New voices at Milan Salone del Mobile

Amidst the wealth of exhibits dotted around Milan was an exciting collection fusing the work of students, graduates and the market place. A large industrial space off the Ventura Lambrate district became the temporary exhibition space for the Royal College of Art’s Intent, as part of this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan.

Curated by product designer and college tutor Onkar Kular, RCA Intent is based around the concept of camping, housed within and around five colourful tents in this large space decorated by textiles from Danish firm Kvadrat.

Intent included work by over 40 design products masters students and graduates, as well as work from a new college initiative called Design Products Collection. In addition there was a small selection of work by RCA textiles students, showing interior design products.

Highlights included Plytube stools by recent graduates Seongyong Lee. Recently nominated for the Brit Insurance Design award, this lightweight stool has been constructed from innovative tubes of wood veneer.

Another recent graduate We Do Studio installed a bag-making machine to create limited-edition Kvadrat fabric bags for visitors to take away with them.

Others included Yiting Cheng’s Secret Stash furniture containing cleverly hidden draws and panels to stow away secret possessions, and Iain Howlett’s colourful tables made from paper pulp.

RCA used the Milan Furniture Fair to internationally launch The Design Products Collection – the initiative helps graduates and department faculty make their design proposals commercially viable.

This collection featured fourteen products by thirteen designers including a cardboard table by El Ultimo Grito, a stool by Oscar Narud from Okay Studio, and the In-betweening Clock by Hye-Yeon Park – another Brit Insurance Design nominee.

Tord Boontje and Gareth Williams personally selected the designs and called it ‘First Hand’ because it gives buyers direct access to new design concepts, innovative craft-making and applications of technology.

To see the Design Products Collection in full here.

Guest blogger Sean Jackson

Salone del Mobile is a yearly event held at various venues around Milan from 12-17 April.

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