Milano – Alcova and Design Language
Looking back at Salone del Mobile 2022 by David Heldt
The Dutch are all over the place, there is certainly a lot to say about it, but also a pity that this blog is about Dutch design because there is so much more to see. Ethical Fashion Initiative (funded by UNESCO and EU) or The House of Lyria to name but two; beautiful presentations in the old military hospital near Alcova.
After waiting 45 minutes in line in full sun to enter Alcova (34 degrees), I could use the coolness and beauty of Solid Nature’s presentation. The Aalsmeer-based natural stone company collaborated with architecture firm OMA and designer Sabine Marcelis. Size does matter; enormous furniture made of stone with doors and sliding boxes that effortlessly turn and slide as if they were made of cedar wood. Special detail: the colors are not all natural but are given a color wash by injecting it under vacuum with dye so that the material is permeated with color.
Also in Alcova, seated in the shade of the deciduous trees, designer Gijs Schalkx talked about the project Uitsloot: the combustion engine, mopeds and condoms. Sex sells, but in this case he needs the condom in order to store the gas he collects from urban ponds. And here too size makes the difference: Gijs tells a group of eager listeners that he needs the largest size of condom to store the gas. He can run the moped on this gas. The bigger the condom, the longer the ride.
The electric rental bike of the Dutch company Dott had broken down on the way to Alcova and so I took a cab to the presentation Design Language in the nhow Hotel. The cab turns into the dark tunnel and drives on soundlessly until it reaches the entrance of the hotel. A cinematic scenario. These days, the tunnel is given extra allure by the light installation by Lambert Kamps. The red pneumatically driven light bags creep open and slowly roll closed again. The fashionable hotel, usually populated by the Milanese fashion scene and their international guests (dolce vita in combination with hip hop) looks a bit run-down, but with Kamps’ intervention, it can be used again for years to come.
David Heldt Co-founder GLUE amsterdam – connected by design