Still a bright idea

One of my favorite Kartell products, the Bourgie lamp, kicked off its tenth birthday at last weekend’s Maison&Objet in Paris (alas, no, I wasn’t there). Designed by Ferruccio Laviani for the fantastic plastic company ten years ago, the Bourgie has since become an iconic piece.

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For the Bourgie’s 10th anniversary, Kartell commissioned 14 reinterpretations by its current stable of designers. Here are some that I am looking forward to seeing:

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Top, from left: Front’s cheeky blown-away/melting Bourgie is called Liquid, Tokujin Yoshioka’s star-like version sparks;
Bottom, from left: Alberto Meda’s futuristic, minimalist version; Piero Lissoni’s oversized paper version.

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Top, from left: Philippe Starck’s bracelet-wrapped lamp; Christophe Pillet’s matte black “coal” version is the antithesis of the sparkly, transparent original;
Bottom, from left: Patrick Jouin’s version has gold lettering around it that says The future is a present from the past; Nendo inverted and rotated the silhouette of the original to create the mould of their reinterpretation, called Eigruob.

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Eugeni Quitlet replaced the single bulb with 10 candles.

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Ludovica+Roberto Palomba made a wire version.

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From left: Mario Bellini put two and a half Bourgie’s together to make a lamp-coat stand; and Patricia Urquiola deconstructed the Bourgie to make a chandelier.

I interviewed Kartell’s president Claudio Luti in 2011 for a business story for The Peak, and I was really impressed by what he had done with Kartell, particularly the Kartell Museum. I’m excited that he is heading the Salone del Mobile this year — which is one more reason (in addition to seeing the Bourgie anniversary installation) for going back to Milan.

Photos courtesy of Kartell.

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Pillow talk

Can’t get beds out of my head now.
(What an excuse to squeeze one more blog post – bed post! – out of my Milan Fair trip.)

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Previously posted these three on the right, from top: Maison Martin Margiela for Cerruti Baleri (too low?), Bonaldo, and Poliform (love the bookcase behind the bed. love the bed, too).
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These ones are settings by Paola Navone.
At Gervasoni:
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At Poltrona Frau 100×100:
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At Poltrona Frau 100×100:
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(Notice how smart she is not to locate the chandelier directly above the bed?)

Incidentally, I am dreaming of doing an interview with the elusive Paola Navone. Is the design doyenne ever coming to Singapore?

Diary: Milan Design Week (part 3)

This is the last installment, pardon the delay – lots of visiting designers and design events to cover the past week.

Day 5 was a lovely, sunny day, so I did some city exploring on my way to the Museo del Novecento.
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Even outside the museum, Fuorisalone had some attention-grabbing, er, “design people”.
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Day 6: The Brera district, where upmarket brands intersect with the Academy of Arts. Right out of the Moscova metro was Valcucine.
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The most pleasant surprise was Shigeru Ban’s modular wall cladding for Hermes.
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Outside the Arts & Crafts in Brera’s Ex Chiesa di San Carpoforo
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And inside
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At the Accademia’s Orto Botanico, where the Barovier&Toso installation of blue caves was set up:
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What is everyone looking at inside those caves?
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Barovier&Toso chandeliers
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Sharing the same garden, Zaha Hadid’s marble installation
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Went inside the Academy…
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Day 7: Tried to catch Design Dance at the Triennale Museum with my cousin Milcah, but they weren’t letting even early birds in anymore. Luckily there was a Vitra Design Museum show inside, too.
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Since we had extra time, we headed over to 10 Corso Como.
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And then I ran out of days. Didn’t get to see Ventura Lambrate, but that’s ok. It means there’s something new to see next year!

Diary: Milan Design Week (part 2)

Day 3: Milan Fairgrounds, Rho. Back to finish the design halls, then Eurocucine.

Happy Britto chairs by Infiniti

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Roche Bobois
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Gufram’s iconic chairs, like the Bocca by Salvador Dali, were wired with counters to see which got sat on the most
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BD Barcelona
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BD Barcelona included Antoni Gaudi’s mirror

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See-through His and Her chairs by Fabio Novembre at Casamania
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Snuggie chair, anyone? Also at Casamania
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Opinion Ciatti
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Miele
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Snaidero
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Alessi
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This dude wouldn’t get out of frame…when I finally took my shot, he asked me to take his picture with the tableware.

“Barrels: The Third Life of Wood” was an exhibit of furniture developed from used wine barrels.
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Day 4: The cold, cold spring finally caught up with me, so I only had the energy to go back to MOST.
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I wanted to see La Cura by Studio Fay Too Good, where I was able to take a picture of the performance art before they announced that we shouldn’t (isn’t ignorance bliss?). We were supposed to taste, but because they didn’t explain what they were serving, I only sniffed the tiny spoonful of something in a white little cup. It smelled like chocolate. Then we were given blobs of cool, white clay to play with. Again, they didn’t explain what we were supposed to do, so most of us kept balling it between our palms. At the end of the performance, they collected our “creations” and added them to the installation.
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On my way out to explore more of MOST, guess who I found shooting a video:
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Yes, the Tom Dixon.

