The YourStudio team have flown over to Italy recently, exploring not only the work of a selection of newcomers and big names, but essentially the people who really excelled expectations at this year’s Milan Design Week.
With a propensity for button-backed and retro-style furniture and upholstery (mainly harking back to the 50s and 60s era; think Mad Men) having taken hold over the past five years or so, behold, there is a revolution in design forms that sets a stark contrast to the polite silhouettes we are used to.
This year, many designers embraced the notion of creating forms that verged on the ugly and over-inflated, but it is a definite anti-deisgn statement against the “tasteful” mid-Century modern style that has now, unfortunately, become a predictable cliche. The Eames chair has, to its detriment, become a stock feature of many estate agents’ glossy marketing pamphlets for white-on-white penthouse interior design schemes.
The work we have seen reveals a move towards a new, voluminous style of furniture and form, which was very present in Milan this year. The almost ugly style is evocative of the work of art-led 70s and 80s designers such as Gaetano Pesce and Memphis. This awkward style where combinations of materials, forms and detailing deliberately jar is part of a new and rising design trend. From ‘Un-design’ in fashion, be prepared for ‘Un-design’ in furniture – it will definitely be a big thing.
Above: Anomaly for Moroso stools designed by Front.
There has been a whiff of Memphis Design in the air for awhile – you can sense it. Doshi Levien unveiled a number of products that gave more than a passing reference to the post-modern design movement, famously led by Ettore Sottsass. Great work, loads of energy and just the beginning of a definite gesture towards this pop-feeling movement.
Sketches and marketing material for Doshi Levien’s Camper collaboration.
Bespoke furniture made by Doshi Levien for their Camper collaboration.
Quite the show-stopper; Moooi’s hall of massive baroque imagery and theatrically-lit stage sets wooed everyone who paid a visit.