2013 Milan day four

Click to enlarge
<em>The Elements</em> by David Trubridge, a 3-D carpet project for Tsar.

The Elements by David Trubridge, a 3-D carpet project for Tsar. Image: Penny Craswell

1 of 15
Serif stool by Australian designer Charles Wilson.

Serif stool by Australian designer Charles Wilson. Image: Penny Craswell

2 of 15
Moooi showed both new and familiar pieces in a series of installations.

Moooi showed both new and familiar pieces in a series of installations. Image: Penny Craswell

3 of 15
Gispen TST sofa system by Michael Young.

Gispen TST sofa system by Michael Young. Image: Penny Craswell

4 of 15
2013 Milan day four

  Image: Penny Craswell

5 of 15
Moooi installations used oversized photographs of people as backdrops.

Moooi installations used oversized photographs of people as backdrops. Image: Penny Craswell

6 of 15
Moooi installations used oversized photographs of people as backdrops.

Moooi installations used oversized photographs of people as backdrops. Image: Penny Craswell

7 of 15
Moooi installations used oversized photographs of people as backdrops.

Moooi installations used oversized photographs of people as backdrops. Image: Penny Craswell

8 of 15
Zava lighting display in a shipping container.

Zava lighting display in a shipping container. Image: Penny Craswell

9 of 15
Melogranoblu lighting installation.

Melogranoblu lighting installation. Image: Penny Craswell

10 of 15
<em>Fluidic</em> lighting installation by WHITEvoid for Hyundai.

Fluidic lighting installation by WHITEvoid for Hyundai. Image: Penny Craswell

11 of 15
<em>Infuse</em> lighting installation by architect Chikara Ohno, lighting designer Izumi Okayasu and textile designer Yoko Ando for Kaneka.

Infuse lighting installation by architect Chikara Ohno, lighting designer Izumi Okayasu and textile designer Yoko Ando for Kaneka. Image: Penny Craswell

12 of 15
<em>Thus Spoke the Marble</em> curated by Turkish studio Demirden.

Thus Spoke the Marble curated by Turkish studio Demirden. Image: Penny Craswell

13 of 15
<em>Thus Spoke the Marble</em> curated by Turkish studio Demirden.

Thus Spoke the Marble curated by Turkish studio Demirden. Image: Penny Craswell

14 of 15
New Zealand designer David Trubridge.

New Zealand designer David Trubridge. Image: Penny Craswell

15 of 15

Penny Craswell reports on her final day in Milan, spent at the Zona Tortona, where collaborative installations brought light and shade together.

Zona Tortona is still popular and there is still some excellent design shown there, so while it is true that it doesn’t have the same buzz or quality of past fairs, it still had plenty to offer this year, including some excellent installations. Australian designer Charles Wilson showed his Serif stool here, and was the only Australian included in an exhibition curated by Giulio Cappellini, a famous talent-spotter for his eponymous brand. New Zealand designer David Trubridge showed a 3-D carpet project with Australian artisan company Tsar, and a series of production lights sponsored by Swarovski.

The Elements by David Trubridge, a 3-D carpet project for Tsar. Image:  Penny Craswell

A trend towards installations has given designers the opportunity to play with architecture, art, lighting, sound and time-sensitive design in recent years, in exhibitions often funded by large car companies. At Zona Tortona a fantastic installation called Fluidic, by WHITEvoid for Hyundai, consisted of a cloud of suspended white balls lit up in patterns of blue light with two modes – an automatic lighting display and an interactive mode with sensors that detected visitor movement and triggered light patterns in response.

Melogranoblu lighting installation. Image:  Penny Craswell
Moooi showed both new and familiar pieces in a series of installations. Image:  Penny Craswell

Infuse was a smaller, more poetic installation by architect Chikara Ohno, lighting designer Izumi Okayasu and textile designer Yoko Ando for Kaneka. It was reached by a staircase leading up to a black void lit by changing coloured OLED lights, while sheer textiles hung from above reflected and dispersed the light.

Thus Spoke the Marble curated by Turkish studio Demirden.  Image:  Penny Craswell

A series of pavilions celebrating Turkish marble also played with light and shadow, as well as sound and the sheer monumentality of stone, in Thus Spoke the Marble. Curated by Turkish studio Demirden Design, each of the pavilions was different. One featured a video-art piece projected on black marble, another lit up a series of marble planes fixed in an undulating field on the wall, and another featured a gradated layering of marble cut through to form a winding path.

Gispen TST sofa system by Michael Young. Image:  Penny Craswell

Other interesting brands displaying here were Gispen, whose new sofa by Michael Young was impressive, and Zava, an Italian company showing its lights in a converted shipping container.

Finally, the most impressive exhibit at Zona Tortona (and perhaps, for me, of the entire Milan week) was a 1700-square-metre exhibition by the Dutch powerhouse Moooi that simultaneously showed its new products (as quirky as ever), displayed some wonderful styling, and celebrated the brand’s collaboration with Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf in a series of oversized, colour-rich photographs.

Channelling a nostalgia for the past, the photographs featured over-styled, unreal-looking men, women and children, but also captured honest, raw emotion. Hung behind a series of rooms displaying the brand’s iconic furniture, the images produced some unforgettable montages.

Often the most creative and inspiring work comes when practitioners from two different disciplines come together to collaborate on a project. This exhibit was proof that an art photographer and a furniture brand can have a close, ongoing, working relationship that is fruitful and ultimately beneficial to both.


More postcards

Utzon pilgrimage: Bagsvaerd Church

Utzon pilgrimage: Bagsvaerd Church

The Dulux Study Tour visits the Bagsvaerd Church in Copenhagen –Jørn Utzon’s first commission on his return to Denmark, having withdrawn from his work on the Sydney Opera House.
The many facades of Madrid

The many facades of Madrid

The 2016 Dulux Study Tour group visits Madrid on the last leg of the trip, exploring the city’s many decorated facades and how they contribute to the vibrancy of its spaces.
Culture or commerce: the battle for London’s skyline

Culture or commerce: the battle for London’s skyline

From the Cheesegrater to the Scalpel, the built legacy of London’s planning restrictions is plain to see. On the second stop of the 2016 Dulux Study Tour, the group explores the friction between the city’s commercial and cultural objectives.
ParckFarm

ParckFarm

Parckfarm is an interactive project in Brussels, Belgium that invites visitors to explore new park typologies through art installations, agricultural performances, workshops and community gardens.

Most read

Elemental and abstract: Sydney 385

Elemental and abstract: Sydney 385

Smart Design Studio’s new mixed-use building in Balgowlah, Sydney has an elegantly composed, layered outer skin that brings an urbane character to the suburban streetscape.