Five designs to see at “Masterly — The Dutch” as it returns to Fuorisalone 2021
The fifth edition showcase of the best in Dutch design exhibits artisanal craftsmanship in a series of otherworldly works.
When the fate of Milan Design Week was up in the air because of the pandemic, one particular event’s commitment was unwavering. Not even a global pandemic could get in the way of Masterly – The Dutch in Milano, which since 2016, has showcased the best design and artisan craftsmanship in the Netherlands.
For the event’s curator and founder Nicole Uniquole, this decision was based on her conviction that it is vital for Dutch designers and businesses to start showing their top products again in a live environment.
This year, the event returns with over 80 exhibitors, ranging from established brands and designers to new and emerging talents. Dutch design, art, craft, fashion and photography are all on display. There is also an impressive schedule of events open to the public including a lecture by Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde.
It takes place in the fully restored Palazzo Francesco Turati, which is decorated with installations including a series of soft foam outdoor furniture in the main courtyard designed to look like concrete by Cooloo. Upon entering, visitors are invited to explore a series of richly decorated spaces that promote a variety of approaches, styles, techniques and materials.
It’s the sort of event that only a visit can do justice to, but our curated selection of highlights is a great alternative…
(neo) moves by Jordan Artisan
(neo) moves is a series of unique and contemporary functional art pieces by Dutch artist Jordan Artisan. Inspired by neoclassical architecture, it features decorative columns, ornamental vases and a bench. It also includes a sculptural light that appears to draw from the exterior facade of a colosseum with a series of arches.
“Last year, Jordan’s focus broadened to another way of working with new materials; made from EPS, tile adhesive and mesh…This process is comparable with papermâché. Though not fragile but becoming strong as concrete. Layer on layer, repetitive motions to become versatile. Both sculpture and lamp, cabinet, sofa or vase.”
Bloomlight by VOUW
Inspired by the mesmerizing motion of grass in the wind, Bloomlight by Amsterdam-based studio VOUW addresses the issue of light pollution. Effectively a shapeshifting streetlight, the light is activated by movement, only turning on when necessary.
An installation featuring a series of them responds to visitors at Masterly like organic creatures. Each one curiously bends towards and approaches them to unfurl a bloom of soft light. As visitors walk away, Bloomlight returns to its original position and goes dark once more.
It works through a series of both low- and high-tech components, including a tall, bendable central tube and a series of steel wires that run over the 14-foot-tall light. These are connected to stepper motors, which then pull the wires and cause the structure to bend.
Discover more interesting projects presented at Milan Design Week, don’t miss Welcome to utopia: Vestre unveils Habitats collection in Milan.
Moving Bench by Close Act
Dutch company Close Act has created an interactive design object called “Moving Bench”. As its name implies, the design features a series of movable seats which operate on a conveyor-like structure with a curved form. There are fifteen seats in total, which users can slide together to create the required amount of seating.
Paper Clip Collection by Hans Endendijk
Inspired by the humble paperclip, the suspended back of the Paperclip Chair required the development of a new technique which furniture designer Hans Endendijk calls “Spanhout”. It combines separate Accoya Wood beams and strings them together like beads.
Steel cables are invisibly incorporated and perfectly tightened by Endendijk for the object to obtain its eventual shape. This technique enables the creation of strong, elegant and flexible furniture.
Elements of Time by Nynke Koster
Artist Nynke Koster presents a new series of limited edition seats as part of her Elements collection. Widely recognised when it was unveiled a few years ago, on the occasion of Masterly Milano – The Dutch Edition Koster has added several more architectural fragments including a stool in the style of decorative elements borrowed from Baroque ceilings and neoclassical structures.
“They are time, space and place transformed into soft elements to sit on,” the artist explains. “A place from elsewhere, with ornaments of the past, as a place for here and now. To give a new identity to the existing world surrounding us.”
Find out more about what is happening at Milan Design Week, don’t miss Alcova presents a design evolution in Milan.