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Designers’ Experience of Milan: Outofstock

Outofstock tells us about their experience of exhibiting at the recent Milan Design Week 2015, as well as their first exhibition at the fair – eight years ago.

Designers’ Experience of Milan: Outofstock

Top Image: Outofstock (From left) Sebastián Alberdi, Wendy Chua, Gabriel Tan and Gustavo Maggio.

What do you always look forward to at the Milan Design Week, and why?

I look forward to catch up with friends and see what everyone is thinking and doing in different parts of the world.

Can you tell us about the pieces/designers that caught your eye?

I always enjoy analysing the Boroullecs new designs. This year they were showing a plastic chair for Vitra, a metal stamped chair for Kettal and some new furniture for Artek. They were all very interesting.

STAMPA by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Kettal

Do you recall your first exhibition at the fair?

We first exhibited in 2007, at the Salon Satellite. It was my first time in the fair, and a great but a bit overwhelming experience. At that point we were all still young and trying to understand the dynamics of the furniture and design world. Now, few years down the road, we have a much better idea of what we want as designers, which products, typologies we want to work on and which companies we want to work with.

vitra belleville
The Belleville Chairs by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra

Can you tell us more about Outofstock’s involvement this year?

This year we were showing in two places, Triennale and Designersblock.

At Triennale, we were part of The Alchemist exhibition, a selection of Singaporean designers and studios presenting different projects under the theme of The Alchemist.

Ours was an exploration on a particular industrial material, a ceramic filter that is normally used in the catalysers of vehicles. We wanted to discover new uses and possibilities for that material, and we found a new purpose as scent diffusers.

Aura Tropicale by OutofstockPhoto: The Primary Studio

The question we asked ourselves as designers was, is it necessary, that every time we design a new product, we start from scratch because manufacturing technologies make it easier to build objects? Or can we make use of an existing material and re-think its purpose?

At Designersblock we were showcasing the Luna lamp which we designed for Industry+.

Luna Lamp Outofstock
Luna Lamp by Outofstock. Image: Industry+

What was the overall exhibition experience like this year?

It was our first time showing in Triennale, and I realised that it is one of the best venues. People take the time to look at things and understand concepts, so it is not just about looks.

I think overall exhibitions in Milan have to become more experiential, and involve all senses, so that people can be really engaged in a unique experience. Otherwise, if you can see them all the same online, why go there?

What was your biggest takeaway?

Conversing with people at The Alchemist show was very gratifying. The level of interest and patience to understand the ideas behind the projects was unusual for a design show, and positive to have. The Alchemist exhibition is the perfect example of a design show that should be organised to best showcase Singapore design.

The Alchemist Exhibition. Image: Alessandro Brasile



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