Back to basics; designers are looking for the core of a product. By experimenting with new and sustainable raw materials or by deconstructing techniques. Many showed their maker process; the number of moulds, glue clamps and prototypes on show in Milan was remarkable. But luckily there were plenty of interesting end products to be found as well, showing oustanding skill and use of material.
Roel Huisman made a bowl of natural resin during a Fablab workshop, organized by Carmine Deganello. At the exhibition Nomadism, curated by Lidewij Edelkoort, Daniel Costa presented his carpet, inviting visitors to step on it with their bare feet. I + I Carpets decontructed a Persian carpet. At the Mindcraft 13 exhibition by Danish Crafts, Christina Schou Christensen showed the experiments she did with ceramics and glaze, resulting in weird and wonderful bowls. Food was considered an interesting raw material for many designers in Milan, HKU student Renee Boute used rejected fruit to create fruit bowls. Kristie van Noort experimented with raw materials from Cornwall to create colours for ceramics and glaze. China, Korea and Taiwan impressed with presentations of traditional crafts, merged with contemporary design. Yi-Cheng Tsai and Mao-Hui Chen from Taiwan designed a set of stools. Matthias Pliessnig of the Rhode Island School of Design, took weaving to the extreme and covered a Thonet chair. A fabulous bench was made of bamboo by Chinese designer Wang Shenghai for the Handmade in Hangzhou exhibition, curated by Pinwu. Korean crafts made a powerful impression, the pure and raw paper lamps are designed by Kim Sam-sik and Kim Yeon-jin.
Read more on Mash Up Crafts and Elegant Crafts seen at Milan Design Week 2013, and read Craftscurator's post for Stylink in Dutch, or posts on Sustainable Design for Inhabitat.com.