Friday, April 11, 2014


As promised in yesterday's report, here are more details from the SaloneSatellite event at this year's Milan Fair. The Satellite was first created in 1998, with the intention of promoting and fostering talented young designers from around the world. Now in its fifth edition, the event is today a real crowd puller, as visitors have come to recognize the amazing creativity and brilliance that gets displayed here.

In fact, a number of the creations presented here as prototypes, have gone on to see production, thanks to the recognition they earn at SaloneSatellite. The 2014 event sees 650 young designers from 5 continents and 32 countries, exhibiting along the theme of 'Design, Innovation + Craftsmanship,' expanded from last year.

As we mentioned in our previous report, there is a tendency this year for stark, minimalist design, and this is evident at SaloneSatellite too. Studio Aust & Amelung have an approach of reduction and simplicity that defines the form as well as the function of their objects. Their lamp (below, right) is based on the simple mechanism of a beam balance. A long beam cranes across the room and balances a lampshade on one side against a sandbag on the other.

This simplicity also characterized the 'Pi-no Pi-no' vase by Anna Palomaa and Maija Puoskari of Finland (above, left). Their design offers an elegant solution to the tricky problem of finding the right vase for the right flower: a modifiable vase. The height and colour can be adjusted through its stackable glass rings, so that one vase can work in different situations. The vase also serves as a container thanks to its wooden lid.

This focus on flora and greenery was seen across many other exhibits as well, such as 'Spiral' (below, right). This interesting wall mounted stand by Alessandro Bove of Italy, features wood and PC polymers, with a convenient provision for house-plants.

Some designs were clearly intended to break free of the "form follows function" dogma. 'Space Intensifiers' (below, left) by Alo of Italy is a beautiful approach to seating that blends art and furniture. Digitally fabricated in birch plywood, it interacts with people through light and sound effects, almost appearing as though it is alive.

The 'Avolare' chair (above, right) by Jason Mizrahi of USA, is intended to capture the movement and beauty of aviation. The design allows the material to express itself freely through continuous, elongated gestures, curves and voids.

There were also quite a few well-done displays of abstract and conceptual design - both, through the actual products, and the booths themselves (below, right)! A good example is Japanese designer Junpei Tamaki's collection of furniture (below, left), themed around words related to 'snow' - sleet, falling snow, thaw, and so on.

The 2013 SaloneSatellite saw quite a bit of explorative work on lights, and happily, this year's edition has plenty of exciting new work in this area. The 'Atmos' lamp (below, right) by Arturo Erbsman of France casts a captivating glow. Atmos is an atmospheric lamp that uses water's condensation to diffuse light.

ledwork of the Netherlands showcased their intriguing autonomous lights (above, center). These inter-connectible LED lights respond to touch and movement. Meanwhile, Andrea Marcruz of Brazil displayed a lampshade (above, left) that seemed to be a collection of continuous lines. Slightly fading out on the folds of surfaces, this blurs the boundaries between external and internal.

The only two entries from India were also light-focussed. Mumbai's Avni Studio featured 'Fin Cloud' (above, left) that makes alternative use of everyday materials such as tissue, to create beautiful lamps. Inspired by Origami, the ethereal light sculptures generated are reminiscent of scaly aquatic creatures.

Delhi's Unlike Design Co. had the 'Hometown' lamp (above, right) in wood and hammered metal. Inspired by the decorated cycle rickshaws from the old Indian city of Banaras, the lamp has aluminium that is hand-embossed to create interesting visual texture both inside and out.
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