The Hidden Art showcase featuring the work of seven East London designers at this year’s Milan Furniture Fair was a great success for all concerned and generated a wave of interest from manufacturers, buyers, architects and designers from around the world. The exhibition also received considerable media coverage with articles in Italian Elle Deco, Interni and several Japanese design magazines.
In addition to the main event in the huge Fiera di Milano exhibition halls, the fair spread across the whole of the city with more than 2,000 exhibitors displaying the latest cutting-edge designs in the furniture and interiors industry and attracted well over 250,000 visitors from around the world.
The Hidden Art in Milan showcase was highlighted at Designconnection 2003 in Superstudio 13, based in the ‘Zona Tortona’ one of the key fringe areas of the fair which also included Superstudio Piu, showcasing Cappellini, Tom Dixon, Magis and other design luminaries.
The seven East London designers were promoted under the collective banner of ‘Hidden Art’ and are all participants in Mazorca Projects’ Design and Manufacture Project which enables designers to develop and showcase prototypes with the aim of full production. They are:
bdm Design – contemporary furniture and interior accessories
Dominic Crinson – digital ceramic tiles, wallpaper and vinyl flooring
Damdesign – furniture, lighting and accessories
Andrew Davies – furniture and product design
Frank – furniture and interiors design practice
Corinna Julnes – lighting and furniture
François Lefranc furniture, lighting and accessories
As a result of their participation in the Design and Manufacture Project several designers developed new work for Milan with UK-based manufacturing companies.
Mazorca Projects took seven East London designers to the fair and promoted their work under the collective banner of ‘Hidden Art’. The Hidden Art showcase was highlighted at Designconnection 2003 in Superstudio 13 as part of ‘Zona Tortona’. This is one of the most important fringe areas in Milan – most famous for Superstudio Piu – the venue used by Cappellini. For address, opening hours and transport details see Superstudio 13.
All the designers exhibited as part of Mazorca Projects’ Design and Manufacture Project which enabled participants to develop prototypes with the aim of full production (see Exhibitors page left).
Visitors who were unable to attend the Milan Furniture Fair had the opportunity to visit the Hidden Art in Milan exhibition when it transfered to London on 28 April.Mazorca Projects’ mission is to promote East London design on a global level, therefore Milan provided a great opportunity to develop links with manufacturing companies and to generate further international opportunities for Hidden Art designer-makers.
Hidden Art Bursaries for Milan 2003
In addition to the Hidden Art in Milan exhibition, Mazorca Projects also assigned twenty bursaries to enable other Hidden Art members to attend and exhibit at the Milan Furniture Fair.
Contemporary furniture and interior accessories range. Projects to commission for private/contract clients and design consultancy for manufacturers. bdm design is currently working with www.hitchmylius.co.uk>>on an upholstered lounge chair. The new product launched in Milan, ‘TONDINO’, is a modular bench designed for the contract market. Leather accesories by Ignacio & Corral and metal manufacturing by Cameron Engineering Services Ltd.
Dominic Crinson specializes in the design of digital ceramic tiles, digital wallpaper, digital flooring and other digital coverings. For Milan Dominic collaborated with Formica European transferring his designs onto new surfacing.
Damdesign presented a new range of contemporary lighting in rattan developed for Heathfield & Company. Milan also marked the launch of ‘Trio’ a range of furniture and lighting designs in tubular steel for the contract and domestic market. Damdesign also offer a bespoke consultancy service producing one-offs and contract furnishings.
Damdesign also designed the Hidden Art exhibition space in Milan, which has been recreated in East London’s Furniture Works.
Andrew Davies, a design consultant works for both the furniture and product market. In Milan Andrew exhibited ‘Open’ his new shelving system (utlizing surface material from Formica) ‘Pickle’ a mutlifunctional children’s table, and ‘Foot’ a vase exploring the spatial relationship between flower and receptical. In May 2002 his new seating system ‘Lofa’ was launched by Habitat.
Frank is a furniture and interior design practice. Whilst designing for manufacture they also undertake commissions for private and contract clients. Franks’ new ‘Tuber’ vase series focuses on the manipulation of laboratory glassware and has been developed with scientific glass company Axa Ltd. They are also working with 2pm Ltd on new lighting designs.
Corinna Julnes, acrylic lighting and furniture designer, developed the production of two lights for Milan. The ‘Club Light’ features a vacuum formed panel produced by Jilks Plastics Ltd and the ‘Laminar Light’ is part of an ongoing project to develop the technique of printing onto acrylic and incorporates a printed panel by Adelphi Graphics Ltd. Both lights are made with fittings that are specifically manufactured by Davis Cash & Co Ltd.
Francois Lefranc is a furniture and lighting designer who presented the Spin rocking chair at Milan. This has a bent steel frame developed with Cameron Engineering Services Ltd and a soft upholstered seat made by Velaton Ltd.