Does craft exist at Milan Design Week?

Does craft exist at Milan Design Week?

For the last 12 years, I’ve made the pilgrimage to the annual Salone del Mobile otherwise known as Milan Design Week. The city welcomes 300,000+ international visitors to view the latest designs and trends from across the world. For me, its all about seeking out undiscovered talent, new materials and processes as well reconnecting with the great and good of the industry.  

This year, I made the bold decision not to visit the main fair. Yes I missed out on Salone Satellite (the dedicated area for emerging brands) but with limited time and 1000’s of city showcases, I concentrated on analysing the new Ventura districts, the rising Vie5 area located in the old town, old favourites such as Rossana Orlandi and the new showcase Alcova in the north east of the city.

My first port of call was Zona Tortona. Tortona as an area is no longer the ‘go-to district of Milan’ (hay day was circa 2007) however, there are always some gems to be found and the buzz in the evenings is always electric. Future Icons member Vezzini and Chen (pictured) was invited by Esh Gallery to present a solo show of their glass and ceramic lighting, installations and home accessories. Presented across two levels, this was a chance for visitors to meet the design duo to discuss projects and view collections in a large open space.

Wednesday morning soon came and I made a journey to the new show; Alcova – a presentation of new design from studios and galleries largely from northern Europe. Hosted in a disused panettone factory, I knew immediately this show would be my Milan highlight for 2018. I wasn’t wrong – even if you didn’t like the work on show, the architecture and shadows thrown around venue from the roofless buildings and sunshine instantly made one smile. Stand out studios included Bloc Studio, Sophie Dries, Studio Minale-Maeda and Bohinc Studio (pictured).

In the afternoon, I popped along to a firm favourite gallery of mine; Rossana Orlandi. Lady Orlandi is an absolute hero of mine and she has impeccable taste from the building and courtyard she owns to the collections she selects to present year in year out. Every corner is drenched in clever, pretty design from new to established design studios. She’s also championed craft more than anyone else in Milan since she opened her doors in 2002. This year (I’m going to be controversial now) I wasn’t as impressed as previous showcases. Maybe its because I’ve been wowed time and time again over the years and this year – it was just a bit same old same old. I did however love meeting Nada Debs (pictured) , reconnected with Ochre, marvelled at Pet Lamp’s new installation and I wanted to lick the colourful tables by Dirk Vander Kooij (pictured).

The following day I was lost wondering around the street of Milan’s Old Town to discover the 5Vie district of MDW – shamefully this is the first time I’ve ventured to this district (its been running since 2014). 5Vie hosts a mix of artisanal studios, showrooms, galleries and presentations by international collectives. Although there are quite a few questionable collectives of handmade jewellery groups and baggy clothing brands, I’m glad I persisted as I met some designers and small companies focusing on some understated craftmanship and technology. My favourite was Austrilian designer Elliot Bastianon (pictured) who presented a collection of one off DesignArt pieces of copper sulphate crystals attached to oxidised steel furniture pieces. Other notable mentions from the area include Apparatus Studio, Giopato & Coombes and the impressive Palazzo Stamskin installation by Studio GGSV & Serge Ferrari (pictured).

Following on from 5Vie, I ventured over (pun intended) to Ventura Future & Ventura Centrale. I’m not even going to comment on Ventura Future – my mother said if I do not have anything nice to say, then don’t say it at all. However, Venture Centrale was on a completely different level – a wow after wow. A series of installations presented in a row of disused railway arches. From giant wooden puppets to a neon and marble diner experience – this was well worth the visit after long days of trekking around a hot busy city. The top three for me: Stephan Hürlemann with horgenglarus (pictured), Surface in collaboration with David Rockwell and 2x4 & Fabrica with Pierre Frey.

Final thoughts…

I could have delivered you the same old trend report - Coral is the new pink, cane and rattan seating is back from the 80’s and rugs have replaced hanging artworks – but I wanted future visitors to MDW to gain an insight of where to discover high end craft and batch production design. I hope you’ve found this useful. Until next year, ciao for now Milano. 

Written by Future Icons Founder, Louisa Pacifico. Images courtesy of brands - click to enlarge

 

Helen Beard for Jo Malone

Helen Beard completes first commission for Jo Malone

Launched in January 2018, Future Icon Helen Beard was commissioned by Jo Malone to incorporate her gorgeous illustrations for this limited edition set of hand creams. Make sure you pop into a Jo Malone boutique soon as these sets have already sold out online!

Click here for further information

 

Christabel Balfour's residency at The Barbican Shop

Christabel Balfour's residency at The Barbican Shop

From March 2018, The Barbican will host Make! A programme of talks, workshops and demonstrations from selected contemporary makers; those with a modern take on conventional crafts such as weaving, casting and bookbinding, and those redefining it entirely with groundbreaking processes and exciting new materials. 

Excitingly, Future Icon Christabel Balfour has been selected for this programme and will take up residency to demonstrate live weaving from the Barbican shop as well has host workshops on site too. Don't miss your chance too meet her and view samples from her collection too.

Make!
March - June 2018 (Various dates)
The Barbican Centre, London, UK

Click here for further information on Christabel's residency

Click here for further information on Christabel's workshop

 

Art Rooms Roma 2018

Kevin Stamper and Zuzana Lalikova selected to showcase at Art Rooms Roma 2018

Over 500 independent artists applied for the inaugural Art Rooms Roma and only 50 selected. We're delighted to learn that Future Icons Kevin Stamper and Zuzana Lalikova have been selected to showcase their collections in this stunning venue (pictured) located by the Vatican.

