Wallpaper* – Holy Handmade ! [pt 3/3] @ Salone Milan 2017

Wallpaper* – Holy Handmade ! [pt 3/3] @ Salone Milan 2017

Holy Handmade! – the temple of divine design from Wallpaper* during Milan Design Week.

Wallpaper* wanted to develop a ritual celebration of the divine inspiration, the high craftiness and crafts from which divine works arise.

Housed in the deconsecrated former medieval Church of Santa Teresa in via Moscova, the designated design temple, “pilgrimage” came to great designers and architects with their works realized in collaboration with craftsmen or brands of unique, miraculous materials.

With so many presentations taking place in churches and monasteries in Milan during the Salone, it was hard not to feel the divine inspiration the designers had when creating their new products or objects – including talismans, symbolic items and personal curiosities and objects.

For the eighth annual Wallpaper Handmade exhibition, Wallpaper tasked a host of talented designers including the Bouroullec brothers, Tom Dixon, Doshi Levien and Martin Brudnizki to re-imagine ritual, rework worship and reconsider the communal.

Aware of the awareness, collective spiritual research, the need for sacred in turbulent times, and the balm of silent contemplation, Wallpaper entrusted 35 talented designers to re-imagine the sacred, reinventing the prayer, and reconsidering the sharing

The result was the non-denominational temple to design – Holy Handmade !

Designers were tasked to re-imagine ritual, rework worship and reconsider the communal.

The 35 selected designers and as many companies or artisans were invited by Wallpaper* bible to re-defne the many nuances of the sacred – from collective ritual to personal reflection and secular/spiritual approaches.

It was clear that designers engaged with the brief in a fun, even irreverent, manner.

Visitors were invited to confess behind Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec’s sacred veil, rest in pieces in Tom Dixon’s cardboard sarcophagus, store away their cassocks in Paul Helbers’ wardrobe, light a candle to Martin Brudnizki’s votive holder, drop a couple of Kostas Murkudis and Gustav van Treeck’s meditation tablets, partake of holy water from Conrad Shawcross’ blessed titanium vessel, enjoy an olfactory high with Bloc Studios and Haeckels’ incense and fragranced oil diffuser, follow Yves Béhar’s Ten Commandments and dip into Cutler and Gross and Doshi Levien’s Sunday worship clutch when Jamie Fobert’s offertory bag is passed round.


” Wallpaper welcomed their global congregation of followers, advocates and disciples, to Holy Handmade!

Dogma, deism, devotion. Cult, creed and communion “a truly elevating experience. A non-denominational shrine to design, Holy Handmade! leads a ritual celebration of divine inspiration, high craft and the sacred union of miraculous materials, the maker’s mark and the occasional infernal machine.

And may your god/shaman/other spirit guide travel with you.”     …………. Tony Chambers ( Wallpaper* Editor in Chief )




Monolithic Font

Every church needs a font, and this one got the two-level indoor Monolithic Font designed by Tino Seubert and hand carved out of solid blocks of Roman Travertine by Pibamarmi.




The founder of Paper Factor, architect Riccardo Cavaciocchi, joined with Tom Dixon, to present sustainable sarcophagi.

Paper Factor was created from the exceptional qualities of a solid surface material made from a new compound of micro-paper: an innovative evolution of papier-mâché, scientifically tested and developed in collaboration with the University of Salento.

All products are hand-made and finished with techniques usually employed on wood, metal, plastic and stone, processes that previously could not be used on papier-mâché.

These allow for the most optimal expression of the unique flexibility and malleability of this innovative material, so that it can be modelled in many 2D or 3D shapes, geometries, patterns, and sizes.



The Veil

The Veil by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec was made in India by more than ten of Lesage Intérieurs’ craftsmen working simultaneously for over 1,000 hours.


Embroidery is an amazing language full of diverse expression and manner.  In a way, it’s like the origin of pixels with each point making a part of the picture while also conveying its own weight and magic” …………………. Bouroullec Brothers.



