With April well and truly living up to its wet reputation, we felt it was only fair to let our Design Scouts make a trip to Milan for the inspiring Salone Internazionale del Mobile. This year the festival felt more international than ever before, showing that not even a global recession can restrain great design, despite the weather being just as bad in Milan.
While half of the team worked away in Shoreditch, drenched by the April Monsoon, Gui, Sam and Maider were equally wet but in design heaven. Feasting on a visual banquet, it was the bright young designers that really caught their eye. We chatted with Sam on his return, who told us about his pick of the top talent at Milan Design Week.
1. I found a favourite in Dutch brand Usuals, their “Me and My Beretta” handbag really struck me. It’s the perfect accessory for any urban warrior - the girl who’s in no mood to be harassed at the club.
2. The student projects located the Lambrate district were incredibly strong this year, and one of our favourites created a conceptual masterpiece confronting the issue of privacy in urban environments. The Own Zown promotes personal privacy by literally creating it - perhaps we should consider getting some of these in for the open plan Bamarang HQ?
3. Much product design is becoming increasingly thoughtful in its concept, often seeking to find harmony between the organic and the manmade. Transnatural Designs expertly fuses nature and technology to create pieces that are beautiful, practical, and impressive.
4. The UK was represented in fine form by Tom Dixon and his championing of the hottest international design talent at his group exhibition, MOST, at the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia. His new homeward range “Eclectic”, whilst being extremely covetable, was displayed in a setting more akin to an art gallery than a design fair.
5. I was impressed by Thorne, Wallenberg and Weller’s project for the RCA Paradise exhibition. The team were minting coins live throughout the day in an attempt to raise debate around consumption and exchange, it was incredible to watch. This is Sam Weller, one of the talented men who made it all happen. Not only do this trio design as a collective, but they also create individually - certainly one’s to watch when they graduate this year.
6. Molo designs cleverly transformed the length of a piazza with their modular spatial designs and cloud-like hanging mobiles. I hope these Canadians come to London soon, as their work is fresh and exciting.
On their return from Milan, our design scouts flooded our inbox with photos from across the events (see above!) and began compiling their shortlist of the many bright sparks to support on Bamarang. Hopefully you’ll be seeing more from these guys on Bamarang soon!