Design Matters Milan recap
When journalist Jeroen Junte asks designers and professionals in the field of design to come and share their experiences of this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan, who are we to say no?
In his latest – and what’s to be bimonthly – installment at Pakhuis de Zwijger, journalist Jeroen Junte invited designers Dirk van der Kooij, Frederic Roijé and Irma Boom (who sent Thomas Eyck as a representative) to discuss their Milan 2012 projects on stage.
Additionally, a number of professionals from the field of design (think Aad Krol of Gallery Vivid, Mary Hessing of Eigen Huis & Interieur and Organisation in Design’s Margo Konings and Margriet Vollenberg, to name but a few) were asked to share their best and worst moments of this year’s Salone del Mobile.
Dirk van der Kooij was frequently named as one of this year’s highlights and spoke enthusiastically about his exhibition with Domus at the Palazzo Clerici, not abandoning his robotic arm – now famous in its own right for the Endless chair and table series – but demonstrating its potential in the newest addition Satellite lamp. The giant diffuser and lamp in one was a big hit at the fair and raised the question whether it wasn’t time for a second robot. “It’s become pretty busy for the arm, yes. Especially if I want to find time for experimenting.”
Never ones to shy away from this kind of experimental design are Organisation in Design founders Margriet Vollenberg and Margo Konings – also initiators of Ventura Lambrate. “A trend we have been seeing and really dislike is the emergence of big-name brands presenting themselves just for the sake of it. When it has nothing to do with design, what’s the point?” Car brand Lancia’s guerrilla gardening project however, is a prime example of how brands can attract attention while being fun and creative.
Buyers, galleries and colour enthusiasts were represented by Dick Dankers (Frozen Fountain), Aad Krol (Gallery Vivid) and Anne van der Zwaag respectively. Dankers showed us his favourite products which will soon be featured in his Amsterdam shop and included Irma Boom’s wallpaper for Thomas Eyck, Lex Pott and David Derksen’s oxidized mirrors and Maarten Baas’ latest project for Laikingland. For Krol, it wasn’t necessarily the design fair itself which attracted him, mentioning an installation by performance artist Marina Abramovic. Van der Zwaag gave us a lesson in colour and fashion, noting that cobalt blue was a big hit in Milan this year, both in furniture and products as spotted on streetstyle blogs. As part of Ventura Lambrate this year, Hans van Lensvelt talked about the collaboration between Lensvelt and Joep van Lieshout, resulting in an abundance of cobalt-blue designs.
Mary Hessing (Editor in Chief of Eigen Huis & Interieur) was surprised to hear a new trend of people not visiting the Salone itself. “For me this is still the most important part of visiting Milan and however much I enjoy discovering hidden gems around the city, the Salone offers an overview of the current state of design. Flexform was my highlight.”
Design.nl was also asked to share its views on the current state of Dutch design during the Salone. With a keen interest in young designers we spotted a fair amount of academies and school around Zona Tortona and Ventura Lambrate. In answer to the question whether this isn’t a waste of time and money: “Surely its a good thing to see the talent of tomorrow bundled together for the world to see, and if not through their respective academies, how else would these young designers be able to finance a show in Milan?”
The next Design Matters will take place on 11 September 2012 in Pakhuis de Zwijger and will discuss what designers and architects can learn from each other.
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