Vertica Dvivedi, Editor, SURFACES REPORTER talks about some of the ‘seeds of change’ that she observed during Milan Design Week 2017. She believes these innovations have the power to transform design thinking of our recent future, and also the way we experience design. Take a look…
Furniture and fitness
Furniture and fitness We saw this few years back too, but this time it came across more strongly. We are becoming more fitness conscious yet have limited time, so a furniture that doubles up as a fitness equipment bridges the gap amazingly for working people. Check our Fitness Furniture by young designer Edmond Wong. His ‘Fit-niture’ collection aims to turn your office/home into a semi-gym where exercise is as important as work. Lux Fitness equipment are not restricted to high-end gyms anymore. Fuoripista by Adriano Design showcased some beautiful fitness equipment made of materials like tempered glass, leather, polished metal which are as functional as they are art.
Beginning of Eastern touch in Office Space
Informal work setups have been becoming prominent in the last few years, but the seating had always been pretty much western style with modern ergonomics. This year, one thing which I found refreshing was workspaces incorporating the eastern style of sitting on the floor and working. Ar. Arash Ahmadi ‘s project Ham-dasti meaning ‘hand-in-hand’ tried to enclose the essence of different cultures and traditions through emotional and symbolic references with his message – ‘Harmony, belonging and sharing for the workspace of future.’
Material Innovation has been one of the many key aspects of Milan Design week that we love each year. This time too, it didn’t disappoint. Just like last year’s socially relevant materials were in trend, we saw the resurgence of Biobased materials by designers across the show. One such collaboration is between Staygreen and robertopamlo + partners. Their collection ‘The paper Anime’ used materials such as cardboard double wave and natural glues derived from the starch of peas.
Another designer Arturo Alvarez creates unique handmade lighting inspired by nature. He even creates his own materials suitable as per his ideas. I love the designer and looking forward to more of his works. Some of his collections like Conversas & Encontrous are mesmerizing.
Lights without a visible source
I I found David Groppi’s lighting design most exuberantly futuristic & artistic yet so simple that you may even miss the magic if not consciously present at the moment. His research into a “light without a source” drove Davide to consider the realization of a project which is invisible, magic and illusive. His ideas realized with Light and few simple materials almost transport a visitor to a world of calm illumination where light speaks and light listens.
I observed textures were utterly pronounced this year. Macro textures, micro engravings, and material on material textures were all over the surfaces. Graphics were more life-like while background colors deviated from toned to subtle with pinches of drama with the addition of fluorescent hues. Though may sound cliché, close to natural rough textures in wood are my personal favorite. I realized I am not easily satisfied while experiencing the rawness. I observe I touch, I change my viewing angles, photograph, discuss, meet the designer, know the materials, understand techniques and many times try to smell. Laughing at self is my new way of having a mini break at work. The look of Snarkitecture’s ‘Paper on Paper’ Topographies Collection for Calicowallpaper is poetic & engrossing. I was particularly intrigued by combinations of aluminum in wood as seen in Nature Design (reminded me of Hilla Shamia’s work), carbon fiber & wood as designed by Strength, and also the Crude Steel and smoked Oak combination as in Woestmann’s furniture pieces.