Sunday, 27 May 2018


Central photo above: Malene Kastalje, The Swollen Part series, neckpieces and brooches (silicone, magnets, neodymium magnets). Athens Jewelry Week 2018: "Art + Jewelry: Intersecting Spaces", main exhibition at the Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece.

An event that it is coming to terms with the city's glorious past and turbulent present - certainly a most fertile ground for artistry - Athens Jewelry Week is turning into an institution in a very short time. The rigorous organizers create since 2016 an anti-copy/paste jewelry fair that it is most visually becoming and it gathers contemporary jewellers of incredible capacity and vision, from Greece, Europe, Asia and beyond. The result is a series of parallel events and performances around the city, starting from the core exhibition at the Benaki Museum of Greek Culture and Decorative Arts.

This year the plot thickens, the craftsmanship and inventiveness of the participants steps up another level and radical notions float in the open space of the exhibition's central area. The intense impact of the objects crossover the instant recognition of all things relevant to now: democracy, sustainability, existence, survival, pluralism, memory, courage, strenghth, effort, beauty, science, humor, humanism, narrative and history. The questions remain strong butthe objects proved stronger and made to be worn by the human body but also by a building, an area, a city. 

Could Athens be the inspiration or the stimulus to rethink the past centuries' ornamental tradition? The city is definitely the reason to revoke existing problems, issues, philosophies and maybe it offers the opportunity to remap crafts' territories, from the "over-exhibitional" norms of contemporary jewelry's huge commercial fairs to something really essential.

Key moments of the exhibition, the works of Guest and Invited artists, Maria Militsi and Matt Lambert respectively, the latter also having presented a groundbreaking video performace (photos bellow).

The students who stole the scene with their phenomenal creations: Everett Hoffman with Wild Country necklace, Veronika Fabian with Rebellious Chain series, Johannes Lindh post-sautoir and Marzia Rossi necklace (Alchimia) - (in pictures from top to bottom bellow).

The Greek makers-jewellers performed a powerful rematch this year, alongside with some impressive international entries - we selected the following noteworthy works, (from top to bottom): Efharis Alepedis, Constantinos Papadoukas, Yiota Vogli, Artemis Valsamaki, Asami Watanabe.

The predominant side-by-side presentations of last year's winners Orsolya Losonczy: "Precious Inside Out" series  and Snem Yildirim: "Mein Lieber Diktator" series (their brooches in pics bellow, top and bottom respectively) configured once more the bipolar question of Beauty and Politics, of Utopia and Distress, of Self and Ego. 

We are closing with the installation Hormones by Hao-Han Jhang, a vivid reminder of all the revolutionary mutations that are about to determine future societies and industries.

We are looking forward to next AJW 2019. It seems that this institution is here to stay!


Monday, 7 May 2018


Photo above, from left to right: Woman's jersey jumpsuit with zebra animal print, Roberto Cavalli, Summer 2000. Kita embroidered sequin dress by Ken Scott, 1973. Blue coat with overlock stitching, Sportmax (designer Nanni Strada), Fall/Winter 1971-1972. Patchwork, fur coat by Fendi, Fall/Winter 1999-2000. A corner in the room under the theme Bazaar at the exhibition ITALIANA, L'Italia vista dalla moda 1971-2001/ Italy Through the Lens of Fashion 1971-2001), conceived and curated by Maria Luisa Frisa & Stefano Tonchi, at the Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy.

The exhibition Living Nature. La natura dell'abitare is the principal exhibition that took place outside the main Salone area: the Rho fairground, in the city center right next to the Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano), gathering thousands of visitors. The ambitious experimental project conceived by the Carlo Ratti Associati design studio can be a scalable model of a simulated future, where living in the city has to integrate into the natural environment and not the opposite. In times of global warming, climate change, desertification, seasons disparition but also social disparity and a challenged energy distribution globally, this capsule "residence" consists of a realistic vision for a habitat made to last, but not to threat the natural surroundings.

"Living Nature invites us to explore two key themes: the relationship between domestic living and nature and climate control. In the 20th century, it was the city that appropriated nature, leading to excessive land consumption; we are now facing quite the opposite challenge, that of bringing nature back into cities and homes".

The environmental impact assessment of the endeavour is extremely well investigated, as the project presents practically 100% bio-sustainability, focusing on "green" energy production and supply. Photovoltaic panels, accumulators and heat pumps secure a precise energy flow, so the cold air generated inside the pavillion cools down the "winter" area, while it produces excess heat that serves to warm up the 'summer" area- very likely to the system of a large  A+++ refrigerator.

