Salone Milan 2010 – Swarovski Elements @ Triennale

Salone Milan 2010 – Swarovski Elements @ Triennale

Paper Planes – crystals with upholstery.

Jonathan Levien and Nipa Doshi are a life/work couple based in London who met while studying at the Royal College of Art. Their relationship with Moroso dates back to 2007; for the Italian company they have created a range of products demonstrating her love of textiles and pattern and his rigorous approach to design.

For Swarovski Elements at Work they have designed a small armchair that’s perfect for reading or relaxing, upholstered in a bespoke fabric using crystal.

“The brief for this project was to create a usable product, so we had to make sure the crystal had some function and didn’t overwhelm the whole piece. We designed a highly geometric checked fabric where the crystal forms one of the lines. It becomes a fine, repeated detail rather than a massive statement,” says Doshi. “In material terms, the wool fabric is light-absorbent and the crystal reflective. It was important to play with that contrast,” adds Levien.


‘Quarry stool and table’ by Gitta Gschwendtner for Quinze & Milan. ‘Most important to me was to make something which challenged the application of the crystals,’ she says. ‘They had to be entirely integrated into the piece.’ Her solution was to cast a plaster and resin mix as stools and a low table, with a broken away, but crystal-sprinkled corner.

Laminate designs by Konstantin Grcic for Abet Laminati. Grcic has created three designs for the Italian laminate specialists, using crystals on laminate, something not previously attempted. ‘The project brief was to link crystal with the furniture industry, so I thought it would be best to create a material, rather than a product. Something that can be applied to furniture and interiors,’ says Grcic. ‘Two of the patterns are very geometric, and all three use crystals sparingly. The effect of the crystals is so strong that a few seemed to look more precious than many.’

Puzzle by Nendo for Gaia&Gino;. The puzzle collection is created by repeatedly making linear cuts into a cube of clear crystal glass. Just visible inside the resulting blocks is a single Swarovski crystal that further reveals itself as the user takes the puzzle apart. ‘People can retrace the process of the puzzle’s creation, allowing the sparkling gem to emerge,’ says Oki Sato, Nendo’s chief designer.

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