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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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A Collection of Mirrors and Vases Inspired by Tribal Shapes and Colors

You heard it here first: Fringe is getting mainstreamed in Milan. When we came across VI+M Studio's divisive Cousin Itt-esque lamps last week, we didn't think to much of it, but this week, there's already been Cristina Celestino's new tables for Editions at Spazio Pontaccio and, around the corner from our Airbnb, these sweet collections of vessels and mirrors at the fashion boutique Malìparmi, designed by Serena Confalonieri,
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Week of April 25, 2016

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: the best in totally affordable and totally unaffordable fashion and design, two illustrations and a Toronto house we wish we could move into immediately, and a few more Milan fair stragglers, including the playful room divider above by Ana Arana.
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Elisa Strozyk’s Ceramic Mirrors Are Simplicity at its Best

We love a crazy design experiment as much as the next guy, but lately we've been appreciating the pleasures of simplicity. There's something so nice about an understated yet surprising approach to an ordinary technique. Enter this collection of mirrors by Berlin designer Elisa Strozyk, which are accented with panels of swirly glazed ceramic. No tricks here, unless you count rotating and blowing on the clay discs to accentuate the marbling.
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The Best of the 2016 Milan Furniture Fair, Part II

The 2016 Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone — aka the Milan furniture fair — closes today, and we were there on the ground, running around like crazy people trying to absorb a year's worth of new furniture in less than a week's time. According to our iPhones, we walked about 7.5 miles a day in our quest to scout great design. Here's the second of three posts chronicling what we found.
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The Best of the 2016 Milan Furniture Fair, Part I

The 2016 Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone — aka the Milan furniture fair — closes today, and we were there on the ground, running around like crazy people trying to absorb a year's worth of new furniture in less than a week's time. According to our iPhones, we walked about 7.5 miles a day in our quest to scout great design. Here's the first of three posts chronicling what we found.
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The Best Thing We Saw in Milan Today: Day 5

The Eindhoven-based Studio Mieke Meijer has been on our radar since way back in 2010, when the very first Dutch Invertuals exhibit in Milan showed the studio's amazing Bernd and Hilla Becher–inspired Gravel Plant, an architectural unit for storage and display. But this year's Space Frames installation in Ventura Lambrate was the most show-stopping the studio has ever put on, and in fact seems like a spiritual heir to that original project.
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The Best Thing We Saw in Milan Today: Day 4

Visiting the pavilions at the Milan furniture fair is basically the exact opposite of going to the beach — there's tons of artificial lighting, way too much exertion, and not a piña colada in sight. Which is why we were tickled to get these images of Italian designer Cristina Celestino's Opalina collection for the glass furniture manufacturer Tonelli — the sheer dissonance made us laugh out loud. But the collection is pretty great on its own, photography (or excellent Photoshopping) notwithstanding. It includes a dressing table, a writing desk, a mirror, a coat stand, and a stool, all made from thick slabs of etched or painted opaline glass that give off a translucent and silky appearance.
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The Best Thing We Saw in Milan Today: Day 3

Wallpaper Handmade is always one of our favorite spots on the Milan circuit, and this year was no exception: The London-based magazine again paired up international designers with manufacturers, this time asking each team to reflect on ideas about hotels and travel. At their San Gregorio arcade spot, we swooned over Vera & Kyte's colorful ironing station, Karl Zahn's brass animal keys, Pelle's shapely soaps, and Pettersen Hein's clothing rack. But perhaps our favorite entry was by Léa Padovani and Sébastien Kieffer of the Paris-based studio POOL, who created two sculptural sofas in collaboration with Living Divani.
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Thévoz Choquet's Cast Brass accessories

The Best Thing We Saw in Milan Today: Day 2

Virgile Thévoz and Josephine Choquet are no strangers to Sight Unseen, but their latest collection, which is debuting at Rossana Orlandi as part of the "i Dream of Luxury" exhibition in Milan this week, might be our favorite yet. The two London-based designers know from high-end products, having studied in the Design for Luxury and Craftsmanship program at ÉCAL, and their new Cast Brass collection explores the effect of time on the value of an object. The polished brass accessories are half-cast in transparent resin blocs, allowing the exposed metal to oxidize over time and cast half to remain pristine and shiny forever.
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Seriously Modern Vibes From a Collection Inspired by Ancient Texts

With so many designers mining references from only the last decade or so, it can be weirdly refreshing to talk to someone like Nick Ross, whose influences run more towards Mesopotamia than Memphis. Ancient trade routes, Greek and Roman sculptures — these are the things that inspire the Stockholm-based, Scottish-born designer, whom we first featured when he was graduating from Konstfack a few years back. His thesis project there spawned an instant classic — the White Lies table, which features a marble-topped column with a richly saturated gradient fading down its trunk. Since then, Ross has been thinking about and working on this new collection, which he's debuting at the Milan furniture fair next week.
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Week of March 28, 2016

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: Little glimpses into the past (1930s ziggurat bookends), present (the colorful Danish stools above), and future (Milan furniture fair preview) of design.
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