The design gallery “Spazio Rossana Orlandi” which opened in 2002, is in a former tie factory on Via Matteo Bandello, in the Magenta / Sant ‘ Ambrogio neighbourhood of Milan.
Spazio Rossana Orlandi is perenially among the must-see exhibitions during the Salone, and its namesake design patron is perhaps the definition of a doyenne.
Crowned “The Queen of Design” by the New York Times, Rossana Orlandi – who was once a fashion designer – is better known for her role discovering and championing new designers.
She has helped launch the careers of some of the most exciting designers in a generation, including Piet Hein Eek, Jaime Hayon, Nacho Carbonell, James Plumb, Scholten & Baijings, Rybakken & Engekvist and Front Design amongst many others.
An interest in the curation of limited edition design art has made Spazio Rossana Orlandi one of the Salone’s hottest spots during Design Week and a guaranteed place to spot tomorrow’s design stars.
This year, her multi-chambered, multi-level space hosted an eclectic mix of students, small studios and well-established designers, several of whom happened to be exhibiting kitchen wares and other vessels.
The weather was quite mild if not altogether pleasant for the duration this year, to the benefit of the two ‘live production’ projects in the second courtyard.
You arrive through metal gates adorned with the letters RO, walked under an installation of woven lights, and into a sun-dappled courtyard, alive with passionate conversation between designers and design lovers, and start to explore what Rossana Orlandi had brought together for the occasion.
The spaces wind around a green courtyard and they are divided between the 2-roomed shop, where you can find contemporary and vintage furniture and the Gallery ( established in 2008 ) – a space dedicated to limited-edition and unique works from international emerging design talents from around the world.
Gift & Accessories Shop
Cross-cutting and multi-faceted, the Spazio Rossana Orlandi was again confirmed as an extraordinary magnet for the most interesting designers on the international scene .
The common thread being creativity.
The catering for the entire week, as always, by the Friends of the Community. Good and beneficial food.
Outside Courtyard Presentations
Star of the main courtyard was the Peacock Chair by Eiri Ota and Irene Gardpoit Chan from Toronto-based UUfie It is made from a single acrylic composite sheet and fans out with all the pride of its namesake
The Flowers of Sachiko Ito
Flower designer Sachiko Ito’s presented beautiful but simple and elegant floral decorations for the Cafe area dining tables.
Pet Lamp by Alvaro Catalan de Ocon , Enrique Romero de la Liana and Paula Navarrete
We saw them last year when they wowed us with their colors of the Pet Lamps which were made from plastic bottles waste , cut into thin strips and woven using traditional techniques Colombian
This year, the team expands the design and Chile brings new variants made with local artisans with a material typical of Chile – wicker.
BCXSY are always seeking inspiration and stimuli, little does it matter if, this time, they find them in a previously unexplored sphere.
Among the permanent presence of the space Rossana Orlandi , the two designers bring to a work created with the Milan Lab Kazerne care center Twnikelbel Dutch.
I work with ceramics , commonly used in the medical field in the paths of rehabilitation, become small works of art thanks to the supervision of BCXSY and the skill of those who made them from four simple vegetable images.
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
A series of projects dedicated to children Not really toys but objects and furniture that can stimulate creativity and interaction of children.
Floris Wubben ceramic extrusions
In a second courtyard, Floris Wubben was extruding ceramic vases using a Heath Robinson-style contraption designed to create a meeting point between mass production and the handmade.
Meanwhile, Floris Wubben presented several pre-fabricated works that he had literally cranked out from the man-sized extruder of his own design.
The “Pressed” ceramic series is something like Play-Doh on steroids, and, if the final products are surprisingly pasta-like for an Eindhoven-based designer, the process-centric concept strikes me as very Dutch indeed.
In the courtyard of the number 16 , the objects are displayed next to machinery designed to achieve them. Heaving wet clay on to a large machine,
Wubben secures a circular metal template and then slowly cranks down a heavy mould by hand.
The machine presses on the thick clay, cutting crudely through the dense material, while a lever raises a platform that forces the clay through the mould and into the shape of a tall vessel.
This is then fired and glazed.
When there is a human behind the manual making-process of a product, it has a very different feel from that of a digitised system, such as 3D printing for example, these pieces are all unique and there is a pleasing rawness and roughness about them that can’t be reproduced.
Ceramic designers continue to show an interest in producing rough, unfinished and crude forms, while letting the production process define the final result of a product.
Great Things to People ( GT2P)
Chilean design studio GT2P”s “catenary pottery printer” machine was quite handsome to see in person.
The bowls themselves—each one unique despite being based on the loose algorithm of the adjustable apparatus.
We normally see them focused on targeted projects or interacting with small local communities and their craft traditions to promote them via design which becomes the means to their re-foundation, from Israeli to Ireland.
