There was a lot of new product launched during the Salone del Mobile Milano 2019. My attention attracted products designed by renowned names from the architecture world such as Foster + Partners, Daniel Libeskind or Adam Tihany.
My first associations when mentioning these names are buildings or interiors like 30 St Mary Axe in London (by Foster + Partners), World Trade Center Masterplan New York, New York (by Studio Libeskind) or The Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills (by Adam D. Tihany). It is only my (wrong) association because all these practices have never distinguished architecture and industrial design.
Foster + Partners beside being a global studio for architecture and urbanism, possess their industrial design team. They have developed a wide range of products from door handles to wind turbines; from a fountain pen to the cabin of an executive jet; from a tap to the fit-out of an ocean yacht. Frequently, products are designed in response to a particular project, but they also work directly with clients on product commissions or with companies to develop new products for commercial manufacture.
The activities of Studio Libeskind with worldwide reputation beside designing a diverse of urban, cultural and commercial projects include product design. They designed numerous products with a different purpose: home accessories, handles, lighting, furniture for famous companies like Sawaya & Moroni, Olivari, Zumtobel Group, Alessi, Swarovski and many others. The design of these products reflects Libedskin’s unique and recognizable architectural style. His products (Gemma Collection for Moroso or Table for Citico) are like a small architectural project with sculptural masses while Chess set for Swarovski is with pieces that are in shape of Libeskind’s most iconic buildings.
Tihany Design has created innovative interiors for hotels and restaurants in some of the most iconic properties the world over. He was one of the first designers to collaborate with internationally renowned chefs to create bespoke restaurants interiors.
Moreover, Tihany has become a leading cruise ship, interior designer.
Restaurant design allowed him the opportunity to design everything from the interiors and furniture and lighting to the china, hardware, linens, tabletop and uniforms. He has licensed product lines for several companies. Some of them are Villeroy & Boch, Valli & Valli, Frette. Christofle, Poltrona Frau, Kartell.
I had the pleasure to cooperate with Tihany design (Alessia Genova) and I have personal experience of how professional and innovative they are.
An ‘ordinary’ chair by Foster + Partners
Foster + Partners designed Leva, timber chair for Mattiazzi. This chair is suitable for a variety of interiors like living rooms, restaurants or other contract projects. The chair is the most difficult objects to design, with a lot of requirements from ergonomic, stability, comfort… to aesthetic.
The design of this chair by Foster + Partners, answers on all mentioned requirements. Leva looks like an ‘ordinary’ chair, familiar to us from our childhood but even so eye-catching.
Leva’s seemingly simple shape is the result of complex surfacing that optimizes the chair for mass production. Leva’s every detail confirms Mattiazzi’s craftsmanship and technological capabilities to manufacture a wood chair. The steam-bent arms are made of a single piece of machined timber. They are slightly inclined, widening in the middle to form a comfortable, supportive backrest.
Most importantly, Leva is designed ergonomically so it is comfortable and durable.
The office desk for the contemporary user by Daniel Libeskind
Edge is an office writing desk designed as a surprising sculpture with the play of full and empty spaces. It consists of irregular and asymmetrical volumes which are modular and interconnected.
The desk is made with eucalyptus wood and black glass surfaces. A thin yet solid metal skeleton, visible only from above, connects its elements.
This desk is a centrepiece that can be used on different sides. Functional organization enable work with contemporary tools. The flexibility of the desk enables changes of the functional organization or number of users. In this way, Edge meets the needs of the modern user and answer to the requirements of a dynamic way of work. Everything in Edge is designed to leave the geometry and cleanness of its “modules” unchanged. The drawers are lined with a thin layer of padding, flush with the structure and disappearing completely once closed.
Manufacturer Turri confirms craftsmanship capability, seen here in the attention to every detail.
Edge as the contemporary desk has a unique style and incisive design, the hallmark of Libeskind. It will support the Turri's strategy and orientation towards the contemporary design of their products.
Outdoor collection for the hospitality by Adam D. Tihany
Who else would know what is necessary for the hospitality sector than Adam Tihany, the preeminent designer in this sector?
He designed the new outdoor collection Thea for Roda, consisting of a two-seater sofa, an armchair and coffee tables. The collection is with beautiful shape, with lines inspired by nature.
The entire Thea collection uses Roda’s traditional finishes and materials what is plus for production. The aluminium structure consists of identical elements that are repeated in different directions and can be had in the different finished (smoke and rust painted). The cushions are available with water-draining padding materials and the tabletops are in porcelain stoneware which can be freely personalized by choosing a colour and finish (matte and glossy).
The collection is without unnecessary details, neat and elegant.
It is expected that this outdoor collection for the hospitality sector will contribute to the success of Roda strategy to expand presence on the contract market.