What did you miss at the Milan Design Fair?
John Pawson’s light designs, Nendo’s dip-dyed shirts and Zaha Hadid’s wall features were a hit this year
Either in person or online, its tricky to keep up with all the good designs presented at the world’s largest annual design fair, Milan’s Salone del Mobile. So (with a little bit of a bias towards our Phaidon contributors and collaborators) here are a few of the great things you might have missed.
Hella Jongerius received a lot of coverage for her East River Chair (see our preview), yet her debut collection as Design Director for the Dutch rug firm Danskina seems equally worthy. The pieces included a Cork and Felt range, wherein bight, bouncy strips of these unusual materials were assembled into a series of stripy floor coverings.
Nendo showed a couple of different furniture collections at Milan, yet its biggest hit was an installation for the Swedish clothing brand COS. COS X Nendo displayed a series of dip-dyed shirts arranged around a set of steel frames. As Nendo Oki Sato explains, “the smartly ordered shirts are crisp, classic white until they fall inside the steel cube frames, at which point they take on colour as though the space itself has dyed them.”
Zaha Hadid also had collections on show with a few different firms, yet it was her work with the Italian firm Citco that really stood out for us. This included a series of undulating, marble like ‘wall features’, as well as a low Mercuric table, fashioned into one of the architect’s signature shapes.
Ross Lovegrove showed a pressed aluminum chair, Diatom for the Italian firm Moroso, that’s stackable and incredibly light. Lovegrove says the chair was designed entirely digitally, takes advantage of automotive production techniques and demonstrates the ways in which manufacturing could make weight savings in the coming years.
The British furniture maker Max Lamb is best known for hand-making his contemporary furniture in novel ways; he’s hewn a chair from a block of polystyrene using a claw hammer, and cast a pewter table in the wet sand of one his favourite beaches. At the fair he debuted his Marmoreal collection for the British firm Dzek. Lamb has used this terrazzo-like stone for a bright, simple six-piece collection.
And with typical understatement, John Pawson put together a great lighting design for the British firm Wonderglass. The pendulum fitting is made up of a series of hand-blown cylinders, one fitting inside the other.
For more on John Pawson’s work, take a look at our books; for more on Jongerius, consider these titles, and for greater insight into great designs, download a copy of Design Classics for the iPad.