Here in Milan we have the main trade fair in the exhibition centre, the main “off-site” around the Via Tortona, and then the more extensive off-off-site which encompasses more or less the whole of the city.
And so it was that we ventured yesterday evening into the wilds of north Milan in search of the designersblock showcase – the 9th of its kind organised by the London based collective
After the compulsory getting lost and walking in the wrong direction we eventually arrived … and quickly regained our calm thanks largely to the works on display.
Truly, after a couple of days at the “proper” exhibition it was a real joy to view some truly innovative, interesting and functional designs.
Space prevents us from naming all that we liked, however, by way of a short selection.
Beach Ball Lamps by TOBYhouse (England)
These are real beach balls, coated in resin and then cut open. Colourfully painted on the outside and white on the inside they are a delightful play on classic “ball” lamps. Bright without being garish, retro without being cliched, and a serious adult design that can also be appreciated by children.
Ropeshelf by Laszlo Rozsnoki (Germany)
As with all well named products the name leaves little room for misinterpretation. it’s shelves formed from rope. Tightly stretched, secure rope. Although clearly not an object for storing small objects, Ropeshelf is ideal for books and/or CDs – although the user should always be aware that under the weight of the articles the shelves sink and so plan a little in advance ;) A nicely constructed product that not only looks good but works.
Origami Chair by So Takahashi Design (Japan/USA/Norway)
At first glance the Origami Chair looks like it could barely resist the force a slight draft – far less a well fed north European male. But just as origami gives paper a deceptive strength, so the construction of the Origami chair allows the wonderfully waif-like design to provide comfortable, secure support.
“Unnamed” by Stuart Miller (Scotland)
My notes on this simply say “Chair, cardboard, comes apart, very comfy, bloody students” More on what that all means later. However for now it suffices to say that for us this foldable cardboard chair is one of the discoveries of the fair so far. Took a problem, analysed it, solved it. And that with style and comfort. Lovely.