Bonjour Milan is Atelier Biagetti’s Salone offering this year and I’ll be honest, they had me with that baby pink type. It’s a chosen colour that links through to hues within an interesting range of experimental furniture. A collection that combines contrasting concepts of the old and the new, archeology and space debris, sophisticated materials and geographical cross sections. Humanity, who we are, where we have come from and where we are going, is the foundation that Atelier Biagetti is built on. Last year’s range One Minute Ago referenced the beginning of time, in Bonjour Milan Atelier Biagetti takes these ideas and pins them next to their opposites.
In the range, found and disgarded debris is married with sleekly polished modern materials. The stone that tops the hexagonal tiered tables was sourced, as Biagetti puts it, from aristocratic Milanese residences. This made me laugh as I just love the thought of Alberto Biagetti rummaging through the trash cans of Milan’s richest! This found stone has then been paired with uniquely constructed, opaque copper bases. It’s old, it’s new and it’s got a story embedded in it’s making. The glass table and cabinet are also made of contradictions. The futuristic ultra-white glass that reaches new levels in glass clarity, is used only to be masked by plastic laminate that depicts cross sections of the earth. Here an interesting mix of conceal and reveal, of discovery and of the undiscoverable are merged into one beautiful object. Interesting concepts to consider when you’re sitting down to an evening meal I’m sure.
Above all else, it’s Atelier Biagetti’s contemporary aesthetic that really gets me. Part art, part design, everything they do stands out for feeling thoughtful while also pushing our notions of modern interior furnishings.
I think Atelier Biagetti are incredible, and if you do too you can see more by clicking here, or check out my articles on his 2013 Salone collections here and here:
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.
I spent five years living the student life in New Zealand. This translates to moving around from one shared house to the next, sweetly cajoling my lovely parents into hiring moving vans and dragging my furniture up and down stairs. Well, I imagine they would have been much happier carrying around Meike Harde designed furniture, rather than my cumbersome belongings! I am sure anyone who has ever bought one of those horrible portable clothing racks that fall apart under the weight of more than a few coat-hangers can relate to my excitement at seeing Harde’s lovely version. From the London series, it’s accompanied by several other ingenious storage devices, constructed from adjustable metal frames and fabric exteriors. They are light, easy to pull apart and are as decorative as they are practical.
Material experimentation is important in the development of many of Harde’s pieces and she is awfully clever at taking something ordinary and using it in an innovative way. Take Zieharsofika, for example—here we have standard components of a couch or stool: rubber foam and a wooden base. But, instead of applying the usual process of upholstery, the foam mat is covered in fabric and attached to the simple stool with skillfully woven elastic bands. Limited materials have achieved a functional, comfortable object that can easily work as the centerpiece of a lounge, thanks to the beautiful pattern formed by its method of construction. Another one of my favourites is Stockwerk, a sizable shelf that can be folded down a quarter of it’s full size without losing any of its sturdiness. This is perfect furniture for anyone with itchy feet!
Meike Harde will be taking part in the Salone del Mobile Milano 08–13 April. She will be in booth No. B-15, so be sure to check out her clever objects in real life if you’re there! And… look back here over the next few days for our favs from Salone del Mobile, it’s promising to be a good one.
Photographs by Meike Harde, and Stockwerk images by Johannes Höller; baemstudios.de