Wednesday, May 05, 2010

MILAN: Salone del Mobile 2010 - Wallpaper

Wallpaper* party. The design cognoscenti flocked to the Brioni house during the Salone del Mobile for the opening of the 'Wallpaper* Handmade... in Italy' exhibition. Shown over four floors, the groundbreaking exhibition was dedicated to the marriage of craftsmanship and design.   Wallpaper* commissioned their favorite designers, artists, craftsmen, makers and manufacturers to create unique furniture, fittings, food stuffs, fashions and more.   The dramatic installation in the courtyard of the Brioni house, entitled '12,000 stitches' and designed by London architects, Carmody Groarke, paid homage to the craftsmanship it takes to create a single Brioni suit, 12,000 threads were individually woven on to aluminum looms to create a sculptural celebration of the tailor's art. 

Seen at the Wallpaper* party. Milan based, special projects director, Nick Vinson and Wallpaper*s editor in chief, Tony Chambers greeted guests in the courtyard of the Brioni house.

TwinBath. Twin Bath was designed by Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez and Rapsel. The traditional wooden Ofuro baths of Japan are high-sided tubs where the already-clean bather goes for some quiet contemplation.  For this exhibition Wallpaper* asked Thun and Rodriguez to rework the Ofuro-inspired tub for Raspel that was awarded by the magazine “Best Bath” in their Design Awards 2010. Wallpaper* was attracted by its simple clean shape and larch wood construction.  The original bath was deep and fairly short, so they invited the designers to think about extending it so that two people could bathe together.

The Chef.   Luca Terraneo.

Campari and Blood Orange Sorbet.  Since Wallpaper* is committed to the cause of excellence in all things, including food, they asked Francesco Mazzei, head chef and part owner of L’Anima restaurant in London to come up with something fresh and clean for the party.  His Campari and blood orange sorbet, homage to the citric delights of his home in southern Italy, is a granita that perfectly balances the sweet and tart.

Kitchen.  Kitchen designed by Gitta Gschwendtner and Schiffini.  Wallpaper* was enamored of Gitta Gschwendtner’s Animal Wall in Cardiff Bay, where she placed 1,000 bird and bat boxes made out of woodcrete at differing levels and projections at the top of the wall.  The animal Wall’s form of playfully referenced Brutalism, but for birdies.  She was ideal to partner with design-led, family-run kitchen maker Schiffini to produce for the magazine a concept kitchen/art piece.  Greatly influenced by the sculptor Donald Judd, her kitchen references his work in the use of ply and the way the drawers are placed at differing levels and depths.

 Picnic Hamper. Picnic Hamper
designed by Lotty Lindeman. It takes a special kind of designer to create containers that are as good-looking as they are functional.  Wallpaper* has been fans of young designer Lotty Lindeman since they spied her “Tassenkast” range of luggage made from padded fabric, wooden panels and plenty of handy pockets. Which made the magazine think that the Dutch designer would be perfect for creating their ideal picnic hamper to hold the sumptuous lunch prepared by Coworth Park, along with the other items specially commissioned for the occasion – everything from a coffee flask and a cocktail set to bags of crisps. Swathed in fabric by Kvadrat, the hamper is based on the “Tassenkast” aesthetics that the magazine admired so much.   With its handy detachable pockets, it takes inspiration from the oversized old-fashioned picnic hamper of yore.

Polar Bear Rug.  Polar Bear Rug designed by Form Us With Love and Bolon.  A traditional bear rug, with a not-so-traditonal method of design and material production.  Using Photosynth, a modeling software that enables a picture to be converted into 3D, and then reversing the process through Pepakura Designer (a software used by paper-modeling craftsmen to create and fold-and-tab geometric cuts-outs for paper crafts), Form Us With Love turned an image of a polar bear into a design for a rug.   The rug was then made out of white vinyl flooring.  More complex, perhaps, than shooting and skinning, but better for the bears.

Pillow.  Pillow designed by Moroso, Hospes and Doshi Levien.  Wallpaper* has long wanted to work with the Hospes hotel group, because of its innovative approach to the hospitality industry and openness to special projects.  So this was the perfect opportunity to ask designer Doshi Levien to produce a new pillow for Hospes’ Learn to Sleep program at the Hospes Maricel hotel in Mallorca.  Made from pure handcrafted cashmere, it was produced by Moroso using textiles made in New York by Maharam.  Exquisite detailing, in the form of silver embroidered twill and an embroidered selvedge, is combined with a molded button to create a rather lovely place to lay your head.

Paper In-Flight Bag. Paper In-Flight Bag designed by Saskia Diez.  Inspired by her award-winning “Papier” series of bags, Wallpaper* asked Saskia Diez and her husband Stefan to produce the ultimate in lightweight, perfectly proportioned travel accessories.  Eschewing the traditional bag construction choices – leather or reinforced textiles – she turned to Tyvek.  This is a synthetic paper that is extremely light but, unlike conventional paper bags, robustly water- and tear- proof ( it’s the material used to make those which protection suits seen on forensic detective shows).   Perfect for traveling, the bags come with compartments designed specifically to carry your Wallpaper* City Guide and a copy of your favorite design magazine. 

Seen at the Wallpaper* party.   Brioni’s president and CEO, Andrea Perrone and artist, Rolf Sachs.
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