Portal – Stairway to Heaven

Towering over the exhibition was a collaboration between Snøhetta, Everything Elevated and Erik Jørgensen – Portal, a ladder made to seem infinite by punctuating the top and bottom with mirrors.



Modular Columns

Olivier van Herpt first started developing his own 3D printers in 2014 after becoming frustrated with the limitations of existing desktop printers.

Having spent two years experimenting and researching, the designer created an extruder that could process hard clay.

‘Modular Column’, by Tijmen Smeulders and Olivier van Herpt

For me, design is about creating new shapes and exploring new possibilities through the development of tools, by studying the limitations of what can be made and improving processes step by step, I’m essentially designing the manufacturing technology itself.”



Worshipful Wardrobe

The Worshipful Wardrobe elevates clothes and accessories to the status of museum exhibits and celebrates the ritual of getting dressed each morning.

Designed by Paris-based fashion designer Paul Helbers and made by UK fitted furniture brand Smallbone, it was inspired by the unconventional materials used in British brutalist church moldings


Dig Deep Offertory Bag

The Dig Deep Offertory Bag made of distinctively cured leathers by Jamie Fobert Architects and Studioart



Holy Candles

Martin Brudnizki called for a votive candle to light.



Volcanic Altar

Outside the entrance, the Volcanic Altar by Sabine Marcelis and Danish-Italian tile manufacturer Made a Mano is made of a glazed lava stone that appears to float on a glass structure.


An altar is a sacred place that brings us closer to the divine,” says Nana Ki Bonfils of Made a Mano. “Altars transform actions of everyday life into actions of hope, despair and love.”



Holy Handmade !    The Annex Rooms





Trinity of Boxes

American-born, London-based jeweler Jacqueline Rabun designed the Trinity of Boxes, three egg-shaped containers cast in solid brass, as an “introverted response” to current world affairs – the idea came from a conversation on the day of the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

The boxes were handcrafted by fourth-generation Viennese metal workshop Werkstätte Carl Auböck.





Rising Sun Tea Cart

The Rising Sun Tea Cart is the result of a collaboration between architect Isabelle Stanislas and copper cookware brand Mauviel.

The piece combines the ancient ritual of Japanese tea ceremonies with the 1970s must-have hostess trolley.

Mauviel brought one of their master craftsmen out of retirement to mold the copper and mirrored stainless steel form




Wabi Sabi Tea kit

The Wabi-Sabi Tea kit by Italian designer Pietro Russo comes with its own blend of Ambient Teas – London Sun and High Green – by Tim d’Offray of Postcard Teas, made for pairing with fine foods, and therefore served in glasses handblown from borosilicate glass by Ichendorf’s craftsmen.


Airplane Mode Vessel

Another piece designed to help you seek refuge was less about creating rituals and more about breaking habits.

Airplane Mode Vessel, by San Francisco-based creative agency Branch and Californian design and fabrication studio Concrete Works, provides a barrier for your phone’s signal and muffles its sound, while its size, weight and tactile surface add weight to the process of disconnection.




Divine Diffuser and Fragranced Oil, by Bloc Studios and Haeckels



Kronolisk is a primitive clock inspired by the ritualistic objects of early civilizations.

Interior architecture and furniture design studio State of Craft worked with automotive engineering firm Ilmor to create the meditative object, which was 3D printed in nylon as a prototype for a high-grade aluminum alloy form





Le Refuge

In line with many of this year’s best installations, it certainly provided a moment of calm amidst the chaos, particularly in the case of Marc Ange’s Le Refuge

Described as a “fairytale”, a “dream bed” and quite simply “paradise” by visitors and press, the pink version of Le Refuge is a limited edition of three numbered and signed pieces.

Suitable for outdoor use, the base is in teakwood, the leaves in perforated steel and the colour is applied by “powder coating”.



” Le Refuge is a place where one finds comfort and peace. It is the projection of a childhood memory. Its large leaves form a shelter under the sun, away from reality, just like those of the imaginary jungle that grows in the room of a child who seeks escape.”   …………. Marc Ange

Share your thoughts