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Salone del Mobile Part II

By Gudy Herder  – 

There has been much information again this year at the world most renown interior design show in Milan.
It takes sometimes days browsing through all the images to get the big picture and start disentangling
concepts and ideas.

I'd like to confirm three trends (Creative Waste, Tactility and Overgrown), that have already started being
around and confirm their relevance. Number 1 and 2  are rooted in socio-cultural aspects, and I believe,
they are here to stay and evolve over time.


Creative Waste is one of the most fascinating and innovative trends today due to today's overproduction.
In a world of uncontrolled consumerism, this movement focuses on waste and and how to bring it back in
a creative way into society being a functional or decorative item. The difference to up-cycling lies in a often
deeper research and use of certain technologies in contrast to makers who are more focused on arts & crafts.


Furniture designer Joa Herrenknecht presents the new NANI bench which is a solid wooden bench with an
innovative an d surprising material padding.

Using recycled materials, she surprises in a delicate, sophisticated and conscious manner using
eco-friendly salmon leather, a waste-by-product from the food industry, which was carefully up-cycled,
colour dyed and sewn together.

All used materials have grown naturally and therefore their patterns are unique.

The most abundant tree in Latvia is the Pine tree. In fact, there are 500 times more Pine trees than
there are people living in the country.

Throughout history the Pine has served very different functions. Indigenous Latvians used it as a source
of food, medicine, even magic. In contrast, today the tree is valued only for its soft wood.
As a result, the rest of the tree is disregarded.

Beneath the thick and outer bark, the pines inner bark has leather-like properties with a life span of a few years.
Sarmite Polakova explores with her project PINESKINS the opportunity for natural decay to be designed into
product that can change shape with time such as a rug, basket or gloves she was featuring during the Off-Salone
at a students' group exhibition curated by Ilse Crawford ( for the Design

Academy Eindhoven (Netherland).

This project focuses on the relationship between humans and trees beyond the limited, economic view
of trees as commodities. The PINESKINS project is at an initial stage being open for different brand


As Studioilse (link: puts it, “To touch is to feel physically and sense emotionally.
We live in a world where our sense of touch is too often numbed, negated, vilified and sexualized.”
The power of tactility is an ongoing theme for the past two years on all major design events.
Distressed surfaces, overgrown textures and nature raw materials dissected invite to live a haptic experience
being surrounded by several technical devices with sleek surfaces that atrophy our fingerprints. I expected to
see this topic covered at this years' show and found a few interesting examples:


Talia Mukmel has previously surprised us already with her wonderful Terracotta 2.1 collection
( baked in a home oven.

Terracotta 2.2 is an ongoing philosophical research. After following the footsteps of ancient culture and
 ways of creation, this time modern technology was used to view the past with a technological sense.
In this 2016 series, Israeli designer Talia Mukmel continued exploring the mixture of sand and flour.

Sand and flour are raw and very common materials, used by the majority of the population around the
world all throughout history. In order to give the mixture a support and the desired shape, for the Milan
project, she decided to integrate a metal grid by using photo etching technology.

One can’t help but has to touch the 3D surface, feeling the material and connect with the object.
Her pieces were definitely one of the highlights of the Ventura Lambrate design district!


Isabel Lecaros’ works are focused on craftsmen practices throughout Chile, with a focus on sustaining ancient,
local traditions and techniques.The craft of weaving with horse hair, also known as Crin, dates back at least three
centuries and is unique to Rari, a rural village in the Maule region of Southern Chile.

It is mostly practiced by women who have passed the technique down through generations with a delicate
weaving of natural or dyed horse hair creating colourful patterns or figures.

This collaboration with ten local craftswomen of Rari has produced a collection that represents both
tradition and progress.

It aims to promote and encourage the use of Chile’s most emblematic folk craft within new ventures,
sustaining a local resource that is 100% natural.


Objects seem inflated, often too big. One can’t help but think once having reached the melting point,
the designer intervenes at a certain moment in the production, stopping the process. The main purpose
of this micro trend is definitely moving towards a greater smoothness presenting innovative and even
unexpected materials such as marble. There is often a fine line between functional pieces and art.
Objects might be considered as a form of experimentation rather than giving it full functionality.
This trend being present in the fashion field as well, has all to do with innovation and new processes.


Studio E.O. is is a multidisciplinary design practice based in Sweden.

The project is an exploration of the relationship between geometric and organic forms –
transparent and opaque. Indefinite melting materia (glass) interacts with definite angular forms (stone)
and gravity determining the relationship in between.

Indefinite Vases are containers or sculptures. They can be functional or decorative. I would definitely
use them and display single flowers, the piece would gain so much more visibility and beauty.

The contrast between the cut stone and the form of the hand blown glass emphasizes the relation between
space and object, an interplay between a fragile material and its solid counterpart. The pieces are made on demand.


Arik Levy, born in Tel Aviv, played assembling pieces he had collected already in his father’s electronic
store as a child. He says today that design has chosen him; he does not control it.

Marble is an incredible material that has been in use throughout history.
The tools and experience we now have, permit us to go one step further with the presence of the material
and the emotional values it can project.

His idea was to make marble look and feel flexible and fluid, creating the sensation that it is melting before
our very eyes, or constantly changing like the waves of the ocean splashing over rocks.

The marble Splash lighting evokes this moment of dynamic movement and elasticity.

Gudy Herder, Eclectic Trends (




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