At MOST, La Chance
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Searching for Cassiopeia, designed by Fabrica for the Italian Chair District
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MOST had a designers’ market…
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…and a listening lounge
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From MOST I headed to nearby Spazio Rosanna Orlandi, to be wowed by the sumptuousness.
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Diary: Milan Design Week (part 1)

Day 1: Press preview day. Met SH, a Milan Fair veteran, in luxury furniture brand B&B Italia’s flagship store on Via Durini. I shadowed her as much as I can so I wouldn’t get lost.

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From Via Durini we headed towards Corso Europa, stopping by KME for a little education on copper cladding.

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The window displays at Cerruti Baleri caught our eye, so we slipped in to ogle the Maison Martin Margiela installation. There were other designers on show, too, but that was the name that you left the store remembering.

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Finally on Corso Europa, where SH shot Molteni & C’s settings with her SLR, and I shot with my iPhone (ha!).

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Then we walked to Artemide to see the Issey Miyake lamps.

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We spent some time at Skitsch, where we fell in love with the packed lunch. “It’s so nice for them to feed us poor journalists,” SH remarked as we figured out how to get to our next destination.

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We took the Metro to Via Olona and got semi-lost walking to see MOST by Tom Dixon at the Museo Nazionale Della Scienza e Della Tecnologia. SH had an appointment with Moooi, so she left me here.

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From MOST I took the Metro to get to Via Tortona, got lost (again) looking for Design Village, and stumbled into Superstudio Piu at the Temporary Museum for New Design.

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Day 2: Milan Fairgrounds, Rho. On my own at the fair, picked up my press materials and devised my game plan in the press lounge. Today was all about the design halls, and as many CD-Rs and USBs as I can get from the brands we work with.

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Bonaldo
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Poliform
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Gervasoni (so far, my favorite booth)
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Meritalia
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Ligne Roset
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Porada
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Adrenalina
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Dedon
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Emu
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Riva
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Vitra
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Kartell
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Zanotta
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SaloneSatellite
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Met SH for coffee at the press lounge around 4pm, so we could go find Design Village featuring Cappellini, Cassina and Poltrona Frau.
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Part of Poltrona Frau’s centennial celebration was a competition for emerging designers to redefine its iconic armchair. Juliet is the winning chair.
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I liked it in blue.
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And I wasn’t the only one.
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Poltrona Frau played with color for its iconic pieces.
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And showed off a classic that was nearly as old as the brand.
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After Design Village, we went to Established&Sons and Bisazza Bagno.
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Marcel Wanders had a chandelier shower in his Bisazza collection.
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I liked these by Jaime Hayon, but I don’t know what they are.
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Last stop before dinner was Paola Navone’s pop-up shop, Merci.
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Eye candy at the Milan Fair

So now that the Milan Fair report’s been out on newsstands, I can write about the stuff that caught my eye… which, of course, is all about color!

New hues of Fabio Novembre’s Nemo for Driade were launched this year, and they make the mask-inspired chair much less scary. I saw them lined up along the entrance hallway of Driade’s flagship store in the Palazzo Gallarati Scotti, and they were so much more inviting than their black, white and red predecessors.

I’m not a big fan of molded plastic armchairs, but Cappellini’s Tron chair, designed as an homage to the Walt Disney movie, surprisingly feels as comfy as it looks (bet it would be so much better in molded polyurethane!). The color, of course, is why I’m really writing about it.

Meanwhile, from the traditionally plastic-furniture maker, Kartell, is a good-looking sofa to snuggle in – Patricia Urquiola’s Foliage, with an upholstered foam seat (yay!). I like how the leafy cushion sits on the branchy thermoplastic legs.

Stackable marshmallow poufs from Casamania! Marshmallow! In color! Ok, I can actually live with the white because they’re even more marshmallowy. Who can resist?

More color from the Gemmy pendant light by Slamp. So pretty!

Color PLUS denim – now that’s another combination I’d go for. Moroso’s collaboration with Diesel continued this year with a good range of denim pieces. I like the Tiramigiu sofa bad, first for the turquoise top, and second because I have a soft spot in my heart for sofa beds.

This denim chair from Casamania is called Remember Me because it’s made of recycled denim. Interesting concept. But I’m not so keen on sitting on other people’s jeans.

A new version of an old favorite: Alessandro Mendini’s Proust chair for Magis can now be used outdoors because it’s in plastic.

Also not new, but appearing in more eye-popping shades, is Patricia Urquiola’s Bend sofa and Naoto Fukusawa’s Papilio chair for B&B Italia (I shot this in the flagship store on Via Durini, because I only went to Milan, post-fair, but that’s another post).

Random picks

Some stuff we like (and one we find puzzling) from the Salone Internazionale del Mobile…

Here’s a clue: we like colour, environmentally responsible design, shiny things, interesting details, and comfort! We don’t like gimmicks.