With her signature oversized glasses and wrapped in cocoon like layers, Rossana Orlandi floats like a style apparition through the laid back crowd as the sun shines through the fauna in the courtyard at the eponymous Spazio Rossana Orlandi. All week this destination gallery has been the de facto oasis for the weary design crowd looking for respite, a place to mingle and have a glass of wine or beer and a plate of light fare (all proceeds dedicated to charity.)
Among the design eye candy in the courtyard stands an installation by design duo James Plumb (James Russell and Hannah Plumb) whose dusty elegance first caught my eye at Tent London 2009. A stage was outfitted with a bed backed by faded disintegrating fabric, a table split in two around a grandfather clock, and simple worn shelves stacked with old suitcases. It looked like a scene from Terrence Malik’s 1978 classic, Days of Heaven set in the early part of the last century in frontier America. The designers themselves completed the tableau.
Another highlight from the three floors of gallery space were the Sé collection with designer Jaime Hayon which reminded me of the first three seasons of Mad Men yet wholly modern with a color palette ranging from white to blue-grey to gold and a balance of decidedly contemporary lines and shapes mixed in with mushroom cloud modernism. (I first reported on this collection for BecauseLondon.com by Tank Magazine.)
Upstairs on the other side, Nika Zupanc’s installation for Selfridges included an Alice in Wonderland like wardrobe made to look like an oversized accordion file.
Everything was fantastic room by room but the diversity of her vision can be seen downstairs at Studio Formafantasma’s “Botanica”, a meditation on the evolution of polymers in our lives, objects “designed as if the oil-based era in which we are living never took place,” beautiful amber vessels, lamps, and boxes that look to contain a botanist’s collection of discoveries in the forest. The exhibit reflects on a time when we were first discovering and experimenting with plasticity using derivatives from plants and other organic materials. To read more, go to www.formafantasma.com.
In the La Brera design district during Milan Design Week, Baccarat housed an exhibit of star designers who lent their vision to this beacon of iconic elegance and fractured light. The shifting soundscapes and the cascading rooms were like a beautiful haunted house, shadows on the wall conjuring dreams instead of nightmares.
The first lamp pictured is called Sora created by award-winning Kyoto born designer and craftsperson Eriko Horiki. She applies her skills and love of traditional Japanese Washi paper to her Senritsu (meaning melody or shiver) lantern in an east meets west glowing orb.
The second is a highly conceptual candelabra chandelier by Phillippe Starck called the “Marie Coquine” which is topped by an umbrella and ends in a wooden handle. The structure itself rests on a tripod on wheels balanced by way of a punching bag. Not your run-of-the-mill construction. In the backdrop in this room, you could hear the sound of rain and thunder in the near darkness.
In the third, shadows on the wall undulate like diamonds in a cave. These are the lamps of whimsical Italian designer Michele de Lucchi who through his long career where night has been his inspiration has designed for Memphis, Artemide, Olivetti, Deutsch Bank, Mandarina Duck and others.
The light forest at the end imbued with the soft sound of crickets is the Jardin de Cristal by Yann Kersalé, a French lighting designer who has lent his hand to projects as diverse as Museé Quai Branley to the Lyon Opera House to Barcelona’s Agbar Tower, as well as countless other prestigious buildings around the world from Japan to Quatar.
Other designers creating for Baccarat in the exhibit but not pictured here were Jaime Hayon, Arik Levy, Alain Moatti, and Henri Rivière.
- by Chauncey Zalkin, founder What Women Make, first published on BecauseLondon.com, the new website by Tank Magazine.0 Comments
“The animation is based on research with actors who studied at ‘Die Clownschule’ in Hamburg, Germany. Each clown develops their own individual walk, which is represented here. 05/09. Part of her Central Saint Martins BA Graphic Design course work. “
MILAN – April 16, 2011
-Chauncey Zalkin0 Comments
MILAN drawing to a close. (see our other posts on Salone del Mobile, Milan Design Week 2011 throughout What Women Make…)
Legs still sore from pavement pounding.
As I collect my thoughts and rest a spell, enjoy a few of my pictures from the week…
Yesterday, I flew into Milan from Barcelona and piled into a shuttle bus with a parade of iPhones and their guardians, a mashup of Spanish, French, Italian, German, and English flying around my congested head, and we made our way over to the ginormous fiera grounds where I started my investigation of Milan Design Week 2011.
Once I finally got to pavillion 24, the home of Salone Satellite, the show for up-and-coming talent (my favorite), I chatted up a storm with some fantastic women makers. By nine, my now incredibly sexy voice ( the result of a fever of 102F / 39CI had just days ago) and I had to go to bed so I missed the Wallpaper party and all the nighttime fun at Ventura Lambrate. Just me and my laptop, we spent some quality time though. I watched an episode and a half of Mad Men as the denouement to the day. Now with the morning half over and my hacking cough abating for the day, I’m ready to head over to Ventura Lambrate and hopefully the Rosanna Orlandi gallery in the afternoon.
While here, I’ll be preparing guest blogging posts for mydeco.com and becauselondon.com in addition to writing about women in design. On mydeco.com, look forward to a piece I’m calling, ‘The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly’ (working title). As inspiration, I have a stream of photos now marked “silly”. Here’s one, silly and kind of fun:
It’s swimming against the tide to be sick while looking at all of this beautiful imagination at work (reference to above image unintended) but it gives it a sort of added dream like quality. Like I’m seeing it all as Darth Vader. More later.
As I prepare to go to Milan tomorrow for the Salone del Mobile, the biggest design fair in the world where I’ll be writing for What Women Make but also guest blogging for Mydeco.com and BecauseLondon.com (Tank Magazine), it was nice to find that we’ve been featured in Vogue Australia for the exhibit we did back in September during the London Design Festival where we showcased 10 designers from 6 continents.
(click image below to see larger with text highlighted.)
Event: “What Women Want” (when it comes to returning to the workplace after having children)
Where: Thinking Ergonomix showroom, 32 Clerkenwell Rd, EC1M 5PS, London
When: Wednesday, 9AM, May 11 (bkfst 8:45)
RSVP: email@example.com by April 15th
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