Wowcollective: SaloneSatellite.Milano Second Award Winner 2012

Wow collective: SaloneSatellite.Milano Second Award Winner 2012

The SaloneSatellite is an annual event geared to fostering contact between young designers and exhibiting companies. It takes place during The Salone Internazionale del Mobile, at the Milan Fairgrounds, Rho.

Each year participants, young designers under 35 present their ideas for the first time at this event. The founder and Curator of the SaloneSatellite is Marva Griffin.

It was The SaloneSatellite 15th edition in 2012. Approximately 750 designers took part in SaloneSatellite (including students from the 17 international design schools, of which some were participating for the first time and ADI - Association for the Industrial Design. They presented their fresh ideas and design on the area of 6,000 square metres (Pavilions 22 and 24). The overall installation was designed by architect Ricardo Bello Dias, curator of every SaloneSatellite installation since its inception. Young designers offered their new prototypes to the 1,750 exhibitors presented on the Fair. Total exhibitors number was 2500 including 750 designers taking part in SaloneSatellite . Exhibitors exposed their product on a net exhibition area of 209,000 square metres (this exhibition space including SaloneSatellite}.

Alongside the exhibition, there is the Competition for the 3 most outstanding Kitchen and Bathroom products in each of the 2 sections. 

The selected new rising stars will join ranks with designers who have already taken part in previous editions of SaloneSatellite.Milano.

Banquetebenchtable,design Micomoler Image courtesy Micomoler Banquetebenchtable,design Micomoler Image courtesy Micomoler Banquetebenchtable,design Micomoler Image courtesy Micomoler
Banquete bench table, design Micomoler
Image courtesy Micomoler

SaloneSatellite pursuing its mission as a talent scout for the most promising international designers. 

About ‘I Saloni – SaloneSatellite Award’ 2012 

SaloneSatellite celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2012, dedicating that year’s edition to technology with the theme‘Design<->Technology’.

The SaloneSatellite looked to the future through technology and its growing importance both in everyday life and as a focus of work and achievement in the world of design. 

This homage of the SaloneSatellite to technology was in honour of Steve Jobs, pioneer of the modern world, who taught us to believe in the possibilities of technology and creativity. 

The participants, young designers under 35, have been chosen by a prestigious Selection committee composed of key international figures in the world of design, architecture and communication. 

The same theme was for SaloneSatellite overall installation and a special exhibition. 15 designers, who have participated in the SaloneSatellite over the past 15 years, presented their creations. They investigated the theme of the event with their 15 pieces which already have gone into production by manufacturers. At the same time, each of them with exhibited products recounted their own professional experience since debuting at the SaloneSatellite.

In line with the theme, ‘Design<->Technology’, the SaloneSatellite has decided to publish the 2012 catalogue in digital format, curated by Susanna Legrenzi

El Botijo Flask,design Micomoler Image courtesy Micomoler
El Botijo Flask, design Micomoler
Image courtesy Micomoler

Several events were organized to celebrate the anniversary. Only some of them are Paola Antonelli’s presentation 'Talk to me about Design and the Communication between People and Objects’. Fabio Novembre moderated conversation with his guests named ‘It Takes a Bric(k) to Build a House’.

On the 3rd edition ‘I Saloni - SaloneSatelliteAward’ceremony, the 3 best products for each of the two categories represented at the Saloni, Kitchen and Bath were rewarded with a cash prize. The Award was assigned by an international jury chaired by Paola Antonelli Senior Design Curator at MoMA.

The three winners were: 

  • The First Prize went to Raul Lauri from Spainfor Decafè Lamp. His lamp was made with biodegradable material deriving from coffee grounds (in 2012 patent was pending). This was an award for research into and experimentation with the biodegradability of materials and their design potential. This recognition was intended to incentivise and underpin the designer’s career path.
  • The second prize was awarded to Wow from Spain for El Botijo Flask. It was a variation on a traditional Spanish flask that cools the water down naturally. This was a determinedly traditional, useful and sustainable commercial object with a modern twist, in a contemporary take on an age-old shape.
  • The third prize went to Hinnerud/ Enoksson / Boldt from Sweden for Enamel Table. It was created using the enamel and technique formerly employed for glazing the bathtubs of yesteryear. Bathroom meets kitchen with the Enamel Table. Its archetypal shape evokes the poetry and emotion of memories and brings an out-moded technique bang into the 21st century, valorizing it.
El Botijo Flaskdesign Micomoler Image courtesy Micomoler
El Botijo Flask design Micomoler
Image courtesy Micomoler

The winners were able to avail themselves of consulting and press office services to ensure maximum visibility of their products.

