Handmade Highlights Milan 2017

From praying to playing

Apr 18, 2017 by Irene Vermeulen


Craftscurator travelled to Milan and saw designers taking a playful approach to creating new products, with interesting textures, and made of innovative materials. Objects rather than products in fact; many with symbolic meaning. Here are Craftscurator’s Handmade Highlights:

Marni made everyone smile and find their inner child by creating a playground in Milan. A massive amount of coloured sand served as a backdrop for their new collection of chairs and home accessories, handmade by a group of women in Colombia.

Sebastian Herkner has also worked with craftsmen in Colombia for Ames, also with playful and colourful results. His signature style is also visible in the collection he designed for Moroso, a brand that is also still happy to play around with bold colours and weaving effects, as seen in their Salone stand.

Holy Handmade
With so many presentations taking place in churches and monasteries in Milan, it was hard not to feel the divine inspiration the designers had when creating their new products. Or should I say objects, because many of the presentations included talismans, symbolic items and personal ‘objets de curiosité’.

IN Residence asked 46 designers to create a talisman. One of our favorites was from Sabine Marcelis, a designer who does not only design lighting, but is also in the spotlights, since her works were shown in 9 different locations in Milan this year.

It was also good to see Wallpaper declaring handmade ‘holy’ and stepping away from the bling designs of the recent years. Tom Dixon designed a paper- maché sarcophagus, Tino Seubert a water font, and Bloc Studios a set to burn incense and oil. Formafantasma saw the light and explored new lighting concepts, with beautiful results.

Texture and matter
Lots of interesting handmade textiles could be found in Milan this year. Out with that old sheepskin, I would say, bring in the pom pom rug by Lio de Bruin for Karpeta, or the raw and textured rugs by Faye TooGood for cc-tapis.

Interesting textures, patterns and material innovation was done by the Envisions collective, using material from Spanish MDF brand Finsa. Not only a spectacular presentation, but also in-depth research into the production process.

Impressive sustainable innovation was done by Really, a newly launched sustainable brand, part owned by Kvadrat. They developed a hardboard material made of recycled fabric. Max Lamb and Christien Meindertsma had the honors to make a first range of products out of the newly developed material.

Marni | Ames | Sebastian Herkner | Moroso | IN Residence | Sabine Marcelis | Wallpaper | Tom Dixon | Tino Seubert | Bloc Studios | Karpeta | Lio de Bruin | cc-tapis | Faye TooGood | Envisions | Finsa | Kvadrat | Really | Max Lamb | Christien Meindertsma |

Playful - Marni's collection of furniture made in Colombia
Photo via Dezeen
Holy - Wallpaper's shrine to handmade design
Photo via Wallpaper
Texture - Kvadrat's sustainable material made of recycled fabric
Bench design by Max Lamb
Texture - Envision's material explorations for Finsa
Photo via Frame Magazine
Playful - Colombian furniture in the making
Design by Sebastian Herkner for Ames
Holy - oil and incense burners
by Bloc Studios for Wallpaper Handmade
Holy - Exploring light and lighting
by Formafantasma
Playful - Handembroidered cushion cover
by Sebastian Herkner for Ames
Playful - Moroso rocking wire furniture
in their trade fair stand
Texture - hand stitched ornaments
by Faye TooGood for cc-tapis
Texture - Pom pom rug
by Lio de Bruin for Karpeta