I recently visited Milan Design week 2017 in search of inspiration. There were a number of pieces I saw which were useful in inspiring the development of my CUTE Values project. There was a number of modular or storage pieces which caught my attention as well as several interesting materials.
As an extremely influential and innovating designer there were a number of pieces which caught my attention at the Nendo show
The Border pieces
The baorder piece are a collection of shelves which are designed to fit their surroundings unlike generic furniture which you need to fit in your space. This made me consider the possibility of using angles or hinges in my own piece to allow the possibility of sculpting it around corners. But utilising what is usually wasted space in the home it could assist greatly in saving space.
The Trace collection
Another interesting furniture concept from Nendo was the Trace Collection. These items physically shows the path of movement each piece has. An interesting idea as when creating my piece saving space is of the highest importance. These piece are a reminder of the space furniture needs not only when static, but also when in use.
I’ve mentioned the Nest Shelves previously in my research for this project, but it was great to see them in person. Although they look like regular bookcases, these units can be pulled out and almost doubled in size depending on the space you have available. In a similar way I would like my own piece to be adaptable according to your space.
Another exhibition with a lot of interesting ideas was the Ikea festival, where a number of furniture pieces wer launched. The Scandinavian home ware company described a number of their pieces as being designed for a young mind. They aim for their pieces to be easy to personalise, flexible, sustainable and even tobe transported home on the metro. This ethos fits in very well with my brief as I aim to create furniture suitable for a young target audience and their city dwellings. As well as not causing damage to property it is important customers can easily transport their item home.
British designer Faye Toogood worked with Ikea on the Enfant Terrible collection, their aim was to re purpose Ikea staple items. Within this collection I was very interested in the cardboard pieces which adorned the walls. Although they aren’t working pieces, as these soft structures hung they demonstrated the importance of flexible materials. They need to look interesting when folded away as well as out in use.
Another interesting piece I saw was this angled, slatted storage piece. This made me consider how the simplicity of angles could save space in a narrow hall. Also the wooden slatted wall has the ability to make a eye catching feature wall while still remaining practical. As mentioned before, I wonder if my piece could also work as a room divider? A slatted structure would still allows light to pass through while dividing up a large space.
Wood-Skin – Mesh Sheets
An unusual material I discovered while in Milan was the Mesh sheets by Wood Skin. This is a composite material constructed out of two rigid layers with an inner textile core. This folded geometric material allows it’s users to create organic and flowing shapes out of otherwise rigid materials. This type of material could be the perfect to construct a much softer and curving piece which still had the strength and form for a storage piece.
Studio Emma Fox – Cloak Shelf
Another storage piece I liked was the Cloak Shelf created by Studio Emma Fox. This is a textile, modular piece. The frame is intuitive to assemble without using tools and very few fixings and the outer surface is made up of textile doors which fasten together with magnets. Despite using textiles this is a very sturdy piece of furniture. Again this made me consider the materials I can use in my own piece and how magnets could easily assist in creating a modular piece.
Makoto Suzuki – Capa Chairs
Another modular piece I liked was The Capa Chair by Makoto Suzuki. These are customisable pieces which inspire creativity in the user. Every piece is unique and designed to suit your own personal needs. There are numerous modualr piece which can be added or taken away. I love the vibrance and colours used in these chairs. The varying textures and materials really allow the pieces to become one of a kind. In a similar way I feel my piece can become a way to decorate your rented property without causing any damage to it. Colour, texture and focus points can all be created with the pieces you choose to curate..
Shinya Oguchi – Pleats
In Shinya Oguchi’s Pleats I was interested again in the use of material. These super strong storage pieces are constructed entirely of folded cardboard. Not only can they be flattened down, but they are also relatively cheap to produce. They can be built up as needed and geometric folds can be used to increase the strength in a piece. It is important to consider the ways in which form can be used not only to add aesthetic qualities but also strength the the piece.
Ahran Won – Having Nothing, And Yet Possessing Everything
The final piece I was interested in was Ahran Won’s capsule created for mobile living. This piece looks at modern society and the way in which society have nothing yet everything. An interesting idea for minimal living. Many of my target market will require modular storage due the the lack living space in inner cities.
Figure 1 & 2: Nendo’s Boarder Pieces [Photograph]
Figure 3 & 4: Nendo’s Trace Collections [Photograph]
Figure 5: Nendo’s Nest Table [Photograph]
Figure 6: The Ikea festival [Photograph]
Figure 7 & 8: Faye Toogood collaboration with Ikea at the Ikea festival [Photograph]
Figure 9: Shoe storage at the Ikea festival [Photograph]
Figure 10 & 11: Slatted temporary wall at the Ikea Festival [Photograph]
Figure 12 & 13: Mesh sheets by Wood Skin [Photograph]
Figure 14: Emma Fox’s Cloak Shelf [Photograph]
Figure 15 & 16: Makoto Suzuki’s Capa Chairs [Photograph]
Figure 17 & 18: Shinya Oguchi’s Pleats [Photograph]
Figure 19: Ahran Won’s Having Nothing, And Yet Possessing Everything [Photograph]
All images taken at Milan design week 4th – 9th April 2017