(smow) blog compact Milan 2014 Special: Sarah Böttger & Hanna Emelie Ernsting at Salone Satellite

Milan is awash with churches.

Milan is awash with monasteries.

Basilica. Friaries. And other suitable locations for submitting penitence.

We go to Salone Satellite.

Last year you may remember we had to apologise to Karolin Fesser for our failure to publish a post on the from Karolin co-curated Objects for the neighbour exhibition. Not that we were obliged to publish anything on the exhibition; it was just so good it deserved one and we were negligent in not doing such.

This year it was Sarah Böttger to whom we expressed our contrition.

During Cologne Design Week 2014 we bumped into Sarah in the cellar of the Boffi flagship store during the Young Perspectives showcase, and after exchanging pleasantries preceded to take a series of really, really bad photos of her Woodware storage box project.

We refuse to accept the full blame, the Boffi cellar is not the best photo location in Cologne. Nor was the placing of Woodware by the curators the most advantageous. That said our photos really, really didn’t do Woodware any justice.

And that was negligent of us.

In Milan Sarah Böttger was sharing a Salone Satellite stand with Frankfurt based, HfG Karlsruhe graduate Hanna Emelie Ernsting, a designer whose Petstools project we’ve also nearly managed to kill in a succession of photo disasters for both these pages and other projects.

Cue more apologies.

Undeterred we did of course take photos of their joint stand.

A joint stand that included a first joint project: the carpet series Dune.

Inspired by the rounded, serene forms found on calm, sandy beaches the Dune carpets are woven from loden – a wool based fabric traditionally used for blankets and overcoats in the Germanophone Alps and a material which is characterised by extreme durability and a very welcoming, soft, surface. Just what one wants from a carpet: and an extremely pleasing project.

Solo, Sarah Böttger was presenting Woodware and Woodware’s bigger cousin, the side table Cache. Essentially a related wooden storage concept, just in a much larger form, and for us the more logical realisation of the idea as Cache’s size makes them unavoidable and somehow more practical, easier to integrate into and justify in a space. In addition Sarah Böttger also presented the turned ash doorstop… Doorstop, a project that we first saw at the aforementioned Object for the neighbours exhibition and an object which for us still retains all the naive, innocent charm from then; and the seat-cum-step Peak, a deceptively simple and beautifully crafted object which impressed with its self-confidence.

Hanna Emelie Ernsting meanwhile presented Petstools and Red Riding Hood, two projects which delightfully illustrate her ongoing research into what we’re going to term “living textiles”. The 2013 Petstools projects is a series of stools in animal form which can either be used as stools or footstools, but into which you can also sink your feet, or as we wrote last year “…the beauty of the dumb companions comes when you allow your feet to sink into the soft material. The effect is just as if a household pet, or a partner, is gently massaging your feet after a hard day in the uncaring world.” Complimenting the Petstools collection, and providing more protection from the uncaring world, is and was the armchair Red Riding Hood – essentially an armchair with a cape – and a project that impressed and impresses us more than most of Hanna’s previous projects involving furniture that engulfs one, not least because optically it is a very unobtrusive, easily accessible yet thoroughly absorbing object. Or put another way, we can well imagine it looking as if it belongs in any given living room. Something which isn’t always the case with experimental furniture design.

A few impressions:

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