Design events

Ventura Projects stood out, whether as a design district or integrated exhibition

Its dynamic curated format balances renowned designers with emerging talents, independent studios with established brands, design academies, galleries and institutions.

As the curtain comes down on the world’s largest design furniture fair, we see designers and passionates packing their luggages full of new sketches, notes, projects, dreams.

The trains leaved.

The streets are clear.

The city went back to reality.

Quickly, just as we are used at doing things.

This time more then ever, Milan’s craziest week saw Fuorisalone literally merging with the new quarters, with many locations becoming a co-protagonist of the event and even stealing the show from the products displayed.

Former industrial spaces, historical buildings usually closed to the public, hidden courtyards, artisan workshops and fashion showrooms went beyond the concept of background and interacted with their contents, becoming an installation within the installation.

Ventura knows better how to do it: curated areas that present the latest developments at the forefront of contemporary design, involving carefully selected exhibitions that also feature temporary initiatives, special projects and creative hospitality concepts.

Whether as a design district or integrated exhibition, Ventura Projects stood out with its focus on content, creativity and experimentation.

Its dynamic curated format balances renowned designers with emerging talents, independent studios with established brands, design academies, galleries and institutions.

Giants with Dwarf by Stephan Hürlemann _ Ventura Centrale
Giants with Dwarf by Stephan Hürlemann _ Ventura Centrale

Conceptual experiments are juxtaposed with professional presentations

As in the Giants with Dwarf, presented at Ventura Centrale, which for the second year opened the doors of a disused tunnel system underneath Milan Central Station.

The installation, awarded with the Milan Design Award in the Unicorn category, was developed by Swiss architect and designer Stephan Hürlemann for Horgenglarus, the oldest wooden chair and table manufacturer in Switzerland.

Seven wooden figures, up to three metres tall, have been created from chair and table parts from the company design archive and large traditional know-how in the processing of wood, which goes back more than a hundred years.

Hürlemann and his team left all the parts in the condition in which they found them, merely drilling holes so that they could be connected with cable ties.

By fixing the figures to the ceiling with wires, individual limbs of the figures can be moved by pulleys like marionettes, thus bringing them and the dwarf to life.

At Ventura Centrale visitors were challenged to view design from different perspectives, and participants were connected with others working beyond their own domain.

The Diner by David Rockwell _ Ventura Centrale
The Diner by David Rockwell _ Ventura Centrale

In line with the widening scope of design, the event open approach gave participants the flexibility to show their work off in a way that best suited their practice, as in the case of The Diner, a project wanted by the magazine Surface to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Celebrating American design presented as an unforgettable contemporary interpretation of the archetypal roadside restaurant, the installation immerses the visitors in four distinct environments that capture the american diner inherently optimistic and democratic spirit.

Drawing on an expertise in hospitality and set design, architect David Rockwell and his team used the rituals of The Diner as reference and departure points:

  • the entrance features fresh coffee and homestyle pie, while milkshakes and other classic diner fare are served in the East Coast-style luncheonette;
  • the journey continues in the Midwest, with a branded version of grilled cheese sandwiches, to end with laid-back West Coast lounge concept.

For seven consecutive days, The Diner has been a place to eat, relax, recharge, live the American dream and being captured by an endless appetite for openness, possibility and potential.

This year great novelty at Fuorisalone is called Ventura Future: after leaving the Lambrate district, Ventura moved the barycenter of his activity not only to Central Station, but also to a circuit of three new locations around the area.

The concept is still the same: a platform for emerging talents, independent projects, academies and thinkers, an avant-guarde hub that Bruno Munari, the main inspirator of the next project we are about to introduce you, would have particularly liked.

What then is this thing called Design if it is neither style nor applied art?

It is planning: the planning as objectively as possible of everything that goes to make up the surroundings and atmosphere in which men live today‘,

wrote the master of design, and Design SoilFantasia‘, a tribute to his masterpiece, declines this very concept introducing works generated from the observation of the daily routine, such as ‘a sheet music lampshade’ and ‘a bed in a plaza’.

quite by design soil _ fantasia _ ventura projects
Quiet humidifier by Yuya KOBAYASHI _ Design Soil _ Ventura Future
orb by design soil _ fantasia _ ventura projects
Orb parasol by Ryo KOTEGAWA _ Design Soil _ Ventura Future

Among the many interesting on show at Milan Design Week, and more specifically at Ventura Future 2018, the last two pieces we want to pay a special attention to are both chairs, realized with a special focus on materials.

The Gradient Tiles Chair by Philipp Aduatz was made using only construction materials, left over after the refurbishment of Aduatz’s studio which left him with numerous building materials unused.

The challenge to use materials which are designed for an application in a large scale for such a relatively small object brought him to adjust precision and technique.

The base frame of the chair is made from wood, covered with a brick fabric which in turn is covered on plaster, reinforced with glass fibre fabric; the chair was finished by the application of 10,000 tiles, applied by hand.

Gradient Tiles Chair by Philipp Aduatz _ Ventura Projects
Gradient Tiles Chair by Philipp Aduatz _ Ventura Future

The Pleated Seat is another beautiful example of the use of already existent materials and factory machines to produce a fresh new piece of design.

For this collection, Studio Joris De Groot was inspired by the construction of air filters made of different layers and materials, Colback in particular, whose structure and strenght was the key for the design.

Using existing industrial techniques in a new, interesting way and combining Colback with different and unusual materials, Joris De Groot found the right balance between visual impact, strength and tactility.

Pleated Seat by Studio Joris De Groot _ Ventura Projects
Pleated Seat by Studio Joris De Groot _ Ventura Future
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