> posted by   on May 12th 2012

Milano 2012: Heavy craft

More and more students and designers are re-discovering the beauty of old crafts and industrial techniques. Working with material such as metal asks for heavy machinery, know-how and a well-equipped workshop.

Good examples of the real metallurgic work and processes are the series of chairs by Marlies van Putten from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (NL). Marlies experiments with process and material towards the creation of individuated furniture design pieces. Through a sand-casting technique, she creates aluminium chairs and tables with an organic-like appearance. Although the forms are repeatable, the physical process is not tightly controlled, so each piece is unique.


Another example of a new digital industrial revolution was taking place in full view of visitors. Tom Dixon had joined forces with giant machinery Trumpf to give birth to an extraordinary design project within a reconstructed 19th century railway station. Tom Dixon controlled two sheet metal machines, which punche and bent an exclusively designed Stamp chair and Stamp lamp live on-site. It was amazing to see these old and heavy machines and at the same time hear the cutting-edge technology of working with metal.


Also a good example of heavy craft is the work by Rita Botelho from ECAL/University of Art & Design Lausanne. Rita was one of the students that followed a workshop led by designer Ronan Bouroullec and glassblower Matteo Gonet as part of a research on glass by the Product Design Master programme. Rita made a metal construction/mould for her experiments with glass.


In addition, the kitchen system made by Lando and designed by Enzo Berti stands out with its strong sculptural impact, enhancing the retro look with real material (metal and wood). It’s almost like a custom-made kitchen with a focus on simplicity.



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