With blue skies and sunshine to greet us, this past weekend in Milan took us to the Zona Tortona, an area in Milan outside the fair. We started the Zona Tortona journey with a brilliant, blue, photosensitive sun canopy, and found lots of sustainable design surprises from hand-printed wallpaper (on paper made from responsibly harvested sources) to a new take on eco-burial. From emerging young professionals to innovative design students, our highlights will give a taste of the scene ‘Fuori Salone’ – the off site exhibitions.
‘OR’, a striking courtyard installation by a team mixed team of architects, designers and a philosopher, provides an atmospheric cover that acts as a UV light filter. Currently, the polypropelene disks are coated with a photochromatic coating that changes color from clear and opaque white in artificial light to blue with sunlight.
Zona Tortona, with all its young bloods, saw the return of some of the more established names, namely Timorous Beasties with his postmodern take on the traditional toiles de jouey. His new ‘Découper Toile’ Collection is hand printed on paper sourced from sustainable forests, reworking not only the wallpaper’s imagery but its material source: an eco-plus for those of us in love with his graphic sensibility.
On the Belgian front, lowland design was on the rise. Maximal Design‘s ‘Soul Ash Solace’ was a mix of the practical and the poignant: providing an economical and ecological solution to the funerary process. This cremation coffin is constructed from corrugated board, paper-mâché and wood and is fitted with a stainless steel urn, coined ‘memory capsule’ on top, that changes with the heat of the process, leaving what the designers describe as a “personal patina”.
The Design Factory Brainport Eindhoven brought two conceptual designers worth note: one in product, Wilhelm Deridder with his stool collection ‘Nothing to Hide’, and the other, Annelies Hermsen in food-experiences and ecological packaging seen here serving up a Dutch and Italian inspired combination of olive oil gelatto and tomato caviar pearls paired with a side of salt, pepper and Parmesan crostini.
Above, “Two tables or one table with two identities” from Royal Dutcheese, an exhibition by the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague.
We loved Winnie Lui‘s White chandelier. Her monochrome, jewelery-inspired pieces are each individually styled and assembled, making trash newfound treasure. With only 50 of these haunting white wonders available (and another 50 in Black), we wish limited editions weren’t the trend.
The Seoul Design Festival had its own sustainable take on products with its collection focusing on sustaining traditions, and local, heritage materials. Memento green from Form Fantasy Design transforms candles to flowerpots through the ceremony of burning.