In keeping with its philosophy of supporting young designers, the SaloneSatellite renews its agreementwith ADI (Italian Industrial Design Association), which protects their ideas through a Design Register.Protection is valid only in Italy.

The collective WOW in 2010

The winner of the second ‘I Saloni - SaloneSatellite Award’ was Spanish collective Wow from Madrid. The collective was established in 2010 by six students of architecture from Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid. Its members were Eduardo Argüelles, Ignacio Hornillos, Mario Sierra, Pilar Díez, Mariana Lerma and Monica Thurne. 

The members had sometimes different ideas and concepts, but always gathered around the same values and united by the same passion for design. They consider Charles and Ray Eames as a group teacher. Moulded Plastic Rocker was their favorite masterpiece of the mentioned designers. They prefer Wood as a material. Their favorite song was Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd and their favorite website is www.dezeen.com.

Cotito console table,design Micomoler Image courtesy Micomoler
Cotito console table, design Micomoler
Image courtesy Micomoler

They aimed to create beautiful contemporary objects, with inspiration in tradition, realized with the help of crafts and on a high level of quality. Each project was a challenge for them. They explored the possibilities of different materials: wood, metal, leather, stone, natural fibres…, to get a closer approach to the essence of each object. They liked the honesty and simplicity of raw materials, which provides that cosy feeling to all their designs.

Not all the members participated in all the events.For example, at Salone Satellite 2012 only four of the six members decided to participate. Wow was not a studio but a collective, meaning that each one of the designers, designed and produced their own pieces. When Wow went to SaloneSatellite, Mariana Lerma and Monica Thurne designed ElBotijo for the SaloneSatellite Award together.

Their presentation on SaloneSatellite was a great success. Not only that they received the second prize but attract the attention of professionals. They exhibited functional products of small dimensions like chairs, tables, lamps.One of them was ‘Th-chair’ designed by Mónica Thurne. Its main feature was a seat composed of multiple sheets of corrugated cardboard with the contrast of the light structure made of minimal steel profiles. In the SaloneSatellite catalogue, they presented their sketches as a part of their creative process.

Cotito console table,designMicomoler Image courtesy Micomoler
Cotito console table, design Micomoler
Image courtesy Micomoler

Awarded product El Botijo is a useful product in everyday life with roots in the Spanish tradition. This product revived ancient function in a contemporary way. It is a special kind of ceramic vase with the function to cool tap water in a natural way (without a refrigerator). The cooling process comes from the characteristics of the material. The cooling process exists thanks to the energy exchange between the inside of the vase and water. Such naturally cooled water is much healthier for the user.

An individual El Botijo can be used in home, office, in any other space… 

The modernEl Botijo jars are smaller than traditional and their dimensions are adapted to modern living conditions.

The designers said they had never used ceramics before, so they worked with a sculptor to develop the prototype. The final product reflects the sense for detail and presence of the arts and crafts in the production process. with the promotion of the small-scale manufactures

 But this product has other advantages. It reduces power consumption, preserves the environment, and decreases global warming.

The same year, two members of Wow, Mariana Lerma and Monica Thurne decided to continue designing together but on a different basis. Wow has disappeared and Micomoler studio was born. The members of this studio were: Boris Miranzo Consuelo Duarte, Monica Thurneand  Mariana Lerma, young designers from different part of the world: Spain, France, Sweden.

Boris Miranzo is an Industrial Engineer who graduated from Universidad Antonio de Nebrija, with a Master’s Degree from ICAI Universidad Pontificia de Comillas. Consuelo Duarte is an Architect who graduated from Universidad CEU San Pablo. Monica Thurne and Mariana Lerma are Architects who graduated from Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid. 

Micomoler works as a studio, meaning that all the designs are designed and produced by all the team.They develop their own prototypes and self-produce the selected. Mariana and Monica developed the production of El Botijo as a Micomoler product, although it is the only product of Micomoler designed just by two of its members.

Dulerchair,designMicomoler Image courtesy Micomoler
Duler chair, design Micomoler
Image courtesy Micomoler

In 2012, Micomoler studio took part in other design exhibitions and events like ‘Hand in Hand’ exhibition at MadLab in Madrid, ‘Volume 1’ exhibition at What About Interior in Hambourg,‘Crafts R/Evolution’ at Fundesarte in Madrid.The same year they receive Salone Satellite Award 2012 (2nd prize) and were finalist at Homeless Design Competition 2012.