The Living Nature model of a home or preserved living area, was created under the Salone del Mobile umbrella, with the support of three other major Italian public institutions. Could it be the solution in the search for the ideal human shelter, the forerunner of a eutopia after the last century's catastrophic practices?

The exhibition ITALIANA, L'Italia vista dalla moda 1971-2001/ Italy Through the Lens of Fashion 1971-2001), conceived and curated by Maria Luisa Frisa & Stefano Tonchi was also a collaborative product  of 11 Italian establishments, (7 of them acting in the public sector). Three decades of passion about fashion and essential understanding of all the initial factors and prerequisites that turned Italy the capital of fashion evolution. The specific event is not only a meaningful, historical survey but a sociological, industrial, artistic and humanistic exploration of a period that propelled the exports of European creative production internationally, a production in which Italian fashion industry represented extreme figures. This conceptual journey is divided in nine units, (Identity, Democracy, Logomania, Diorama, Project Room, Bazaar, Postproduction, Glocal, The Italy of Objects), represented by teams of clothing, accessories, jewellery, publications and videos that altered entirely the landscape of fashion and calibrated the consumers' cognition and taste, to an unprecendented extend in comparison with other periods. 
A wonderful exhibition, carefully mastered to evoque not memories of the past but an intense anticipation to walk further into the different rooms, in a non-stop learning experience.

Feast your eyes on the pictures bellow, from top to bottom: 1.DEMOCRACY: (first three in the foreground, from left to right) Kinki Shop Diffusion, Madras dress, first half of 1970s. Valentino Boutique, dress in silk voile with dots, second half of 1970s. Missoni dark jersey ensemble made of dress, pants and scarf, F/W 1979-80. 2.DIORAMA: (clockwise, based on the Enchanted Rooms feature, Domus, May 1983) Cinzia Ruggeri, dress with leds, 1982. Gaetano Pesce, Dalilatre chair, Cassina. Krizia pleated jumpsuit, F/W 1981-82, Archizoom Associati Mies-Poltrona chaise-longue, Pietro Chiesa Luminator floor light. 3.LOGOMANIA: (from left to right) Etro printed silk dress,1995. Salvatore Ferragamo Patchwork silk poncho. Gianni Versace, Man's silk shirt S/S 1993. Shirt, top and leggings by Pucci, S/S 1992. Versace (creative director Donatella Versace), silk chiffon dress, S/S 2000. Valentino, dress in silk with floral print, 1972. 4. BAZAAR: (from left to right) Gianfranco Ferré, embroidered tull bodysuit and shantung skirt, S/S 1991. Gianfranco Ferré, napa and crocodile leather blouson, S/S 1993-94. C.P. Company (designer Massimo Osti), Goggle jacket, 1988. Gianfranco Ferré, embroidered tulle jumpsuit, S/S 1991. Etro, man's ensemble, F/W 1996-97. 5.POSTPRODUCTION: (front to back) Gianni Versace, denim shirt with silk & golden lace skirt, S/S 1992. Bo-Bo Kaminsky (stylists David Mantej & Evelina Barilli) jacket, culotte and bra in golden lamé, F/W 1984-85. 6. GLOCAL: garments' detail. 

Enjoy the info and stay tuned for more exciting news and design essays the following weeks! Until then...

Happy Spring😎

Sunday, 29 April 2018


Photo above: Prototype Design Front, (floor wooden mirror in central installation with real flora), Tomorrow grows here, the moto of 2018 by SWEDESE. Prototypes of new products, have been created of waste materials at the wooden furniture factory in Vaggeryd, Sweden. 

"Good design comes before every trend.  Trends are not making the designers. Designers create the trends." 
President of Salone del Mobile, Mr. Claudio Luti

*"...Over and above those boons, I imparted Fire to the mortals. ...from which they will moreover learn thoroughly many Arts." 
Aeschylus' Prometheus

"Style = Fart", concept Stefan Sagmeister, design Jennifer Phillips, Sagmeister & Walsh, 1998.

The FTK- Technology for the Kitchen exhibition within the Salone del Mobile 2018 fair, is the actual Field of Mars for technology and innovation. How hyper-connectivity will affect our everyday life? An exhibition of immense gravity under the philosophy of "Xtreme Tech is Good For Your Needs and Good For your Keen" where the dominant presences of Miele, Whirlpool, Bosch and Smeg impressed the visitors with high-end inventions regarding the smart home, AI apps & robots, distant cooking, blind/remote appliance manipulation, cookingtainment, sensorial kitchen and cracking design where the sleekness of the German prestige competed against the glorious taste of Italian artisanry. FTK- EUROCUCINA 2018 was solely the place where Asian absence was somehow noted since the specific crowd does not demonstrate a vivid interest to these kind of new, digital, western technologies for numerous cultural and economic reasons (mind that the Salone del Mobile and Milan this year was absolutely truffled with trade operators, buyers and investors' groups from China and neighbouring countries, certifying once more the deep fascination of the Asian visitors when it comes to Italian design + craftsmanship, therefore the increase of Italian exports to deep Asia, also because of the big success of institutions such as the Salone del Mobile. Shanghai). 

