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In This Designer’s Hands, Recycled Leather Becomes Something Undeniably Cool

Continuing with a self-produced material he calls Structural Skin, Madrid-based designer Jorge Penadés has turned his exploration of recycled leather waste into a sleek collection of mirrors and table lamps, on display earlier this month at the Rossana Orlandi gallery in Milan. Penadés gets the leather offcuts for his pieces from Hermès, which means the color palettes become a kind of artistic constraint — and yet, the shredded leather, combined with resin to create a reconstituted material, is undeniably cool, resembling marble or a particularly colorful particleboard.
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Week of April 10, 2017

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: more good things from Milan (including our picks for MVP), artist- and architect-designed carpets, and a chill-out zone for reading and record-listening (so analog!) in the middle of Manhattan.
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Emerging Dutch designers Truly Truly

This Dutch-Based Studio Was the Best Thing We Saw at Salone Satellite

The Dutch-based studio Truly Truly finds a comfortable niche oscillating between product design and experience, creating artful and engaging moments for the viewer that fall between familiarity and curiosity. Their latest work, presented at last week’s Salone Satellite, features projects that combine technical ingenuity with new aesthetics — their morphing Touch glass lights are cast using a dynamic mold that allows for more expressive surface qualities, while the Wove chair plays on the graphic interplay of two differently colored bent-wire frames. And of course we were instantly magnetized by the Daze table – folded, aluminum volumes with subtle corner slits, which allow flashes of hazy, powder-coated color to burst through.
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A Studio Aiming to Bring More Curves and Coziness to Finnish Design

In the U.S., we look at the rich, enduring design history of Scandinavian countries like Finland and feel nothing but blind envy. But those who have grown up amidst it often have a more nuanced view, like Anni Pitkäjärvi and Hanna-Kaarina Heikkilä of the emerging Helsinki outfit Studio Finna: "The Finnish design world is very much masculine," they say. "The key aspect is functionality. The design language is edgy and square. The colors used are black, white, and grey." They're trying to take a different tack.
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ECAL Students, Playing With the Distinction Between Object and Art

An exhibition curated by an artist closely affiliated with the Fluxus movement — John M Armleder, to be exact — is sure to be liberated from traditional constraints. “More Rules for a Modern Life,” a selection of pieces by ECAL students in industrial design and fine arts that debuted last week in Milan, turns out to be just the case.
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De Allegri and Fogale

A Mystical Marble Interior in the Heart of Milan

The last time we saw a site-specific installation by London-based duo De Allegri and Fogale, you literally couldn't miss it — their tinted acrylic tunnel stretched across a bridge at the V&A, smack in the middle of the London Design Festival. But last week, the duo launched a project in Milan so small and so hidden that you had to know exactly what you were looking for in order to find it. But perhaps that was the point: Called Mystical Solace, the installation was meant as a commentary on the quiet, contemplative spaces that have become so popular during events like these.
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The Best of the 2017 Milan Furniture Fair, Part I

When you're on the ground at the Milan Furniture Fair, things can seem like a total blur — you're walking miles a day, eating on the go, drinking too much wine, and seeing more new things than your brain can actually process at once. Which is why we love doing round-ups like these — organizing all of our favorite things into one (or two or three) places makes us realize just how great last week was, what trends are emerging (we're looking at you fringe, rust, lilac, and fiberglass) and what an interesting place design is at right now.
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New Apparatus collection

The Best Thing We Saw in Milan Today, Day 3

We don't mean to be biased towards our American compatriots for the third day in a row, but the new Apparatus collection is, in a word, stunning — translucent, cast-resin tables topped by ash slabs lacquered in a high-gloss, rust-colored hue; patinated brass lamps with bases sheathed in a buttery calf suede; and slip-cast porcelain pendants punctuated by dangling brass spheres.
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The Best Thing We Saw in Milan Today, Day 2

At Rossana Orlandi, we spied this collection of items by students in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects program. The school partnered with West Supply, a Chicago-based foundry and fabricator to develop a selection of objects in glass and bronze.
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