This year in Milan there were more Australian designers exhibiting than ever before. This is singlehandedly due to the superhuman efforts of Emma Elizabeth, the crazy cat from Sydney who wears many hats – a designer, stylist, curator and general creative hustler – EE brought together 26 Australian designers at LOCAL MILAN, an initiative by LOCAL DESIGN which she founded in 2015, officially becoming the largest independent showcase of Australian design in Milan to date. LOCAL MILAN occupied several rooms of an abandoned palazzo in 5Vie (which we covered in detail a couple of years ago when the building first opened as an exhibition venue), and it was a wonderful showcase and promotion of Australian design to the world. The show equally served as a reminder to us Australians of the home-grown talent we have right here in this country – think Adam Goodrum, Tom Fereday, Tom Skeehan, Fred Ganim, Daniel Emma, Henry Wilson, Charles Wilson, Christopher Boots, Jon Goulder, Adam Cornish, Dowel Jones… Geddit? Shall I stop? Think so.
Brodie Neill once again held a solo show in Brera (right next to Vitra’s Typecasting – an outstanding strategic move that yielded excellent foot traffic!). Capturing the essence of Made in Ratio, Focus explored natural materials and organic forms through four new designs presented alongside some of the brand’s most-recognised works.
Brisbane-based Alexander Lotersztain showcased his latest collaboration with Rossana Orlandi, presenting a new iteration of his now iconic QTZ collection. In addition to expanding the range with a new low lounge design, the new release is entirely made from 100% Low-Density PolyEthylene (LDPE) – an innovative material that can melt at 120°C, and can also be re-melted an infinite amount of times without altering its integrity. This process greatly reduces the material’s environmental impact in the production stage – and by giving new life to old plastic, LDPE brings much-needed relief to the impact on our ecosystem.
Meanwhile, at Wallpaper Handmade, Sydney-based designer David Caon presented ‘Ceremony’ in collaboration with Christopher Farr – an homage to the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, with a nod to the social aspects of Italian aperitivo. Ceremony comprised two woven recycled PET plastic rugs with aluminium support underneath, and a mirrored table with an interior compartment to hold ice, drinks or snacks. Some kind of genius.
Also at Wallpaper Handmade were the clever Adelaide duo, Daniel Emma, who were commissioned by the British magazine to design the ultimate comb set. “Pairing us up with the Austrian horn company Petz, we wanted to reinterpret the traditional horn comb by combining simple forms with new materials,” they explain. The set includes five combs with some for the dressing table and others to take out. Each comb combines the horn with a polished brass handle.
Australian designers living in Amsterdam, Joel & Kate Booy of Studio Truly Truly, were back at SaloneSatellite for the second time with three new products – Brace Rugs, Fond Chair Family and Contemporary Chandeliers called Pitch. I was also really excited to see their Daze tables, which debut at Satellite last year, are now being put into production by Tacchini. So great!
Adelaide-based Andrew Carvolth and Damon Moon presented The Milan Project – an exhibition of contemporary objects that sit at the edge of art & design, craft & industry. The series of timber and ceramic objects explored notions of function and materiality.
Rome-based Australian architect Carl Pickering and his partner, Claudio Lazzarini, have designed the 4th Collection for Milan-based Marta Sala Éditions. With a discerning client base through their joint studio, Lazzarini Pickering Architetti, the pair have developed an impressive collection of bespoke furniture pieces over the past 20 years of practice. Their new collection Marta Sala Éditions has been getting released annually since 2015.
And last, but definitely not least, BassamFellows, a brand headed by an Australian-born designer Craig Bassam and American-born creative director Scott Fellows, presented ‘Subtle Deluxe’ furniture collection in their Brera gallery, inspired by the sinuous, deceptive simplicity of Mies Van der Rohe’s modernist principle of ‘Less is More’. Subtle Deluxe coincides with the launch of BassamFellows’ new range of textiles and transitional furniture for indoor/outdoor.
See some of my favourites pieces from each respective Australian designer, brand or group show below. Oi, oi, oi!
Team Yellowtrace are flying to Milan courtesy of Cathay Pacific, who fly to Italy several times each week. Cathay’s great connections from Australia allow getting from Sydney to Milan in under 24 hours, including transit times. For more information visit cathaypacific.com.au.
Top Image and above: Everything is Golden mirror by Hava Studio and Tom Fereday’s Limited Edition Sia Chair.
Henry Wilson’s Marble Travertine collection.
Left: Henry Wilson’s Thoronet Dish Green Guatemala and Thoronet Dish Travertine. Middle: Big Pouche Calacatta. Right: Surface Sconce Stone.
Solifiore Lighting Collection by Charles Wilson.
Plane Table by Fred Ganim.
The Bloom cabinet by Adam Goodrum & Arthur Seigneur.
Left: Screen by Kate Banazi. Right: Bling Bling Dynasty Collection by Daniel Emma.
Left: Rev Stool by Adam Cornish. Right: Noon tables by Ross Gardam.
Left: Anna Varendorff’s Sculpture. Right: Voyage Partition by Nicholas Fuller.
Nave Chair & SO glass light by Tom Skeehan.
VenenaArca by Dowel Jones.
MADE IN RATIO.
Rotor side table & stool. Made in Ratio is available in Australia at Living Edge.
Alexander Lotersztain’s 100% Recycled QTZ Seating Collection. Alex is represented in Australia by Living Edge.
David Caon at Wallper Handmade. David is represented in Australia by Living Edge.
Daniel Emma at Wallpaper Handmade.
STUDIO TRULY TRULY.
Daze side tables for Tacchini.
ANDREW CARVOLTH & DAMON ANDREW.
THE MILAN PROJECT by Andrew Carvolth & Damon Moon.
Acrobat Lighting Collection.
Collection IV for Marta Sala Editions.
Sling Club Chair. BassamFellows is available in Australia at Living Edge.