Designersblock has a proven track record when it comes to scouting and showcasing some of the freshest young talents in the design industry. Again, they did not disappoint at this year's Milan Furniture Fair, featuring some fine examples of furniture, lighting and products that employ innovative materials and upcycling. See some of our favorite designs from the show which really played up material use in interesting and eye-catching new ways.
Students from The Cass London brought some refreshing products this year. Meital Tzabari from Israel has developed an interesting new material using fallen leaves. Re:Connect is a natural leaf composite that uses 36 layers of leaves adhered with a non-toxic water soluble glue. This table lamp is made with a lacewood base and a leaf composite shade.
The Reconnect Suspension Lamp by Meital Tzabari gives off a warm glow.
Also from The Cass London, Michael Randall impressed with this Coppice Stool. Made from untreated wood and discarded offcuts, it’s fastened without typical adhesives, using 100% cotton stretchers instead.
Jorunn Hostoft of Nnuroj hand-knits these happy pieces to give warmth and emotional well-being to the home. Blankets, bean bags and cushions are available in a 100% wool/merino blend made using a hand-powered knitting machine.
Helga Matos showed a collection wall textiles that experiment with materials like broken sewing needles, floppy disks and cassette tapes (pictured). The Audio Cassette textile has an intriguing texture that glimmers in the light.
Coralie Bonnet is a veteran of the fashion industry, but is trying her hand at something new. Now an “Experimental Textile Designer”, she aims to revive traditional embroidery techniques from England and France. She works at a variety of scales, from urban interventions—dubbed Graffiti Embroidery—to smaller interventions in furniture.
Design Stories teamed up with local producers and artisans in Gothenburg City, Sweden, on a project called Merry-Go-Round. Merry-Go-Round makes use of industrial waste and reclaimed materials, often working with unemployed people to offer them new skills. The Drawstring Lamp was created by hand, using salvaged textile offcuts and an LED lamp.
WalterWorks demonstrates the possibilities of adaptive reuse with the Plastic Starburst Lamp. Walter Raes collected empty bottles from a local school and assembled them into this lamp. The work demonstrates the beauty of light deflection.
Natalie Sampson offers us the Whisk Lamp as a social commentary on waste and reuse. Here, she demonstrates how common household items can be given a new lease on life with minimal intervention.
Photos © Katherine Pascucci for Inhabitat