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Highlights from Ventura Lambrate

Only a few years old and initiated by Organisation in Design, the Ventura Lambrate area has established itself as a worthy contender for Zona Tortona and other Salone satellite events.

By Cassandra Pizzey / 24-04-2012

But this year the overall consensus was that the area was a little disappointing. Maybe it was the rain, maybe it was a lack of visitors, or maybe it was the fact that brands and designers had opted to show elsewhere. Whatever the reason, still managed to find a host of interesting Dutch design.

One of the first exhibitors we bumped into was Rood by rENs, as the name suggests the design duo are smitten with the colour red. In an attempt to reduce mass fashion consumption participants to the project are prompted to donate their unworn or unused clothing which is then dyed red by rENs. “We then sell the clothing online or at events. Buyers can see the exact origins of their item, and ex-owners can trace the items as well”, says Stefanie van Keijsteren.

In the same area we spot MU, an Einhoven-based platform which for the Salone picked six highlights of its recent commissions including Lucas Maassen & Sons Furniture Factory, Melvin the Mini Machine by Hey Hey Hey and various project by Maarten Kolk, Guus Kusters and Raw Color. All beautifully-displayed projects were developed largely for MU, giving the designer a chance to collaborate on projects or develop their personal ideas.

Then on to the large warehouse situated on Via Massimiano 6 where many design schools congregate including the Academy of the Arts, Utrecht (HKU) which showed work by six of its alumni, including a dress by Anouk Wipprecht and chicks by Merel Bekking. The show and its projects are critical and analytical, not showing what design can do for the interior for instance, but what the social role of design can be.

Of course there is a place for emerging and new designers at Ventura Lambrate and we saw them exhibited on the Ventura Runway. An installation by Karlien van Leeuwen of Studio Smeerolie named Forget-me-not featured a 20 metre-high chandelier made of steel and filled with bouquets. The studio looks at ways of creating services on location which incorporate design and social interaction.

At yet another location Another Terra – curated by Barbara Brondi & Marco Rainò – looked at the hypothetical question ‘what if we had to leave earth, what minimal luggage would we bring?’. For the exhibition designers such as Formafantasma, Pieke Bergmans and Pepe Heykoop were asked to create their visions to fit in a small wooden box. Some functional, some purely aesthetic yet all somewhat bewildering the boxes seemed to pose the question ‘what do we really need?’.

Main Image: Ventura Lambrate
Other images: 1.-2. Rood by rENs 3. Hey Hey Hey 4. Lucas Maassen & Sons 5.-6. HKU 7.-8. Studio Smeerolie/ Karlien van Leeuwen 9.-10. Another Terra

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