Kristian has landed in Milan and he’s busy blogging. Updated daily, so stay tuned!
April 24th, 2009
This blog will follow designer, Kristian Aus, during his first time exhibiting at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano 2009. Kristian’s blog takes a personal view of the fair for a first time Australian exhibitor. For the Kiwi perspective and reviews read Nathan Goldsworthy’s blog here.
Ahhh The Fair ground… so far away and so big that it seems to be like a small country in its own right. The trip on the train was uneventful except for the hundreds of people and the strange gusts of hot air whenever we stopped at a station.
Once we arrived it was a little tricky trying to get our bearings and get to where we wanted to go.
The buildings are a little convoluted and don’t seem to really aid your progress (at least on the early parts and from the south entrance). I find that cramming everything into a space like this tends to take something away from the pieces on show. Admittedly the point i suppose is to sell product and having everything in one location is handy.
We wandered for hours amongst every possible kind of chair, light and at the end of it all felt a little drained. The Salone Satellite section of young designers was a nice break from the rest, but the sheer volume of product made it hard to focus on anything in particular.
The one thing that did grab my attention was I suppose a headstone replacement. It featured an organic shape in the surface that when filled with water (from rain) it became a human figure. This seemed to have the effect of humanising the space.
On the way back from the city the rain seemed to increase and it was a bit of a struggle to navigate the streets of Zona Tortona without losing an eye from a speeding umbrella or being soaked by the zippy Italian Traffic.
The fairground is not my favourite part of the fair, but a good experience and a valuable source of contacts (some of which I hope will turn into some European projects)
Posted by Kristian Aus at 5:11 PM 0 comments
Just a quick post on this suddenly rainy Sunday morning. Yesterday I came across two spaces that were presenting work from Germany and France. The main things that grabbed my attention were small details and interesting twists on material use.
Today I am venturing out to the Fair ground where I have heard that things are a little plain and not really going to be terribly exciting…but I keep hearing that about everything here, and yet there still seems to be something in every space that makes the viewing worthwhile.
Posted by Kristian Aus at 6:03 PM 0 comments
As Friday came to an end I was led by a small group of Italian and German designers to a lovely little concept space, apartment and store. From the outside it seemed a little like an exclusive club and I was not all that keen to venture in.
Once inside I understood why people were lining up outside. I had been brought to the LAGO apartment and temporary shop. The group decided to rent a 300 square metre apartment to live, work, sell and entertain in during the fair.
It is a beautiful apartment, and is a wonderful space in which to go and have a home cooked meal and sit and chat, far away from the bustle and noise of Via Tortona. I could quite happily go there every night (and maybe I will…)
A small detail that we found there was a stack of cardboard chairs filed away in the fireplace. They are simply rolls of rough cardboard that make for fantastic temporary seating.
I also managed to get to the Toshiba installation, which has a room full of interactive lighting set up in a dark, sand filled and slightly surreal space. Also worth a look are the prototypes for some ultra thin LED lights (no photos of these I’m afraid…)
Well…it seems that my fears about the fair being a small event this year were unfounded. Yes, the press day was quiet and a little subdued, but the first day of public entry was a little crazy in places…especially when the alcohol starts flowing around the exhibits.
At Superstudio, I had exhausted things to see, so I ventured out around Zona Tortona. The Presentation by Ikea had a link to Hidden Heroes (designer Anna Leckstrom from Sweden has a a piece in both locations) so I poked my nose in and was pleasantly surprised by the products.
Just down the road was a combined space for Cassina, Cappellini, Alias and others that had some beautifully detailed timber pieces as well as Adam Goodrum’s Stitch Stool.
The sudden heat of the day meant that I was ’forced’ to take cover in one of the many bars and cafes surrounding Porta Genove. A local drink was selected…the Negroni…which proved to be a little stronger than expected, but it made for an enjoyable afternoon 🙂
Posted by Kristian Aus at 5:46 PM 0 comments
Even in the larger and more well known sections (Mooi, Tom Dixon, David Trubridge) the crowd seemed patchy at best. We will see how things shape up today.
When the flow of people seemed slow there was an opportunity to peruse the other things on show.
Today is the big day…the official start of the fair for me. From 3pm this afternoon the press will be getting their preview of most if not all of the exhibits here in Milan, including Hidden Heroes and my work.
For the last 2 days we have been frantically setting up the space, which turned out to be a bit of a dungeon. It’s a basement space that could double as a bomb shelter…but at least there is lots of space and it’s practically next door to the Moooi space.
For those playing at home the piece of mine that was damaged was the Anemone Stool…but it was fairly straight forward to repair and it will still be included.
Stay tuned for more info soon…there should be a nice big preview post later today 🙂
The time has come for me to head off to Milan for only the second time in my short design career.
This time things are different…the stakes are a little higher and I am exhibiting 🙂
My memories of the Salone of 2007 are a little hazy, but it was a wild ride of not understanding the language and not knowing exactly what I was doing there. This time I am exhibiting with a gaggle of other international designers (who I haven’t met, and know little about…) and I am attempting to blog and twitter about it without ruining the experience.
So, the good news so far is that half of my pieces are already in Milan awaiting my arrival… the bad news is that one got cracked in transit (bonus points for anyone who can identify said cracked piece). The other half of my gear is making the journey with me… fingers crossed.
For those who are in Milan and would like to come and visit, you can find me at
Superstudio as part of the Hidden heroes exhibit from the 22 to the 27 April.
Posted by Kristian Aus at 11:59 AM
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