Three years ago, at a café in Berlin, three friends — Joern Scheipers, David Kosock, and Bart Navarra — came up with the idea to channel their love for art and design into creating furniture. Their friendship — and their backgrounds in fashion, branding, and architecture — finally coalesced last year into VAUST, an experimental furniture and interiors studio whose first collection launched earlier this month at Der Berliner Salon.
Like many of our subjects, Barcelona-based sculptor Carla Cascales Alimbau has one foot in the art world and one foot in design. Alimbau, who used to work for a large design corporation before developing her independent art practice in 2015, cites influences from furniture and architecture, including Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Alvar Aalto. But her sculptures are in fact functionless beauties, often mixing organic shapes with geometry, and the imperfections of nature with the purity of polished materials.
While there's no official equivalent of Slow Food in the design world, there will always be something particularly nice about projects that take the same traditionally made, locally focused approach — especially when the results have as contemporary an aesthetic as Rodrigo Bravo's new Monolith Series, which was crafted by a Chilean artisan out of Chilean stone.
Having just gotten back from Milan, where the foyer of our Airbnb apartment building looked like this, the subject of a new book from Taschen hits awfully close to home: Called Entryways of Milan, the book takes readers inside the heavy wooden doors that often conceal the city's most beautiful thresholds, or ingressi.
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.
The Vaalbeek Project, new suite of furniture by one of our longtime favorite designers, Tomás Alonso, for the Belgian gallery Victor Hunt, is a teaser for an interior Alonso is working on in Belgium, to be completed next spring. It includes new editions of some older designs — such as that insanely chic, stackable rose and green marble coffee table from 2014 — but each piece feels like an instant classic.
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.
Isamu Noguchi, Hanna Eshel, Barbara Hepworth — these are the masters of marble who came to mind when we first saw French designer Guillaume Delvigne's beautiful new stool series for Tools Galerie in Paris. The young designer — who often does work for companies like Hermes or La Chance — just closed an exhibition there, the inaugural presentation at a brand-new Left Bank space for the gallery. The sculptural, totemic stools — which were inspired by mooring posts — are actually made from several different materials, including bronze, wood, and leather. But stone is the star here, in creamy white Carrera, flecked travertine, and a rich green called Vert Donay.
While the Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based artist Sam Moyer has played around with fabric painted to look like marble in the past, the geometric panels suspended in gorgeous bronze armatures that she recently installed at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen in Brussels are, in fact, the real deal. Meant to interact with the space's striking ceilings and the summer light that filters through them, the slabs are cut so thin as to be almost semi-translucent, a subverting of expectations about the way certain materials are supposed to look, feel, and function — a common theme in Moyer's work, and one that will sound familiar to many designers, which is probably why we've found ourselves so drawn to her.
Over four days spent in Milan last week at the annual furniture fair, we saw dozens of exhibitions, spent 9 hours at the fairgrounds, and shot more than 800 photos. Pretty overwhelming. While we take a moment to regroup and put together our official coverage, which starts tomorrow, we figured we'd share with you one of the few projects that we didn't photograph in Milan, but didn't need to — SU alums Josephine Choquet and Virgil Thévoz launched an extensive new collection of marble tables and housewares with the Italian marble producer Bloc Studios, and thanks to the duo's superior art directing skills, it came complete with the perfectly styled set of images you'll see after the jump.