So it was somewhat of a surprise to encounter them working on the development of a lighting system at the small green stand of Booo from Eindhoven Delve deeper, however, into the heart of this project, still at the prototyping stage, and it becomes clear that this work is in total continuity.
Panta Rei time machine by Nacho Carbonell
In Milan his time machine, a kind of clock (or maybe calendar) that marks the passage of the hours, days and months by wearing away a monolithic object – marble In his own way .
Things to see and understand.
Solid Patterns by Scholten and Baijings
The two Dutch designers Sholten & Baijings, carry out a series of marble tables decorated with their geometric patterns with a series of experimentations on new processing techniques for light marble of Carrara.
With their installation Solid Patterns reinterpret a traditional material such as marble creating an iconic series of tables from the engraved surfaces
The Beast by Moustache
The “beast”, an inflatable structure that seems to breathe by Jean -Baptiste Fastrez, a soft walkway that inflates and deflates, on which the objects are placed, somehow bringing them to life.
French brand Moustache presented ten new products brought together in the new “Half decade Beast” ( brand’s 5th birthday ) that, as always, combines the demands of the market, high quality and a shared reflection on the way we produce and consume objects today.
Withering by Studio Kolk & Kusters for Thomas Eyck
Thomas Eyk presented the series Withering porcelain tableware, designed by Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters, explores new techniques of pottery decoration.
Dedicated to nature, the collection includes two plates, one set from the tray and with a model of vessel in 9 different decorations.
Collection III by Nika Zupanc for Se
London-based luxury furniture brand Sé unveiled its new Collection III designed by Nika Zupanc at Spazio Rossana Orlandi.
Nika Zupanc’s Design was inspired by the forms and shapes of the 1950s as well as motifs from sports.
For example the mirrors are covered by stylized laurel wreath. The table top of the Olympia Vanity Table recalls the Olympic rings, the glass doors of the cabinet resemble the mesh of a tennis racket.
Walk the Line by Luca Nichetto & Lera Moiseeva
Luca Nichetto had collaborated with Russian-born, New York-based designer Lera Moiseeva to create Cheburashka and Sucabaruca for Mjölk, both part of the Nichetto-designed Walk The Line exhibition.
Cheburashka is a table set that aims to enhance and reinterpret the ritual of sharing food.
Sucabaruca is a ceramic coffee set including three cups, a pot, a filter, and a tray made from Canadian maple wood.
It is a project that marks the beginning of a larger enterprise that will be developed over the coming years and that aims to connect different cultures through a careful selection of products designed by different designers and made by Dymov Ceramics.
Ripple Lights by Poetic Lab for Lobmeyr
Ripple Light is a project studying the beauty of the natural texture of the glass. In the basement space, a series of floor lamps cast a show of lights and shadows on the walls.
It celebrated the beauty of blown glass,and was based on the rotation of light globes that cast magical reflections on the walls, immersing the viewer in the matter
The installation was designed by Poetic collective -lab and manufactured by the Austrian J & L. Lobmeyr
Our Friends by Something Good
That’s the name of the project conceived and promoted by Giorgio Biscaro, Zaven (Enrica Cavarzan and Marco Zavagno) and Matteo Zorzenoi, a new generation of Italian Designers
S/G highly emphasizes on the choice of materials and quality of production procedures combined with a close relationship with local craftsmen and producers and thus comes back to the heart of the Italian design phenomenon ever since related to the craftmanship of small Italian companies.
Objects looking for Content by Georg Jensen
This year Dutch designer Aldo Bakker presented a sculptural four-piece tableware collection for Georg Jensen — a salt cellar, pitcher, oil pourer and sugar bowl — artfully displayed in an installation called Objects Looking For Content by Bakker’s wife Brecht Duijf, a designer who graduated cum laude from the Design Academy Eindhoven.
The pitcher was immersed in a box of water, the pourer was an island surrounded by olive oil, the cellar nestled in hills of salt, while the sugar bowl was perched on a pillar of sugar crystals.
Danish designer Louise Campbell’s new cutlery collection for the Copenhagen-based brand was also launched.
Good Things by Bokja
Famous for their one-off pieces of artistic furniture, Bokja have made a name for themselves with exquisite chairs and sofas reupholstered in vibrant ancient fabrics, arranged in a distinctive patchwork of chaotic patterns and colours.
The Good Things Collection still draws inspiration from their love of fabrics that come with a story and history attached, but this time no vintage fabrics have been used.
Instead, all the textiles for the new collection are produced at the Bokja atelier, located in Beirut’s Saifi district, and are ready to manufacture at any scale.
Influenced by spending time visiting Beirut’s rundown zoo, Bokja has created pieces which depict a better world where animals are free to roam.