Expanding on the concept made famous by Artrooms London since 2015 - Artrooms Fair is the first international contemporary art fair offering free exhibition space to independent artists. Artrooms Fair Roma will host independent artists from all over the world exhibiting their artwork inside the Church Palace hotel Rooms that will be transformed into their own creative and intimate space. 

Art Rooms Roma
2 - 4 March 2018
Church Palace Hotel, Rome, IT

For further information & tickets: 
https://roma.artroomsfairs.com/

 

Porcelain³ at the Contemporary Ceramics Centre, London 

Porcelain³ at the Contemporary Ceramics Centre, London

Future Icon Jo Davies has been selected alongside Katharina Klug and Anja Lubach by the Contemporary Ceramics Centre to showcase three of the leading ceramicists specialising in porcelain.  

Jo Davies’ unique thrown and assembled forms will be shown alongside Anja Lubach’s delicate figurative details and the spontaneous graphic marks of Katharina Klug’s vessels. The exhibition will explore the breadth and limitations of working with porcelain, with each maker citing the material’s properties as integral to their work.

The Contemporary Ceramics Centre is a gallery exclusively exhibiting the work of UK studio ceramics and is a showcase for the highly regarded membership organisation The Craft Potters' Association. The CPA has a long history of vetting its membership to the highest standards and has long been seen as a mark of quality within the ceramics community.   

15 February - 10 March 2018

The Contemporary Ceramics Centre
63 Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3B


For further information visit: www.cpaceramics.com/ccc/futureex

 

Future Icons at Collect 2018

Anna Barlow, Ikuko Iwamoto and Vezzini & Chen represented by galleries at Collect 2018

We look forward to visiting Collect at the Saatchi Gallery each year, however this year is even more special as we get to support 3 of our clients too. 

Collect brings together 40 galleries from four continents for a celebration of making, extraordinary in both scale and scope. Museum-quality works and installations from hundreds of the most talented makers in the UK, USA, South Korea, Japan, France, Norway, Italy, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden will offer visitors and collectors a multidisciplinary overview of the people, processes, materials and ideas defining international craft in 2018. 

Future Icons on show

Anna Barlow represented by Cynthia Corbett Gallery
 

Ikuko Iwamoto represented by Cavaliero Finn 


Vezzini & Chen represented by Ting-Ying 

Collect
22-25 February 2018
Saatchi Gallery, London, UK

For further information & tickets: 
www.craftscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/collect/

  Opening night

Opening night

Future Icons Winter Showcase #3

*Tonight*
Late night shopping at Future Icons Winter Showcase - open until 830pm


Head down to 67 York Street tonight for late night shopping at Future Icons Winter Showcase. We have the finest jewellery, home decor, art and fashion accessories available to buy right now. Prices start from £12, read on to view our highlights for perfect Christmas gifts. 

**Don't forget Future Icons Winter Showcase closes this Saturday at 6pm. We look forward to welcoming you**

Date: 6-11 November // 12-6pm daily

Address: 67 York Street, Marylebone, London, W1H 1QB

Nearest Tube: Marylebone & Baker Street

Disciplines and designers on show:

Ceramics: Helen Beard // Ikuko Iwamoto //Jo Davies // Vezzini & Chen // With special guest: Helen Evans Ceramics: Studio Collection

Furniture & LightingKevin Stamper // Louis Jobst

Glass: Utopia & Utility // Vezzini & Chen

Jewellery & Fashion: Kei Tominaga // Myia Bonner // Pipét

Sculpture: Anna Barlow //Remy Dubibe // Takuya Kamiyama

Textiles: Christabel Balfour // Tammy Kanat // Tania Johnson 

  Opening night

Opening night

Future Icons Winter Showcase #2

Future Icons Winter Showcase: 6-11 November 2018

Future Icons presents the inaugural Winter Showcase of client collections at 67 York Street, Marylebone. For this occasion, Future Icons has selected key pieces from client collections for design savvy buyers to purchase in time for the Christmas shopping season. 

Date: 6-11 November // 12-6pm daily

Late night shopping: Tuesday 7 & Thursday 9 November > until 830pm

Address: 67 York Street, Marylebone, London, W1H 1QB

Nearest Tube: Marylebone & Baker Street

Disciplines and designers on show:

Ceramics: Helen Beard // Ikuko Iwamoto //Jo Davies // Vezzini & Chen // With special guest: Helen Evans Ceramics: Studio Collection

Furniture & LightingKevin Stamper // Louis Jobst

Glass: Utopia & Utility // Vezzini & Chen

Jewellery & Fashion: Kei Tominaga // Myia Bonner // Pipét

Sculpture: Anna Barlow //Remy Dubibe

Textiles: Christabel Balfour // Tammy Kanat // Tania Johnson 

The full press release can be downloaded here

 

 

Future Icons Winter Showcase #1

Future Icons Winter Showcase: 6-11 November 2018

Future Icons presents the inaugural Winter Showcase of client collections at 67 York Street, Marylebone. For this occasion, Future Icons has selected key pieces from client collections for design savvy buyers to purchase in time for the Christmas shopping season. 

Disciplines and designers on show:

Ceramics: Helen Beard // Ikuko Iwamoto //Jo Davies // Vezzini & Chen // With special guest: Helen Evans Ceramics: Studio Collection

Furniture & LightingKevin Stamper // Louis Jobst

Glass: Utopia & Utility // Vezzini & Chen

Jewellery & Fashion: Kei Tominaga // Myia Bonner // Pipét

Sculpture: Anna Barlow //Remy Dubibe

Textiles: Christabel Balfour // Tammy Kanat // Tania Johnson 

The full press release can be downloaded here