, exhibiting their biobased wallpaper collection, the largest version of their 'Dangling mirror' and more, will be an immersive, sensory experience of unusual materials, light hues, and delicately responsive forms.
Where: Salone Satellite, Pavilion 13-15, Stand A18;
Alissa+ Nienke can also be seen at Galleria Rossana Orlandi
2) 'Cottoncrete' and Foresso from Solomon&Wu, Meandros, with Maresca Interiors and Fromental:
What: British design and materials-manufacturing company Solomon&Wu will show two of its most sought-after, sustainable and rapidly developing materials–Cottoncrete and Foresso–as part of the exhibition Meandros, in collaboration with Maresca Interiors.
Why: Solomon&Wu's materials are cutting edge–incorportating diverse industry wastes such as wood offcut chips and textile (cotton) waste and into sophisticated, scalable products for architecture and design. At Milan, a new starkly black and stunning version of their material Foresso (A timber Terrazzo) by Conor Taylor will be spotted, and this experimental version has been created from coal and wood waste.
At Salone del Mobile 2018, Solomon&Wu's materials come together with the aesthetic of Maresca Interiors, in the format of a capsule furniture capsule called Creto.
Where: Meandros, via Solferino 11, 20121 Milan, Italy
3) Hello, Stranger! by Trichromatic Studio, Fraai Werk and Noepster and Trichromatic Studio
What: Hosted inside the nhow hotel in Zona Tortona, Design Language is a trade exhibition exploring cultural identity. The second edition of this exhibition is composed of quality works with cultural authenticity, and aims to show a large variety of different design languages from around the world.
Design Language presents amongst others, a collaboration of Fraai Werk, Noepster (from the Netherlands) and Trichromatic Studio–a studio with significant Color, Material + Finish Design expertise across diverse products and industries.
Why: Trichromatic Studio's installation for Design Language is sensory and interactive–designed for users to experience the power of connection with others. They believe that unexpected encounters lead to discovery, inspiration, collaboration, and beautiful memories; and that being open to other humans without judgment in a positive environment creates valuable interpersonal connections.
Their vividly colored and lit double-sided textile wall, the core of their installation, invites people to touch its surfaces from both sides. Visitor's find their way over to an encounter with a person on the other side, and the resulting "sensory magic".
Where: nhow Hotel, Milan, Via Tortona 35
4) Wood in progress–Envisions in collaboration Finsa
Dutch design collective Envisions and Spanish wood manufacturer Finsa have exhibited over the last two years what collaboration across industry lines can yield. A talented, young group of designers has poured their creative energies into revealing the material and aesthetic possibilities of diverse wood-based materials from Finsa. In turn, the group has had the support of the wood manufacturing giant, bringing their visions to life in a massive, and vibrant way.
What: Six designers from the Envisions collective present the second chapter of their creative collaboration with Finsa. These projects–involving the breakdown and reframing of Finsa's materials in innovative ways– have been given the green light to mature from research and exploration into a versatile and industry-worthy collection of materials.
Why: These product developments are presented, rather unusually, in the format of a diptych, and within them, the six designer cohort reprograms materials such as Veneer and MDF and creates new laminated surfaces of their own. Envisionaires Roos Gomperts and Elvis Wesley reveal the playful, aesthetic potential of wood veneer, chopping and compacting its sheets into geometric patterns, and highlighting "the gluing, cutting and taping stages of veneer’s manufacturing process, thereby changing the perception of veneer as a sleek material." On the other hand, Envisionaire Thomas Trum transforms monotoned MDF in his project 'Fossilized in Fibre' (Seen at the top of this article).Trum focused his previous research for Finsa on changing MDF by dyeing wood fibers in a variety of colors before compressing the colorful strands into solid MDF sheets. Now the sheets have a further pop of color, and his method has been advanced to meet industry, and scaling-up standards.
True to the Envisions ethos, you can expect to see familiar materials revealed in ways you haven't before, and equally, to be made aware of the process of making behind it and the raw materials, rather than the final product taking center stage.
Where: Officine savona, zona Tortona, via savona 35, 20144 Milan
5) The Materialists Presents 'Paper Extended'
The Materialists–a team of creatives, based in Eindhoven, NL, organize, design and curate exhibitions to focus on a specific material each time, in order to challenge and reveal the design potential of the material.
What and Why: Continuing their exploration of paper as a material medium, following their shows at Dutch Design Week 2017 and then Object Rotterdam this year, The Materialists present 'Paper Extended' at Milan Design Week 2018. They reveal again what structural, functional, and experiential possibilities can be uncovered from a material considered as delicate and perishable as paper.
Where: Via Donatello 36, Milano
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