The members of Micomoler about themselves

  1. SaloneSatellite is an international event in the design world to help designers under-35s establish themselves in the industry.

What do you remember about your taking part in SaloneSatellite 2012?

We had already been in other fairs and exhibitions in Spain, but it was the first time we were taking part in an international show. When we first decided to participate in Salone Satellite we didn’t know there was a competition between the participants.

We have always looked for inspiration in tradition and crafts, so when we found out about the Salone Satellite Award, we decided to create an object linked to the tradition of our country with a new approach to its design. We made a botijo, which is a traditional ceramic vase that keeps water cool in a very clever way.

 We had never used ceramics before, so we worked with a sculptor to develop the prototype.

Quinquelamp,designMicomoler Image courtesy Micomoler
Quinque lamp, design Micomoler
Image courtesy Micomoler
  1. Started in 2010, the SaloneSatellite Award introduced a further opportunity to facilitate contact between young designers and businesses. With your “El Botijo Flask”, you were the Second Prize winner 2012.

Have the Award had much of an impact on your career? If so, how?

We would have never expected to win this prize. We felt both overwhelmed and honored and, at the fair, we ran out of business cards once the winners were announced.

It was published in media from all around the world, and after almost a decade we still have people contacting us after seeing it published somewhere. Winning this prize has definitely broughtus some good opportunities that we would have not had otherwise.

At the time we were very young and new to the business, so we got to learn a lot, especially about the press and the importance of having our work published.

  1. What is your opinion, why you received the Award? How your design was different from others and what additional values it carried?

We think we probably received the prize not only for the beauty or the design of the piece itself but also for its concept and our approach to the project, the story, the idea of creating a modern design based on a traditional object that works in a very particular and sustainable way.

Kali lamp,designMicomoler Image courtesy Micomoler
Kali lamp, design Micomoler
Image courtesy Micomoler
  1. What is most important in the process of development of the new product? 

Because we always work with independent craftsmen, one of the first things we have to take into account is the feasibility and sustainability of the design. This could be considered a handicap or a limitation by many, but we believe it is precisely this what makes our designs so special. We love that honesty in the materials and in the process that turns them into objects that anybody can relate to. 

  1. Design is very much connected to society and its changes. Today the changes are numerous: a new way of doing business, coronavirus pandemic conditions, circular economy… Designers have to look for solutions and responses to them.

Do you think that the role of the designer changed now and how?

We believe that the role of the designer is to always adapt to people's needs, and these needs are constantly changing, so we, as designers have to learn to understand them and fulfil them in the best way possible.

  1. Do you have any piece of advice for young designers entering the design world?

Believe in yourself, try to learn from the best (we mean not only designers but also craftsmen, artists...), explore new things, don’t be afraid to take risks, find your path and never give up!

Studio Micomoler in 2021

Micomoler members in 2021 still work together and cooperate whenever it's needed but at different levels. They c don’t work at Micomoler full time anymore. 

Boris Miranzo works in the automotive industry, Consuelo Duarte is the cofounder of Coolwork, an online platform dedicated to coworking spaces. Monica Thurne runs her own architectural practise while Mariana Lerma is now a graphic and web designer and developer. They still share the same interest in product design combining different ideas to become beautiful pieces of artwork.

Palo lamp,designMicomoler Image courtesy Micomoler
Palo lamp, design Micomoler
Image courtesy Micomoler

Their collection consists of small objects that are useful, honest, emotional, and enjoyable. Their products are useful because they best meet the needs of users, often as multifunctional objects. They are honest because they use natural materials, wood, marble, natural fibres... or their interesting combinations and express the beauty of colour, textures with the support of craftsmanship. They are emotional because arouse the emotions of users because they have roots in traditional objects or functions.

Their products are enjoyable because users love their design, shapes, clean lines, workmanship, a combination of traditional and modern and consider it a good design

Above all their products are environmentally friendly and always try to raise awareness of the importance of green alternatives.

Their designs have been featured in several blogs, online magazines, newspapers and paper magazines such as Elle, Elle Decor, Ondiseño, Neo2, Gioia, Dazed&Confused, TheMag 2013 and many more. Unfortunately, there is nothing new in their collection for a long time.

Palolamp,designMicomoler Image courtesy Micomoler
Palo lamp, design Micomoler
Image courtesy Micomoler

This post is the story of the SaloneSatellite award and how it provides a lot of good opportunities that a group of young, unknown designers would not otherwise have. It is an opportunity to learn about business, about the press and the importance of publishing a work in professional work. Such experiences are valuable regardless of whether the winners in future will continue to engage in design or some other activity.