2011 marks the 50th year of the famed Milan Design Week, and organisers are celebrating the monumental milestone by giving it the apt theme, "50 Years Young". No doubt it's gonna be a biggie, and some talented Kiwi designers are getting set to be a part of the celebrations. With the Milan Furniture Fair component kicking off next week, designers Tim Wigmore, David Trubridge and Rebecca Asquith have offered us a sneak peak of some very cool pieces they'll be displaying.
The furniture maker with a penchant for sustainable, natural and curvaceous lighting designs, David Trubridge, departed for Europe yesterday with the following flatpack creations in tow:
Dream Space Dome
An internal ‘break-out’ space for quiet contemplation, an external gazebo as a garden sanctuary, or a light-weight frame for an attractive shelter, Dream Space has a range of functions. But here in Milan we can enjoy this structure simply for its beautiful flow of lines and patterns, and for the way in which it focuses energy into its still calm centre. This is the first time that we have applied to architecture our process of building complex structures with minimal material use. The wood is only 5mm thick, and the entire set would fit inside a suitcase, yet it produces a remarkably strong and stable structure, once the pieces are curved and under tension. To reduce our environmental impact this dome was assembled entirely on site. The wood is thermally modified, plantation-grown pine which has been heated to make it durable outdoors without the use of poisonous chemicals. It has an oiled finish. The junctions are aluminium plates fastened with rivets. The dome is built in six sections which can be taken apart for easy transport. A timber floor, made from the same material, can also be supplied, and a fabric cover is under development.
Seed System + Grow Family
We are continually doing all we can to reduce our environmental footprint. We commissioned a Life Cycle Analysis of our products which revealed that freight was a ‘hotspot’. Our kitset Coral light was setting a good example with minimal volume for maximum effect. Therefore, we re-designed four of our larger lights so they could be freighted as kitset and easily assembled at home or destination. This is the Seed System.
The Seed System is not limited to standard light sizes, but is even more effective for our large lights. To demonstrate this we are presenting a 2.4m high Giant Koura with a three colour interior, specially created for the Milan show. This Koura has been up-scaled using new parametric software, that adds in extra components as the form becomes larger.
The Coral light has become a contemporary classic, voted an icon by several international magazines. But the limitation of the material meant that we could not make them smaller that 60cm in diameter, which is too large for many living spaces. Now, at last, we have found a suitable material and are able to launch the Mini-Coral kitset lightshade .
Meanwhile directors of Designtree, Rebecca Asquith and Tim Wigmore, will be showcasing these very cool pieces.
Nectar hanging lamp, by Rebecca Asquith
Hexagonal shapes are prolific throughout nature. Most notably, these shapes are seen in the hive of the ho.ney bee. A honeycomb cell is one of nature’s most efficient designs – there is not one unnecessary surface. The cell is strong, structurally sound, and very light compared with the volume of delicious liquid that is stored within.
Made from lightweight felted polyester, the Nectar hanging lampshade draws its inspiration from the beehive. The soft and simple form resonates with us tapping into the deep and ancient association we have with bees. During the day it is a soft reminder of the beauty of nature and the amazing strength of the honeycomb structure. At night the Nectar comes alive with a warm and comforting inner glow that also highlights the structure and craftsmanship of the shade.
Salvage stool, by Tim Wigmore
Much of the detritus of modern society has a beauty and history that has value beyond the material. The Salvage stool explores some of these discarded materials and industrial off-cuts in combination with highly crafted and finished 100% recycled aluminium. By highlighting and contrasting these castoffs and off-cuts, the Salvage stool attempts to bring a new appreciation and value to the old, the worn and the discarded.
The Salvage stool explores the point of contact between a refined industrial aesthetic and a mixture of mellow timber dowel and woodshop/junkshop outcasts. The stool top is composed of open aluminum grills tightly clamping turned timber legs. Fixed together with three bolts, the stool is an exercise in lightweight knockdown design. The design allows for a multitude of leg options and height variations to suit your style.
Ledge hanging lamp, by Tim Wigmore
The Ledge lamp attempts to shine a light on problematic waste material. It reinvigorates used signage and scrap materials of different colours, markings and surfaces. Rather than looking at an item’s fading, scratches and history as something to be polished out or replaced, the Ledge lamp celebrates and gives increased value to the score of the materials. Our modern culture is one of crisp newness and quick turnaround. The recycled aluminum framework of the lamp highlights the random and colourful scraps of signage and contrasts them with a context of sleek refinement.
The Ledge lamp is intended to be flexible. Its design encourages the user to explore different possibilities in the way it is used – a wall shelf/lightbox, a corner lamp, table lamp or pendant lamp. The Ledge lamp helps alter our perception of the old and unloved, whilst empowering us to be bold and playful.
Base hanging lamp shade, by Tim Wigmore
Much of the detritus of modern society has a beauty and a history that has value beyond the raw material. The Base lamp explores some of these discarded materials and industrial off- cuts, utilising both their original properties and the attributes accrued over their lives to create unique and functional lighting installations.
By highlighting and contrasting ‘waste’ with the simple and elegant structure of the recycled aluminium heart, Base attempts to bring a new appreciation and value to the old, the worn and the discarded. The small aluminum component of the lamp serves as a meeting point and an anchor for random and colourful scraps of signage, framing the beauty of the old and battered.
* Milan Furniture Fair 2011 runs from April 12-17.