10 coolest exhibitions at Milan Design Week

By now, you should have been able to digest all the impressions and discoveries you have made at the Milan Design Week if you visited, or, if you haven’t, made resolutions to go next year. Materia looks back at the 10 coolest exhibitions at the Milan Design Week this year.

Wood In Process
The Dutch collective Envisions experimented with ways of cutting into, transforming, and printing on wooden materials, provided by Spanish wood manufacturer Finsa, for this exhibition. Rather than the finished product, the process of going from material to product was in the limelight. None of the exhibited pieces was a completed product, but showed the road to it.

Read more about this exhibition here.

Spite can be a powerful motivator. British designer Paul Cocksedge was evicted from his studio and decided to take part of it with him by drilling numerous core samples from the concrete floor. In collaboration with Beatrice Trussardi and the New York gallery Friedman Benda, he used the cylindrical pieces as furniture components, mostly as the legs of coffee tables.

Glas Italia
The booth of Italian company Glas Italia showed furniture designed by big names such as Nendo, Mario Bellini and Yabu Pushekberg. What stood out the most for Materia were the tables from the Nesting series, both high and low ones, designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, which are made from clear and coloured Murano glass.

Jellyfish Vase
These vases by Japanese studio Nendo are made of super-thin silicone. When submerged into water, as was the case at the Milan Design Week, the vases move around like jellyfish.

Transitions II
Baars & Bloemhoff challenged 6 designers or design duos to re-imagine and shape the materials from its own collection into a design collection. The work of David Derksen, Sabine Marcelis, Klaas Kuiken, Daphna Laurens, Paul Heijnen and RENS was presented at Ventura Centrale. The exhibition, designed by Daphna Laurens, displayed six material driven projects and was designed to emphasise the relationships between space, products and materiality.

For more about this exhibition, click here.

Thomas Eyck
In the presentation of Thomas Eyck, the work of Studio Brynjar & Veronika was shown, amongst others. Fascinated by stones and minerals, this designer duo designed a collection of hand made porcelain ‘stones’. There are 53 different stones, which are each unique thanks to the glazing process.

Thomas Eyck also presented ‘Fossils’ by Alegría van der Zande, who developed a technique to make imprints of plants into leather. The moisture content, the thickness of the plants and the leather, the pressure and the temperature, amongst other things, decide the result of the ‘fossils’.

May I Have Your Attention Please?
This exhibition, located in the vault in Ventura Centrale, showed individual chairs, each with a different back, which are designed by Maarten Baas for Lensvelt. The chairs, called 101 Chair, can be produced in large quantities, but still keep their individual design.

The chairs were surrounded by megaphones that produced a cacophony of whispered voices.

SF Senses of the Future
This exhibition, designed by Tokujin Yoshioka and LG, consisted of 17 glowing chairs, arranged in a large grid, which show a variety of light and colour effects, ranging from bight waves to colourful stripes. Each chair was made from 15 millimetre thick, dual sided OLED panels.

The second element of the exhibition, titled Wall of the Sun, is a wall made up of 30,000 individual OLED light modules.

The installation won the Milano Design Award 2017 for best installation.

Stone Age Folk
Spanish designer Jaime Hayón created from sections of quartz material Caesarstone stony faces that form table tops, cabinet doors and wall hangings. The faces are made of multiple smaller pieces of engineered quartz, that neatly fit together, similar marquetry, a historic type of inlaid decorations.

Fernando Mastrangelo
The furniture by Mastrangelo consists of layers of coloured sand, salt, powdered glass, and resin that are pressed into a mould. The geological looking layers are sometimes rough and sometimes smooth.

For more material highlights at the Milan Design Week 2017, click here, and here, and here.

Photos (in order): Ronald Smits (via Dezeen) / Mark Cocksedge (via Dezeen) / Glas Italia / Nendo /  Baars & BloemhoffThomas Eyk / Architectenweb / Tokujin Yoshioka (via Designboom) / Stone Age Folk via Dezeen /  Fernando Mastrangelo