Australians in Milan Part 2

Mitchel Rose’s 'Spin' chair

This post continues from Australians in Milan Part 1. Australians who weren’t showing at Ventura Lambrate made appearances at SaloneSatellite, Euroluce at the fairgrounds in Rho or at sites in the Brera district and Tortona.

This year was Tasmanian-born Brodie Neill‘s third time in Milan with his design studio Made in Ratio. The rustic old workshop off one of the important design streets, via Palermo, was the perfect backdrop for his work including his newly released ‘Alpha’ chair. Neill said of his experience, “we did almost twice the business we did last year in just the first day. It’s been phenomenal! Finding the right place to show at any design fair or festival is half the battle. We were really lucky in Milan this year to find somewhere that was both centrally located and full of character”.

Brodie Neill’s new ‘Alpha’ chair for his label Made in Ratio in situ

Brodie Neill’s new ‘Alpha’ chair for his label Made in Ratio in situ

Well known Melbourne-based photographer and book cover designer Sonya Pletes exhibited in Milan for the first time and with a three dimensional product. “It was only around a year ago that I was sitting in a talk by Moooi CEO Casper Vissers at Space Furniture. I was so inspired by Vissers honest and open approach that I summoned up the courage to send him a number of my images that I felt had the potential to be made into amazing rugs”.

‘Seduction’ rug by Sonya Pletes for Moooi

‘Seduction’ rug by Sonya Pletes for Moooi

Vissers was in the process of planning a huge rug launch at Moooi’s 2015 Milan exhibition, and he was immediately drawn to Pletes layered imagery. “The image itself is inspired by great romantic love found in literature but the images develop in a truly organic way, …being here and being recognised, being given that affirmation that your work is good is an amazing thing – particularly when you come from Australia where it’s hard not to feel isolated from what’s going on elsewhere in the world”.

The ‘Lateralis’ lamp by Ben McCarthy for Innermost

The ‘Lateralis’ lamp by Ben McCarthy for Innermost

Ben McCarthy, a UNSW graduate, has shown in Milan, Tokyo, London and across Australia while working in London for Tom Dixon and since 2007 in Hong Kong. He was part of the Other Hemisphere exhibition at Ventura Lambrate in 2011 when the ‘Lateralis’ table light had it’s first public viewing. This year it went into full-scale production and was launched at Euroluce.

“I’ve been in discussion with the British company Innermost for some time…floating various ideas over the years but ultimately they decided to go ahead with ‘Lateralis’ because it fitted into their range really nicely”. In relation to this year’s event he said, “Euroluce is more relevant now than ever. Lighting technology is changing so quickly there are some crazy new forms being produced that wouldn’t have been possible just a few years ago. It’s one of the most interesting lighting fairs with really new concepts being launched by leading brands”.

‘Polair’ light by Flynn Talbot for Fabbian

‘Polair’ light by Flynn Talbot for Fabbian

Western Australian lighting designer Flynn Talbot launched his ‘Polair’ pendant lights at the Rho fairgrounds with Italian lighting company Fabbian. “Euroluce was very good for me personally this time around… my ‘Polair’ lights were apparently the best received of the new Fabbian collections and Euroluce as a whole was much stronger than the last time I took part… It was very full, with all the key brands participating – a good sign for the health of the lighting market”. Talbot will be based in London from September 2015.

Veuve Clicquot tower Milan 2015

Veuve Clicquot tower Milan 2015

For Adam Goodrum, 2015 has been about establishing a wider appreciation of his work through collaborations with new partners of a global scale. Commissioned to create a limited edition piece for French champagne house Veuve Clicquot  Goodrum immersed himself in its history and culture with a visit to the brand’s Hôtel du Marc in the Champagne region of France. Here he was able to view the Veuve Clicquot gallery of previously commissioned works by the Campana Brothers, Mathieu Lehanneur and Ferruccio Laviani. In Milan he attended design events, including the Veuve Clicquot Tower displayed within the grounds of the University of Milan and the announcement of the winning design for the Veuve Cliquot Mailbox competition presented at Wallpaper Handmade.

Balance pendant by Viktor Legin / Copper Photography by Matt Wood

Balance pendant by Viktor Legin / Copper Photography by Matt Wood

Melbourne studio Copper (Edward Linacre and Viktor Legin), launched five new products on their stand at SaloneSatellite and took out third place in the coveted SaloneSatellite Awards for their ‘Balance’ pendant. Recently they took on a third permanent studio member, junior designer, Lewis Yee, whose articulating table lamp ‘Crescent’ was also on display. “This was our first time in Milan under the name Copper, so our main aim was to launch the studio, to pitch concepts to potential manufacturers and to source distributors for our existing range. We also wanted to get a feel for companies we might be interested in working with in the future and to grow our knowledge of the international market”.

Crescent by Lewis Yee, photo by Nai Zi Yeap

Crescent by Lewis Yee, photo by Nai Zi Yeap

Linacre, as runner up in the Design Report Young Designer of Satellite Award in 2013, was automatically entitled to show again at Satellite. He and the rest of the studio were extremely excited by the response they were receiving to their array of new products. Winning an award was a terrific bonus to what had already been a highly successful show for the studio with several European and American companies expressing interest in producing their designs. Linacre can potentially exhibit at Satellite 3 more times.

Founded in 1999 by RMIT professor and designer Kjell Grant, the Melbourne Movement has fostered young Australian design by organising a select group of designers from RMIT and Monash Universities to exhibit each year at the acclaimed young designer showcase, SaloneSatellite. Past recipients of the honour have included Adam Cornish and Nick Rennie. With exposure to talent scouts from all the major brands and a steady stream of journalists coming through, they have a real chance of being “discovered” by a major brand and increase their international profile.

 

This year’s Melbourne Movement group consisted of Inkster Maken (Hugh Altenschwager), Dowel Jones (Dale Hardiman & Adam Lynch) Mitchell Rose, Max Harper, Mathew Harding and Rowan Turnham.

Harding and Turnham showed their skeletal ‘Exo’ lights and spoke for the entire group when they summed up the experience. “The mix of designers from all around the world was such a great thing to be apart of and to get a chance to exchange ideas and converse about design was even better”.

The exhibiting Australians showed a large selection of lights that included limestone and timber fittings ‘Flashlight’ and ‘Matchstick’ by Inkster Maken, ‘Mr Jones’ and ‘Mr Merger’ by Dowel Jones and the ‘Corker’ series of natural cork pendants by Max Harper. The final member of the group Mitchell Rose showed his graphic ‘Ring’ chair (featured at the begining of the aticle) in bright orange but also showed a very different side to his aesthetic with showed a set of polished salt and pepper shakers called ‘Cosmo’.  He said, “having international manufacturers approach Melbourne Movement members to produce and license their designs was an incredibly exciting experience! Visitors were constantly amazed once they realised the Melbourne Movement had come all the way from Australia to exhibit”. The positive feedback has encourage several of the designers to travel to Japan to show at Tokyo Design Week in October.