Celebrating its fifth year in 2014 and continuing to evolve and expand its offering, Ventura Lambrate is a thriving, and indispensable, component in the relevance and energy of the Milan Design Week.
April 29th, 2014
Just outside the ring road that delineates the centre of Milan, Ventura Lambrate (VL) takes place in an area whose industrial past has left it uniquely equipped to host the event.
As such there is a slightly heterogenous, spontaneous feeling to the arrangement both between and within venues, as smaller exhibition spaces might be easily spotted whilst entire halls require a more dedicated perusal.
Further setting the area apart from the Rho Fiera and the rest of the Fuori Salone is the mood and demographic, as a young, festive crowd is the mainstay.
In terms of the exhibits themselves, VL is the only fully curated element in the Milan Design Week, with Dutch duo Margriet Vollenberg and Margot Konings exercising their extensive experience and expert eye to compile an eclectic and stimulating programme; this year the precinct accepted around 170 of the 500 applicants, from all around the world.
Perhaps the most important role that VL plays within the Design Week is that the products and designers on display are chosen on the value of their ideas as well as the quality of the finished work. While celebrity names such as Jaime Hayon, are still drawn to the precinct, it is the student exhibitions and unknown names that leave the greatest impression.
This year saw technological integration into designs and the possibility for interactivity explored by a number of designers. Some of the most compelling examples were found at the Interactive Objects stand, which explored how interactive lighting can be used to shape the aesthetic and atmospheric effect of illumination.
Rising Light by Annika Ebbers and Lisa Ambach – the light membrane follows a person as they traverse the area, lighting up, lifting and opening to accompany their movement.
Maintaining the technological bent, Merel Bekking exhibited a series of everyday objects made by using an MRI scanner as a design tool. “By using the MRI scanners, we got the answers to our questions:” Brekken comments, “Which colours, shapes and materials should a perfect product have? Or does a design process need more than these three ingredients?”
Another concept worth dwelling on was the remote manufacturing model proposed by Slow(D), a new web platform that offers artisans and designers an innovative way to produce and sell products locally and online.
Then there was Gis Van Bon‘s ‘Autonomous Theatrical Object’ (below), which left a trail of famous quotes on the ground in fine white sand.
However a great deal of the enjoyment to be found while wondering the Ventura Lambrate is in the simple, playful products. And, of course, the monster arthropod lights of Ghassan Salameh (below).
Pot . Purri: modular, combinable concrete and steel containers by 3 Dots Collective
Daniel Gonzalez – D.G. Clothes Project. Photo: Elena Girelli
Lucent Mirror – as the glass circle slides from left to right it becomes opaque and reflective. by Another Perspective
In a central location at Via Ventura, The Other Hemisphere brought a considered and varied representation of Australian and New Zealand design to the event. Curated by Sarah King of Supercyclers along with Vollenberg and Konings, the collection of objects spanned from the richly tactile Simple Pleasures of &Company and the playful vases of Supercyclers to lights by Henry Wilson, ceramics by Porcelain Bear, furniture by Nathan Goldsworthy and an item by each of the five designers at the Fortynine Stuidio.
The Other Hemisphere Stand with St Ali popup and barista Lachlan Ward
Superblown – Recycled glass bottles by Supercyclers
For more indesignlive coverage of the 2014 Milan design fair visit: indesignlive.com/category/articles/in-review/milan-14
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