Although it has moved from the 'industrial' Zona Tortona area to a more swanky location north of the city centre, the all-Dutch Tuttobene show continues to draw in a design-conscious crowd.
This year the emphasis lies on sustainability in design, something clearly visible in most of the objects on show. Take Jolanda van Goor's Sheep Chair and Funky Dread stool. The latter incorporates waste materials from the textile industry which incidentally "clearly show the colour trends in fashion each season."
Also focussing on awareness of production processes is the Sheep Chair made from hand knitted wool. "Because you can sit on the chair in three different ways, it forces the user to think about the product itself," explains Van Goor.
Another designer using re-used materials in his rugs is Sjoerd Jonkers. "The material is knotted and sewn by hand in Marocco. It takes a laborer one day to make the smallest size carpet." With this information in mind, will the public choose a sustainable, fair trade product over one that is mass-produced? Let's hope so.
Seemingly going hand-in-hand with sustainability is a modular construction, for if the customer can co-design a product, surely it will stand the test of time. Melle Koot's Mechano inspired furniture, Make-a-new Collection, is one such product: "I didn't use any glue, instead the pieces are held together by metal nuts and bolts, allowing the table to be changed and re-shaped as required."
On the other side of the 'durable' spectrum, graphic design studio Hendrik is recycling artwork by Dutch masters Vincent van Gogh and Jeroen Bosch - not literally of course. Taking an element from the paintings as a starting point, Hendrik digitally develops patterns and designs that can be used in the fashion, jewellery, or ceramics industry, for instance. Already a hit with shoe designer Jan Jansen, the company's designs are surprisingly modern for semi-historical prints.
Whether or not consumers will think twice before their next purchase, it's surely a good thing contemporary designers are leaning more and more towards sustainable materials and production processes.
Click on the images to enlarge
Main image: Overview of Tuttobene
Other images: 1. Funky Dread Stool 2. Willem Schilder 3. Laurien Oversier 4. Sjoerd Jonkers 5. Jan Jansen and Hendrik
All photos were taken in Milan
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