While many designers prefer to show their latest products in the designated areas during the Salone in Milan, some choose to go outside that trodden path and become part of city life.
Take design duo Scholten and Baijings for instance who showed projects at multiple locations around the city.
For MINI the designers developed Colour One where they dissected the Mini and redeveloped certain parts using their own recognizable colour and material research. We spotted powder-coated bumpers, gold seatbelts, and characteristic neon pink patterns amongst others. Alongside the products themselves, various showcases and a film illustrated how the duo approached the project.
Over at Karimoku New Standard Japan an entire apartment was kitted-out in designer wares, including a series by Scholten & Baijings. And a third collaboration by the duo could be found at Spazio Rossana Orlandi where 1616 Arita Japan showed Colour Porcelain, a mix of Japanese traditional colouring and contemporary shapes.
Orlandi had invited a few of the same guest designers (such as Maarten Baas, BCXSY, Thomas Eyck) as previous years alongside a number of new ones. Lighting company BOOO! for instance, caused a stir with its bubble lightbulb designed by Front and reinvented the lightbulb itself with Formafantasma and Nacho Carbonell.
A trip over to the north of the city brought us to Dutch Invertuals, a show which has been somewhat upscaled since its first showing in Eindhoven and renamed Untouchables Retouched. Also, there have been a number of new additions to the group in the form of Kirstie van Noort and Maurizio Montalti. Van Noort presented her research into porcelain mining and discovered that the leftover material created during porcelain making could be incorporated into porcelain itself. Montalti on the other hand is looking for a way to reduce the amount of waste plastic on our planet by using living organisms (fungi) to decompose it and turn it into bioethanol – which will in turn be used to fuel engines.
Nodus once again had many a Dutch designer in its collection. Studio Job had four carpets in total, one displaying the inner workings of the human body, another depicting a modern-day interpretation of Mary and Jezus, surrounded by depictions of industry. Kiki van Eijk designed a series of flower carpets with designs based on the wild flowers which grow all around us and keeping on the wild side, Aldo Bakker and Brecht Duijf created a carpet in the form of a lion from bamboo, hemp and wool.
Droog design opted-out of showing actual products this year, instead creating a virtual fair based on the idea that future governments could start taxing raw materials. The impact that would have on design would be huge, forcing new companies to be created. Material Matters presented a number of fake and some real companies; Studio Swine came up with an ingenious idea in which fishers trawl for plastics (instead of fish) which they turn into new products on board. Christien Meindertsma’s Wild Bone China was on show, next to Droog’s own Saved by Droog.
Main image: Drooglab
Other images: 1.-2. MINI 3.-4. Karimoku New Standard 5. 1616 Arita Japan/ Scholten & Baijings 6. BOOO! 7. Kirstie van Noort 8. Maurizio Montalti 9.-10. Nodus 11.-12. Droog
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