Come April and all eyes turn to Milan where the city’s design festival, centred around the huge interiors expo Salone del Mobile, sets the creative agenda.
Although Tom Dixon is taking a break from the festival in 2018, there is an impressive roster of British designers and businesses showing at the exhibitions and fairs around the city.
Benjamin Hubert’s London-based experience design agency Layer, is launching SHIFT in collaboration with the Danish textiles company Kvadrat. SHIFT is a flexible retail shelving system that can easily transform from a flat acoustic wall panel to a shelf used for display and storage. The flexible system has been designed to maximise space and display areas in response to the constantly changing needs of retail environments.SHIFT is made from Kvadrat’s Really Solid Textile Board, a material created from upcycled end-of-life textiles from the fashion and textile industries. Really both responds to the urgent global issue of waste and challenges the design and architecture industries to rethink their use of resources. This approach complements LAYER’s commitment to sustainability, which informs all work in the studio.
“At Layer we are really focused on sustainability and for us that means the materiality must be responsible, the functionality be flexible and the aesthetic be timeless. Shift represents all three; a simple adaptable shelf with an economy of construction using a super recycled material,” says Layer founder Hubert.
Barber & Osgerby
Celebrated design partnership Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby have a series of product launches across the festival. The pair are launching a new outdoor furniture system with Dedon and a lighting concept with Flos. Meanwhile, for Glas Italia, Barber & Osgerby have created Ecco, a leaning mirror that incorporates a statement cable reminiscent of a rotary phone cord.
Bompas & Parr
Experiential design studio Bompas & Parr is hosting a pop-up immersive artistic installation dedicated to showcasing some of the world’s most magnificent honeys. A beautifully botanic experience will transform the heart of the city’s Brera design district with an oasis of peace and tranquillity, showcasing the issues surrounding bee conservation in an enchanting ‘floating garden’.
The Joy of Bees will feature honeys from hives directly maintained by Relais & Châteaux properties throughout the world, and demonstrate how their chefs and bartenders use the unique honeys in their culinary creations. From Italian honeys from Arezzo in Tuscany to Japanese forest nectars from Masumoto, coastal Christchurch, New Zealand and island Jersey honey, the collection manifests a huge range in tastes, flavours and textures, from simple syrup-like notes to richly sherried and even umami-like characteristics.
Exciting furniture and lighting designer Lee Broom is presenting his new collection ‘Observatory’ at Salone. The lighting range includes stellar-inspired designs playing with proportions of vertical and horizontal space, sculptural, spherical form, and the refraction and reflection of light. Observatory includes four new lighting collections: Eclipse, Orion, Aurora and Tidal.
The minimalist presentation designed by Lee Broom allows the new lighting designs to take centre stage, drawing the viewers to observe the culmination of a collection which was two years in the making. Visitors to the show will be able to interact with the designs closer than ever before as they explore the visual illumination experience