Looking Back at Milan 2018 by Leonne Cuppen
Like many other design enthusiasts, designer Leonne Cuppen (yksiconnect) visited Salone del Mobile of Design Week Milan 2018 last week. For Dutch Design Daily she made a selection of four Dutch designers/collectives who particularly drew her attention. Leonne Cuppen: ‘The leitmotiv that was visible during the Salone del Mobile were the experiments in material innovations. Where designers come into contact with manufacturers and where the end product is not visible but instead the possibilities that new materials, innovations and techniques entail.”
Dutch Invertuals: ‘Mutant Matter’
Experimental design collective Dutch Invertuals collaborated with FranklinTill on ‘Mutant Matter’, an exhibition of radical design concepts and investigations into possibilities of our new material future.
Dirk van der Kooij at Rosanna Orlandi
Dirk van der Kooij built on his graduation work from 2009. With a large robotic arm he builds 3D furniture that consists of recycled plastic.
Envisions in collaboration with Finsa at Tortona
Shaking up industry’s standards for the past two years with their dazzling displays of experimental design research, creative collective Envisions have soundly validated the importance of a design’s preliminary phases. Building on the success of last year’s presentation in Milan, Envisions and the Spanish wood manufacturer Finsa picked up where they left off, and took their collaboration to even greater heights.
Moooi bij Tortona
Even though it is a repetition of moves, it remains spectacular to see the presentations of Moooi.
German Design Council: ‘ein&zwanzig’
The international ein&zwanzig young talent competition is aimed at design students and graduates, fresh talents and newcomers. It honours innovative product and project ideas in the field of interior design and lifestyle, and presented the winners during Tortona Design Week in Milan. 50% of the selection consisted of students from the Design Academy, including Daria Biryukova, Alica Pole Knabe and Stine Mikkelsen.
Masterly: Aleksandra Gaca voor concept car Renault
The French car manufacturer Renault approached Aleksandra Gaca to design interior fabrics for Renault’s Symbioz concept car, which was unveiled during the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Symbioz represents Renault’s vision of mobility in 2030, with an electric, autonomous car that will literally connect to your home. It was conceived as an extension of the home on the road.
Japth is a new Dutch design label, set up by Yksi Ontwerp (Kees Heurkens and Eduard Sweep) that combines Dutch Design with responsible production. High quality, responsible use of materials and design with a distinct character. The first collection consists of LED designer lamps in which the possibilities and properties of LED technology are very important. There are too few lamps that really use the possibilities that LEDs offer. Many designers still rely on the requirements and shape of the light bulb. Japth wants to break through with a collection of luminaires that optimize those possibilities in design and use. Sustainability is paramount: all parts are made of high-quality materials and the luminaires are produced in a workshop for people with a distance to the labor market.
Design Academy Eindhoven: ‘Not For Sale’
This presentation focused on the meaning and value of design and raises the question of what is and what is not for sale in our current society. The students’ work was shown in Via Pietro Crespi, a bustling street close to Milan’s central station. With a pharmacy, a bookshop, a church, a supermarket, an internet café and an osteria, Via Pietro Crespi is a cross-section of Italian life. Every day people come here for their newspaper, coffee and groceries. It was a quest to discover everything and a mind reset in the noise of all presentations.
Lensvelt: ‘Nothing New’
This year at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, the distinctive Dutch furniture label did not show new products. Lensvelt creates sustainable, timeless designs. It only develops new products when there is a need – when current furniture no longer satisfies, improvements are desired or other needs have arisen. Curator, entrepreneur and publicist Anne van de Zwaag imagined the ingenious concept for Nothing New.
Eileen Fisher: ‘Waste No More’
Eileen Fisher debuted its new upcycled textile line, DesignWork. Visitors entered the tunnel-like exhibition space by walking through an arch composed of garment waste. Exhibition curator Lidewij (Li) Edelkoort called it a provocative initiation for visitors before they see the final products.
Baars & bloemhof: ‘Transitions III’
For ‘Transitions III’, Baars & Bloemhoff once again invited six leading Dutch design studios to get started with their extensive materials collection. For this edition Mae Engelgeer, Studio Truly Truly, Bart Joachim van Uden, Floris Wubben, Christian Heikoop and Job van den Berg were approached. This year, the project again provided unexpected techniques, applications and combinations, where the search for the boundaries of materials was central.