Bellow, from top to bottom: Miele on your mobile and beyond (video). Bosch' connectivity HomeBox and Mykie Robot assistant (x 2). Whirlpool' 6th Sense program. Smeg' Greek-roman Toile de Jouy "Sicily Is My Love" by Dolce & Gabbana.

Kartell this year acted as a design Mediator for the generation of Millenials. The Italian house demonstrated an amazing extroversion, experimenting with new approaches in interiors and new combinations of materials also by hosting the ultimate design Cosplay at Kartell's flagship store, Turati street in Milan. Xartell, Crossing generation used a series of jaws-on-the-floor young designers-industrial makers and conveyed a unique presentation in terms of production and imagery. Thus, including the latest collaboration of the house with Laufen in the bathroom area, expanded the brand's knowhow to a whole new dimension, a series of lavatories of strong design, genuine beauty and uncompromised quality. Style here is the result of extreme design mechanisms and high aesthetics and not just a loud noise in the toilet compartment to temporarily decorate with photos the glossy pages of house & interiors magazines. 

Bellow, from top to bottom: Young pioneers in Xartell, Ignasi Monreal's fantastic "Scratch "series and  Xian Guan's emotional "Sunday" project, (1,2). Kartell by Laufen panoramic view, ambient bathroom and essential minimalism (3,4,5). The company's colossal stand and impressive visual merchandising at the International Bathroom Exhibition in the Salone premises.

While we swooned over the stands, all the wonderful interactions produced by the differend houses came into place...The recognition of the industry to certain, diversified values is not anymore negotiable. Make-everything-out-of-anything/GoNatural/Recycle (Swedese, Magis, Fendi), Africainsist (Moroso, NanimarquinaALotOfBrasil), New-Age-It-Is (Vitra, Missoni Home), WonderMakers (Citco, Glas Italia), FairyTales/CreatePoetry (AlessiBD Barcelona Design, Brühl, Daum, Lalique, Koket, Etro, Karimoku Kunst), SpaceIntellect (EneaPlank, Rosenthal, Karimoku New Standard, Geberit).
Bellow, from top to bottom: 1.The Roof Chair by Spalvieri & Del Ciotto for Magis. 2.Rough and edgy dining table by Fendi. 3.The ARCO chair by Martino Gamper, M'Afrique collection, for Moroso. 4.The Blur Rug (detail) by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Nanimarquina. 5.The New Yellow sofa with trigonal cushions by ALotOfBrasil. 6.New-age dining room in one of Vitra's 6 windows including the Panton Chair Chrome by Verner Panton,1959/1960 and the Plate Dining Table by Jasper Morrison, 2018. 7.Chinese Horoscope collection by Missoni Home. 8.ENDLESS marble side tables by Daniel Libeskind for Citco. 9.FOUNTAIN by Tokujin Yoshioka for Glas Italia. 10.Invisible personage-Salvador Dalí: sheepskin throne with LED by BD Barcelona Design. 11.Libellule armchair by Brühl. 12.Daumot Robot 163, by Kriki-Daum. 13.Coutard lantern by Pierre-Yves Rochon for Lalique. 14.TABU cocktail table by KOKET Love happens. 15.Babel armchair by Etro. 16.Karimoku Kunst (Karimoku/ INODA+SVEJE) reception. 17.LAND chair by Naoto Fukasawa for Plank. 18.POMD'OR x ROSENTHAL Equilibrium: bathtub by Edward van Vliet. 19.Karimoku New Standard living interiors, with a refreshed set of designers joining the KNS team. 20.Bathroom area by Geberit/ Pozzi-Ginori. 21. EMA sitting solutions by Lievore Altherr Molina for Enea.

The Salone organizing committee is always ready to accomodate every condition and to come against a new challenge, regarding people with disabilities, special features and underprivileged social groups. This year the Social Mobility program was far more noticeable and it was adopted by many visitors in the Salone fairground, a great step that makes a lot of difference in an exhibition space the size of a small airport. Well done!

Change your views, improve your mindset regarding design: visit Salone del Mobile, 9-14/4/2019! Design starts again THEN!

Next post after the 1st of May 2018: In & Out Salone with two memorable exhibitions!
Until next week, take care!

A4D-D4A 💋