I don’t know about you, but I have always been a fan of brutalist architecture. Recently one of my favourite buildings at my old university was torn down. It was big, heavy and concrete, and I loved it and feel like I’m the only one mourning it’s destruction. That’s maybe why I’ve instantly fallen in love with Mareike Kanafani’s brutalist jewelry. I came across Kanafani’s collection when trawling through work from Schmuck Jewelry Fair that took place in Munich earlier in March. As the oldest Jewelry Fair, it’s the benchmark for what’s new in jewelry design and often showcases techniques that push the traditions of the field. Kanafani’s concrete works do just that and have brought her some well deserved attention.
Personally, I’ve not seen jewelry made this way before. I’d be interested in the construction techniques as, from my small amount of concreting experience, I do know that the material, although strong, needs a spine or mesh to help keep it altogether. It’s got me all intrigued, it’s not something that I would want to drop accidentally. Maybe this dichotomy is something that Kanafani is playing with here? The idea of fragility and stability being fused into one and being one in the same. It’s an interesting concept for jewelry, a genre of design that is routed in preciousness and expense.
I can’t find out where you purchase Kanafani’s work, and the range so far is small and concise, but shoot, what a way to start. You can see more from Schmuck Jewelry Fair by clicking through here (trawl to the bottom).
I feel like there are a few exciting ‘firsts’ at this years Salone del Mobile. We featured Tom Dixon’s debut show at Salone on Saturday, and today, it’s Sarah Lucas’ first foray into furniture.
Sarah Lucas is a British artist who’s famous for her suggestive sculptures, photography and collage work. Often using found objects and mass produced materials, Lucas’ works are curious things when you’re in front of them. They’re confronting, concerning and well, just a bit bloody unnerving. There’s a blatant approach in Lucas’ practice that although tells it how it is, doesn’t leave the viewer with nothing to discover by themselves.
Sarah Lucas Furniture at Sadie Coles HQ presents a selection of bench seats, room dividers, chairs and side tables designed by Lucas in collaboration with the London Art Workshop. Using pre-cast concrete breeze blocks and MDF, Lucas has a created a collection that is just as blatant and confronting as her artwork. These materials, do in fact, stem from the artwork she produces as they are the materials that Lucas uses to creates her display plinths from. Here, the displayer of work has become the work. Solid, bold and heavy, the undervalued supporter has finally taken it’s rightful place ahead of the artwork itself.
The collection, which is all signed and dated, is interestingly referential to movements both in the art and furniture worlds with both contemporary and post modern artists and designers being referenced. The gridded, brutalist range reminds you of Donald Judd or of Karl Andre, or of the many architects who incorporated pre-molded concrete into their work. Is it a collection to snuggle up on and watch a movie? Probably not. But is it a collection that makes us stand back and think? Well, it probably is, and surely that’s not a bad thing. ‘Thinking’ aside however, what I do like about the collection is it’s unexpected aesthetic appeal, something Lucas herself commented on as being “surprisingly stylish“. I reckon I could easily live with one of these pieces in the right setting. Getting it there, or up the stairs?! Hmmm, well that part might be a bit tricky.
Salone del Mobile, it’s nearly done and dusted! But we’ve got one more highlight tomorrow.
This year Salone del Mobile has introduced me to a new favourite—Raw-Edges. Their experiments in furniture making commonly borrow techniques from other disciplines, such as fashion, and apply them to cleverly conceived objects. The pair behind Raw-Edges, a design studio with a focus on furniture, have a history of using materials in innovative ways. In the Salon del Mobile exhibit, surface specialist Caesarstone took full advantage of their talents to collaborate on Islands, a collection of hubs of activity for different parts of the home.
Raw-Edges offer the most interesting variation on the idea of the “kitchen island” I have ever come across. The seven islands include a long kitchen bench, a vanity, a bath and even a ping-pong table. Each one reiterates a simple stone structure as a base, which is built up with a number of storage cupboards, drawers and racks that are inserted into purposefully cut slots in the bench. The varied stone finishes are a refreshing alternative to the marble that has been taking over furniture trends as the material of choice. The resulting objects’ functions are quite clear and fixed, but the eclectic combinations of shapes, colours and surfaces infuse them with a spark of creative potential. The video above showcases this well by playfully animating the the different components of the islands.
The kitchen bench presented at Salone del Mobile was extended to span the length of the room, and even comes complete with a lemon tree! This presents the potential for outdoor use, and I think that some of the islands would look the part in a sophisticated outdoor entertainment spot. I also love the simplicity of the ping-pong table, which showcases the stone beautifully. The collection fits in well into Palazzo Clerici’s 18th Century surrounds, where it is currently exhibited, complementing the interior surprisingly well.
Come back for more gems from Salone del Mobile tomorrow!
Photos: Wallpaper Magazine
Salone del Mobile is back for 2014! Unaware of Salone? Well, pick up those ears and listen in. Salone del Mobile is our humble planet’s most premiere furniture, object and interior fair. Every designer that is cool, or wants to be, is at this fair and showcasing what’s new, exciting and boundary-pushing in the way of interior furnishings. Salone is always creatively stimulating and definitely worth checking out. We’ve been covering it for a couple of years now and this year‘s no different, we’ll be bringing your all our highlights from Milan over the next few days. The first, Tom Dixon and his sexy design aesthetic.
This year’s Salone marks Tom Dixon’s debut at the fair where his new collection of home furnishings under the theme of the CLUB is being presented. I first came across Dixon’s shiny objects when I spotted one of his hexagonally patterned, copper pressed bowls. The slickness found in that object is written all over the signature of the CLUB collection. Basing the range on the conventional British Gentleman’s club, Dixon has ramped it up a notch by reworking the aesthetic into a contemporary, pleasure-trove of plush goodies. Metallics dominant along with some beautifully smooth finishes, extraordinarily sleek lighting designs, and clean, modern tableware and service ware. This is a collection full of glamour, but done in a way that isn’t cheap or glitzy, or devoid of taste. Rather it makes you want to snap it all up and take it home. Surely it’s alright to have a little bit of bling in your life right? Tom says yes! and I’m sure glad he has!
Tom Dixon’s CLUB is showing in Hall 20, stand B06 at Salone del Mobile. Get in there if you’re visiting.
Tomorrow! Anna will be bringing you her top find. So check back then for more goodness.
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