Salone 2014 In Materials

written by:
April 18, 2014
We roamed Milan's galleries and the Salone del Mobile show floors (check out our recap here) hunting down the best new design pieces. Here, we turn our eye to innovative materials. From the resurgence of Memphis's telltale terrazzo, as evidenced in grand scale by Max Lamb's Marmoreal, to new porcelain treatments, to revisiting one of the most time-tested materials (marble), there was no shortage of inspired work that appealed to the tactile senses.
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  Marmoreal by Max Lamb for DzekIt almost felt like the 1980s during the 2014 Milan Design Week as references to Memphis abounded. In a Shiro Kuramata-esque move, British-based practitioner Max Lamb created his own material called Marmoreal—an engineered material created by binding pieces of marble with a polyester resin. Unlike Kuramata's delicate terrazzo, the scale of Lamb's aggregates is super sized to create a grand visual effect. But similarly, the composite of Rosso Verona, Giallo Mori, Verde Alpi and Bianco Verona marbles can be deployed as a surface and material for furniture.
    Marmoreal by Max Lamb for Dzek

    It almost felt like the 1980s during the 2014 Milan Design Week as references to Memphis abounded. In a Shiro Kuramata-esque move, British-based practitioner Max Lamb created his own material called Marmoreal—an engineered material created by binding pieces of marble with a polyester resin. Unlike Kuramata's delicate terrazzo, the scale of Lamb's aggregates is super sized to create a grand visual effect. But similarly, the composite of Rosso Verona, Giallo Mori, Verde Alpi and Bianco Verona marbles can be deployed as a surface and material for furniture.

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  FolioRED by Studio ColonyExhibited at Satellite, a section for emerging designers, this room divider prototype by Stephanie Estoppey and Ozan Alaca is made from porcelain. The subtle red lines were created by capillaries in the material that absorb color.
    FolioRED by Studio Colony

    Exhibited at Satellite, a section for emerging designers, this room divider prototype by Stephanie Estoppey and Ozan Alaca is made from porcelain. The subtle red lines were created by capillaries in the material that absorb color.

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  Tsukasa GotoMarble has been a favorite material since ancient times—artists, designers, builders, and architects have long experimented with ways to use the stone. Japanese designer Tsukasa Goto deployed this material in myriad ways, showing its diverse capabilities and many personalities. A table made from travertine, a porous form of limestone and an early stage of marble, elevated the material. A tabletop display piece featured a jagged hunk of marble "piercing" a glass disc.
    Tsukasa Goto

    Marble has been a favorite material since ancient times—artists, designers, builders, and architects have long experimented with ways to use the stone. Japanese designer Tsukasa Goto deployed this material in myriad ways, showing its diverse capabilities and many personalities. A table made from travertine, a porous form of limestone and an early stage of marble, elevated the material. A tabletop display piece featured a jagged hunk of marble "piercing" a glass disc.

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  Goto's fruit bowl made from different strains of scored marble showed its many naturally occurring colors.

    Goto's fruit bowl made from different strains of scored marble showed its many naturally occurring colors.

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  Iris by Sebastian SchererGerman designer Sebastian Scherer won a Lexis Design Award for the Iris pendant. The handblown-glass orb is coated with a di-chromatic material that filters light. As you move around the piece, different colors appear. Scherer was inspired by the look of soap bubble and sought to create something similar that interacts with the eye. The most technically challenging aspect of the design was finding a way to adhere the coating to the glass and to refine the layering so that the desired iridescent effect would appear. Production pieces are currently in the works.
    Iris by Sebastian Scherer

    German designer Sebastian Scherer won a Lexis Design Award for the Iris pendant. The handblown-glass orb is coated with a di-chromatic material that filters light. As you move around the piece, different colors appear. Scherer was inspired by the look of soap bubble and sought to create something similar that interacts with the eye. The most technically challenging aspect of the design was finding a way to adhere the coating to the glass and to refine the layering so that the desired iridescent effect would appear. Production pieces are currently in the works.

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  The Well Proven Chair by James Shaw and Marjan van AubelIn the timber industry, 50 to 80 percent of wood is wasted in the milling process—a statistic that got designers James Shaw and Marjan van Aubel thinking about how the material could be put to good use. By mixing wood shavings and dust with a bio-resin and adding dye, the duo created a substance that can be molded into chair seats.
    The Well Proven Chair by James Shaw and Marjan van Aubel

    In the timber industry, 50 to 80 percent of wood is wasted in the milling process—a statistic that got designers James Shaw and Marjan van Aubel thinking about how the material could be put to good use. By mixing wood shavings and dust with a bio-resin and adding dye, the duo created a substance that can be molded into chair seats.

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  Diptych by Lex PottDutch designer Lex Pott used a single Douglas fir tree to create her Diptych series of furniture that highlights natural wood grain. The tree was planted in the 1960s and harvested in 2013. Pott covered some portions of the milled planks with rubber, then sandblasted the boards to remove the softer wood to create spaces between the rings. "You can see the life of the tree in the wood: good summers give a wide annual ring, harsh winters a thin one. By sandblasting you blow away the soft rings of summer, leaving a gap," she states on her site.
    Diptych by Lex Pott

    Dutch designer Lex Pott used a single Douglas fir tree to create her Diptych series of furniture that highlights natural wood grain. The tree was planted in the 1960s and harvested in 2013. Pott covered some portions of the milled planks with rubber, then sandblasted the boards to remove the softer wood to create spaces between the rings. "You can see the life of the tree in the wood: good summers give a wide annual ring, harsh winters a thin one. By sandblasting you blow away the soft rings of summer, leaving a gap," she states on her site.

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