Milan: Day 2

DAE graduate François Duquesnoy creates furniture out of discarded objects.

Ventura Lambrate has fast become Fuorisalone’s hotspot. Young design collectives join the schools they recently graduated from for an extensive display of cutting-edge creativity. This year, the programme reveals much more of the latest work from Eindhoven-based studios and also includes work presented by Polish, German and Italian platforms. With so much jam-packed into this Milanese neighbourhood, it's difficult to cover everything but here are a few highlights. 

Starting the morning off with a bit of discussion, the Design Academy Eindhoven hosts a series of breakfast talks centred around different topics such as the role of education within the industry. Critic Tracey Metz moderates debates between established names like Jurgen Bey and alumni exhibiting in the school’s gallery. After the talks, there is plenty of time to discover new graduation projects – never exhibited before. 

Rudi Boiten debuted his floor printing machine – computer drawn patterns applied to concrete and wooden surfaces using a large format nozzle. Tijmen Smeulders’ exploration of physicality versus visual perception translates into ceramic vessels and a convex mirror. François Duquesnoy takes urban nomadism to the next level with a furniture series produced using discarded material – found in different cities.

At KABK’s (Royal Academy of Art, The Hague) live studio-style showcase, students explore and produce new material applications on the spot – projects that transcend conceptual art and design. Making a strong impression, Nynke Koster’s Coexist reevaluates classic spaces with selected finishes reproduced using unexpected textures. 

Capturing an ever-growing revival in Danish design, Mindcraft reveals an eclectic mix of craft-driven work. Pipaluk Lake’s Suspension I plays with blown glass over a hoisted metal wire mess, while Iskos-Berlin’s The Birth of Marilyn highlights the imperfection of experimentation with thermoformed skirt-like lampshades. Nearby, lighting brand Tonone mounts a large mechanical light tree using the very same iconic key-and-joint system found in a series of desk, clamp and floor iterations. 

In a space entirely covered in metalic cellophane, Berlin Reflects debuts new work developed by designers hailing from the German capital. With Ashes rubber vases – held in place by Blumenampel, a powder coated frame – Atelier Haubmann reinterprets the idea of vanitas. 

In a large fair-like space – featuring Li Edelkoort’s Fetishism in Fashion exhibition and Paul Heijnen’s latest constructions – Studio WM reveals Lucent Mirror, combining dichroic glass with LED technology. The shelving unit is covered by a spherical and semi-translucent surface that gradually transforms into a one-way mirror. 

Later on in Zona Tortona, Studio Job’s exhibition at NLXL gallery features the Tilburg-based design duo’s foray into wallpaper. Long 9-m sheets combine to form an installation that transcends floor and ceiling. The patterns move between the cartoonish and referential. 

At the end of the day, like any night during Milan Design Week, the quaint red- and gold-trimmed Bar Basso was abuzz with hundreds of designers, collectors and journalists spilling out of the tiny venue onto the sidewalk and nearby traffic circle. 

Photos by Adrian Madlener

Billboard: Out Now Book Schemata
Billboard: Out Now Book Schemata

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