Alongside their latest collection they had created a “tree of life” and asked people to write what made them happy onto a ribbon and add it to the tree.
Les Volières by Cristina Celestino
Cristina Celestino‘s ‘Les Volieres’ cabinets for Seletti, combine glass shelves with an industrial-style metal mesh carcase.
The colour selection is infinitely more sophisticated and the proportions a little more arty but the overall look retains the industrial ‘cyclone-fence’ aesthetic
The grid wire storage units are crafted from iron rod and painted iron sheets, and feature adjustable glass shelves which reflect the objects resting on them
Ichiro by Jo Nagasaka
By combining bamboo with contemporary materials, Jo Nagasaka designed for Ichiro a collection of lightweight furniture, realized with simple methods without any elaborate techniques of traditional craftsmanship
Talking Table by Konstfack University, Sweden
Konstfack‘s “Talking Table” was a showcase of experimental tablewares that explored the nuances, dynamics and social norms of dining.
The dinner table can serve as a moment of contemplation where the everyday objects used at a meal can reflect human behavior and the culturally defined norms connected to eating habits in western cultures.
Through objects describing our relationship to food, the dinner table also becomes a highly political subject.
Issues of gender, class and ethnicity can be discussed through table objects and normative thinking can be reinforced through design or challenged through designs questioning the norms.
Students from the Swedish University College’s Industrial Design and Jewellery & Corpus programs presented consistently thoughtful and well-crafted design objects, from the ‘ghost’ place setting, to the napkin for two, a comment on Eastern vs. Western dining traditions.
Some of the works are boldly challenging the means of food production or questioning social behavior around the table.
Other projects take a more subtle approach as they discuss normative thinking in relation to the tradition of tableware which includes aspects of production and design.
Collection Resle by Chateau de la Resle
A special hotel in the French countryside that thanks to the passion for the art and design of the owners, Johan and Pieter Bouman Franssens, has launched a real collection
Moulds by Jan Plecháč and Henry Wielgus for Krehky Gallery
Inspired by the wooden molds found in the archives of the company Czech Lasvit , the two designers stationed in Prague have created lamps Moulds , where the lightness and elegance of crystal contrasts with the base in oak , heavy and rough
On the ground, another of their projects : Ondulé
Upcycled Stacked Lights by Sander Wassink and Ma’ayan Pesach
As its name suggests, the “Stacked” series by Dutch designers, Sander Wassink and Maya’an Pesach is a collection of LED lighting fixtures made from nested vessels, fastened by resin and copper wires, then inverted to make vaguely jellyfish like lights
Glass, resin and metal; these materials used by two designers : Sander Wassink and Ma’ayan Pesach , to achieve their collection of lamps Light Stacked .
They are hanging lamps made from recovered materials . Their simplicity is disarming as well as their beauty
Têtes de Bois by Andrea Deppieri
The Venetian Andrea Deppieri introduces a new line of accessories for the table , which is an evolution of his unique headgear made of wood.
The concept becomes style and goes to new materials and new functions.
Creative culture by Borre & Piet Hein Eek
Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek, who became famous for his use or rather reuse of unorthodox materials in his designs, collaborated with textile designer Borre Akkersdijk on a beautiful new project which was presented at Rossana Orlandi
The project started at one point at Spazio Rossana Orlandi, a former tie factory in Milan, in which Eek found large quantities of unused silk necktie fabrics.
After careful selection through color and designs, a new larger garment was created out of the smaller pieces.
First these small pieces were sewn together, subsequently filled with padding and finally it was totally stitched together, creating beautiful quilts illustrated by the designs which originally were to be found on the ties.
The quilts were presented creating a full circle and bringing the garments back to the place this journey originally started.
Other new steel cabinets made with vintage doors and windows, CNC machined wooden bowls made from scrap wood and oak tables made from double grained edged boards and finished with natural oils.
Punkt and Oliverio Toscani Studio
In addition to the products ( the alarm clock, phone, and extension socket) hyper simplified by the Swiss brand, large photographs of pigeons made by Rocco Toscani, son of Oliver, to convey a reflection on the design and philosophy of the brand, summarized in a new slogan : Communication Simplified
Before exiting the installation, visitors were encouraged to write a postcard, which Punkt and their pidgeons would send onto the nominated recipient.
J Hills Standard
New mouth-blown and hand-cut glass producers J Hill’s Standard were launching their first collections, Elements by Scholten & Baijings and Cuttings by Martino Gamper, the latter inspired by the time Gamper spent cutting glass with the J Hill’s Standard artisans in Ireland’s Waterford. J Hill’s Standard was an experiment in texture.
Stefan Scholten said, “We thought the craft of the cutting was so strong, we said to each other, let’s focus on this first, and then maybe add colour, but it was not necessary.”