7 young design talents spotted on Milan Design Week

Every year, the most important furniture fair in the world hosts the lead of recognized design brands — but not only them. From year to year, more and more young designers visit Milan Design Week to take part in the show and present their latest projects to the wider audience. You won’t find here the heavy catalogues and professional sales representatives — but you can certainly spot dozens of fresh ideas and innovative solutions that will push you out of the comfort zone. Meet 7 young makers that amazed us in Milan this year.

  1. Miltonpriest: objects narrative

Miltonpriest is a small design and manufacturing studio from Northern France. They produce handmade furniture in limited series, mixing the traditional artisanal techniques with contemporary processes. Their furniture is one of a kind. Simple, clean lines meet here with surrealistic forms, creating specific theatrical narrative. What is stressed in their works is not the aesthetic balance, but rather the attempt to personify and add the humour to daily objects.

2. Ingrid Hulskamp: daily poetry

Balancing between art and design is also typical to Ingrid Hulskamp, the Dutch designer, that often refers to herself as „Design Poet”. All her collections are produced according to a single concept of design, that encourages contemplative moments. Tactile objects are designed to evoke physical interaction and contemplation in an intuitive way. In her work, Ingrid is using mostly durable and quality materials, such as marble, glass, wood or natural fibers. Ranging from small figurines and decorative objects to mirrors, toys and other functional items, the designer managed to find her own style, that is a very gentle, playful and poetic interpretation of our daily life.

3. The Twine

The Twine comes from Taiwan. The studio is blending the practice of industrial design with handicraft and fine arts, transforming this multidisciplinary background into exquisite, high end design pieces. Their tubular metalwork furniture derives from the best examples of modern classics, adding them contemporary, postmodern cut. Applying the production methods borrowed from bicycle industry, the makers bend the metal and form the flatten shape of the armrest and backrest.

4. Lucy Simpson: materials-led textiles

Texture, colour, collage, print, tactility — there are many ways in which Lucy Simpson could express her vision of designing textiles. Based in Edinburgh, the young designer is constantly experimenting with new technologies and materials in order to create outstanding fabrics. Lucy has incorporated digital technology to create relief-like structures on the fabric’s surface. What attracted our attention the most, is the innovative use of silicon elements, that create not only unique texture — but also the possibility of multiple applications within fashion, jewelry, interiors — and even car design.

5. Meike Harde — Wooden Aquarelle

Meike Harde is a young German designer, who came up with the innovative way of colouring the wood. What is the most striking in this process is the fact, that it is out of control. Only the selection of colors used for the initial impulse is controllable. What happens next is the dynamic, random process, leaving the wooden surface covered with autonomous patterns, provoked by the movement of pigments and water. The effects of colouring technique invented by Meike resembles the aquarelle marks, gradients and transitions, so the method was called wooden aquarelle. The coloured surfaces are suitable for mass production of individually unique pieces.

6. Anastasiya Koshcheeva — Siberian nature

Anastasiya was born in Krasnoyarsk, in Siberia — and the influence of local craft is very visible in her work. And that is also what makes her projects stand out. Her creative process starts from the local material — the birchbark, that has been widely used in Russian handcraft. Birchbark combines the qualities of leather, wood and paper, and thanks to this combination it presents universal properties: it is flexible, water resistant, strong and durable. However, birchbark manufacturing requires years of experience and skills that have been traditionally given from generation to generation. The tradition of manufacturing is nowadays limited to the production of souvenirs, and soon may completely extinct. Koshcheeva wants to invigorate this traditional craft technique and prove that birchbark can be successfully used also in the production of contemporary pieces.

7. Dossofiorito: Epiphyte plants

Dossofiorito is a design studio founded in Verona by two industrial designers: Livia Rossi and Gianluca Giabardo. In Milan they presented the collection of suspended vases that propose the alternative way of cultivating the epiphytic houseplants. The roots are not contained in the vase, but they enevlop the form. The original idea comes from the plants that instead rooting in the soil, grow on the branches or leaves of other plants, using it as a support to grow. Dossofiorito project aims to redefine the relationship between nature and indoors, giving the users possibility to observe the whole process of growing.

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