Luminescent Jelly Fish

I love going for long swims in the sea, but I am always really cautious of jelly fish. Yesterday, as I was considering the issue while crossing the bay, I rembered one amazing jelly fish I was not fearful of. 

Malin Bobeck is a textile designer based in Stockholm. Her fabrics evoke the patterns and colours of the 1930’s but unexpectedly incorporate optical fibres. Once connected to a light source they light up. Don’t jump to conclusions: these are no lamps just like they are no ordinary pieces of favric. The effect is mystifyingly close to a deep sea fluorescence and the objects as suggestive as the creatures floating in the abysses.  

 

Maroccan Colour Block 

  
At a friend’s house I fell in love with these magnificent african heads. They are made of clay and covered with thin rows of beads. They look sternly at you but you cannot take them too seriously in their colour block exuberance. 

Unexpectadly they come from Marocco. They were found at a market in the beautiful Ouarzazate. I went there almost ten years and spent two days on a terrace basking in the sun like a lazy cat. I bought plenty of ceramics but don’t remember seeing any heads. Clearly time to go back. 

Bottega Gadda


One of the best guarded secrets of Milan are the cortili: the courtyards. Most are hidden to view but occasionally you can steal a glimpse and discover fountains, gardens, beautiful architecture and a variety of artisans at work. It is a good thing my phone was dead as I was walking along via Gentilino, not far from the Navigli, because otherwise I would have never noticed Bottega Gadda. 

I had already heard of this unique workshop specialised in metalwork for interiors, but seeing it, was another thing. Now run by the son of the founder, the Gaddas have helped innumerable milanese designers and architects give their designs form and life. From lamps to taps, anything in silver, brass, peweter and copper can be made to order. And no worries, you don’t need to be a famous designer to be welcomed in this creative atelier! 

Repost; A Gilded Space

Because I am taking a week off to recharge the batteries, I will be reposting some of my favourite blogs of the past months. 

Only a month ago Milan was just Milan; now almost unexpectadly it has nothing to envy London, Paris or New York. Of course EXPO has a lot to do with the transformation, but the the real jewel of the crown is the recently opened Fondazione Prada.

In the southern part of Milan (far far far from the fashion district) Miuccia Prada and Rem Koolhaas have transformed an old distillary in an art sanctuary. You will need many hours (days?) to wholly appreciate the place, partly because 19.000 square meters are a lot of exposition surface, and partly because there is so much care and innovation in every architectonical detail, you will have to walk around like a student taking notes. The materials are indecipherable, the combinations unexpected and the colours rigorous. Minimalist neon signs on the doors, wooden blocks flooring, a cistern and a cinema, orange accents, a gilded tower, glass and plastic: only a master could join seamlessly all these elements.

Few places in the world are capable of abstracting to such extent; art here is truly an immersive experience with no short cuts contemplated. In the afternoon sun, standing in the spaces between the buildings, you feel the stillness of time of a De Chirico square.

Repost: Breathe Austria

Because I am taking a week off to recharge the batteries, I will be reposting some of my favourite blogs of the past months. 

I swear it has nothing to do with the fact I live in Austria, and my husband runs a timber business: the Austria pavillion was simply the best one at EXPO! Entering the unassuming but elegant architecture (made of wood and painted in dark grey), you find yourself in a real forest. The temperature is cool and the air fresh.

Air is the first nutrient we need: you can live 5 weeks without food, 5 days without water but not even 5 minutes wirhout oxygen. Air is precious. This is the message conveyed by the Austrians with simplicity and clarity. Even the graphic project (by Graz superduper En Garde) is informative and stylish. And as you walk around, don’t miss out on a spruce and wild berries icecream!  

Repost: Schloss Hollenegg for Design

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Because I am taking a week off to recharge the batteries, I will be reposting some of my favourite blogs of the past months. 

I am not one to think long and hard about things; I usually just start and figure it out along the way. So when six months ago two friends suggested I start a residency programme at home, I did not waste much time. Hugely exciting, the program Schloss Hollenegg for Design has begun. Last week  I had the first in house designer(s) working on a site specific project: Dossofiorito came over from Italy and stayed with us for five days working on a brief and a theme. The skeleton of the idea is already formed, the rest will take shape over the next six months and will be presented in a collective show at the next Designmonat.

The next designers in line for the residency are Dean Brown and mischer’traxler who will be coming in autumn and working on the same theme and brief. A couple more designers are selected for 2016. Lot’s of work ahead so keep following, it is going to be quite a ride! 

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Repost: Museo del Design

Because I am taking a week off to recharge the batteries, I will be reposting some of my favourite blogs of the past months. 

The Salone has started! And there is no better way to inaugurate the most important design event of the year, than with a history lesson. At the Borsa, in front of Maurizio Cattelan’s raised finger, a private design collection of over 120 furniture classics has found a temporary home.

Spanning from 1880 to 1980 the pieces – some of which I had never seen anywhere else – were from the start part of a very careful curatorial project wanted by Raffaello Biagetti. In the mid ’80s he founded, outside Ravenna, one of the very first design museums. Housed in a building designed by Ettore Sottsass it is one of the hidden secrets of Italy.

In Milan there is no permanent design collection so you cannot miss this opportunity to revise the past: it helps to understand the present. To be fair, I must add, that I worked on this exhibition as head of production. What I love about it, is how in the suggestively dark setting, the colours and shapes of the objects light up.

A little update: the Museo del Design has reopened its doors in via Borsi 9, near the Navigli. It will be for the duration of EXPO, until end of October.