A Walk Through Zona Tortona Fuorisalone 2015: Insight From a Product Design Student

Reporting a Walk Along Via Tortona, Between Exposures of Fuorisalone Fot The Milan Design Week. Self-productions and Big Brands, Exhibitions and Temporary Shop: An Afternoon About Creativity

Since the top of the bridge on the rails you can feel a strange vibration: creativity invades everything, the walls, the voices and people are different from the slumber of Pt.Genova metro station. For many years now Zona Tortona remains the reference point for those who want to experience the Design Week in the most intense and enjoyable way. For those who Brera is too elegant and Ventura-Lambrate is not so Italian. The street looks so noisy and a bit dirty, but the content located in the inner courtyards and industrial spaces is of the highest level.The Officina 14 courtyard hosts a bit of everything, but I remain astonished in front of the complex beauty of a couple of mountain bikes customized at their antipodes. The Urban version reminds me some old Harleys, not only for the aesthetic references, but also looking at driving posture. His alter ego is an hardcore version: a special vehicle for eclectic people, dedicated to practice in extreme environments such as sand and snow, depending on the tires. The design of the rims is pretty weird: the resistant air chamber under the pressure of the weight can leak outside the circular holes. In this way, the ride has an additional shock absorption, greater driving comfort, as well as an appealing bicolor aesthetic. Nimbly would exceed even the worst pave Milan. Across the courtyard, euphoric boys paint skateboards and speak loudly of their projects: are the founders of Overdrive. Clothing, accessories and custom longboards. Their stand is very dense and borders with a company making outdoor seating, but their products have a completely different style. They organize workshops and interactive games but I was enchanted by the simplicity of their backpacks. The high quality of the materials is immediately perceptible, and although the bag formula seems obsolete, this year at Fuorisalone were so many to propose a revision and I have to say that the version Overdrive can be considered the best. The bottom made of leather, the material used by the majority of competitors, brings elegance and protection while the rest of the bag is in fabric. The cloth promises endless combinations between patterns and the color of the skin, offering the lowest prices of the category thanks to the use of poor material.Inside the workshop there is a wide choice of accessories and jewelry, but then I hit the Home Mocassin, a colorful footwear in colored felt created to use at home. Product parts are joined by reversible zip: this little trick adds fun to the user experience. Home Mocassin is sold in a strange bucket packaging containing separated components and, when opened, provides instructions for the assembly. We hope that Ikea does not steal the idea.Getting back on the busy street, I remain fascinated by the showcase of Spazio K which this year hosts IF Bags. If Bags is a young company that makes bags, backpacks and travel accessories. After seeing the great wall of duffel bags I dwell on small but original accessories that are, in my opinion, the strength of this company. They use natural materials and looking at showcase I see a card case covered in leather with wood interior. Elegant solution and not taken for granted. The wood greatly limit deformations, protecting from the folds and damages your tickets and credit cards.If Bags stands out with a very colored stand attractive for the younger generation, but for sure their work not only enhances the aesthetics. The cork clutch bag is another effective application of their thinking: the plastic interior offers wear resistance over time and an external layer of cork gives impermeability, protection from high temperatures and a very special feeling to the touch. In a period like this where nature is always mentioned, using the cork seems brilliant to me: I will not be the only one to think so since many have decided to use this versatile material in many different uses.It is lunchtime when we are close to the Tortona-Bergognone roundabout entirely occupied by the bright exhibition Microsoft, with a set of panels that advertises their operating system, now more and more like the mobile version. At the bottom, you can see the new models of Lumia smartphones series. Hunger increases and, attracted by shimmering Mini Coopers decided to enter their space. To my surprise, the car brand greets me with so many strange installations, but the project that struck me most was the meal zone. Part of the former Ansaldo industrial area were in white tiles, now converted to restaurant serving tasty dishes designed by chef Corrado Calza. The Dairy Co., as well as having a gourmet menu of all respect, serves its meals in colored plastic boxes, easy to grip and above all perfectly stackable, creating a colorful wall on white background. Nice glance.Going straight across the roundabout the imposing entrances of the Design Center is on the right and this year hosts, among other things, the France Design exhibition: a selection of products with a high level of design, developed in the transalpine country. Clothing, kitchen utensils, sports equipment, cars, but across the room, on a raised stage, stand in honor of the 80th anniversary of the Chaise A, Tolix was king. Some special editions for the occasion were commissioned to various designers, but the most interesting to me was that raw unpainted model. Its industrial matte look hides a high precision cutting and welding of components, revealing the honest elegance of stainless steel.Continuing on Via Tortona you cannot get in the gardens outside the Superstudio, even just for a walk. Always full of good taste, the Superstudio headquarters have long been the undisputed protagonist of the Fuorisalone in Zona Tortona. This year the main exhibition is called Material Village and is home for many companies active in the application of the new generation materials. From carbon fiber to polymeric materials, from cement to new ecological breathable films: besides all this stuff, there is still space for emerging designers to display their creations. A perfect example is Izabela Boloz, Polish artist and designer who presents its new line of outdoor furniture: she calls it Intersections and is a series of modular colored seating. Each shape slides into the other and form and colour meet and interweave. Together the shapes create sculptural urban furniture that can function both as a place to sit as well as a place for spontaneous play, inviting different generations to come together.In another Superstudio building, I met a special company that has the aim to interpret and recall in a modern way styles and habits typical of our country. I am talking about LetteraG, a company active in the furniture market, which uses popular materials often combining advanced manufacturing techniques. The series of tables Merlot, for example, are in painted white metal but finished with laser cutting. The result is very powerful from the eyes of an Italian: the crocheted doily table is a sterotype in the popular imagination of the decoration in the homes of our grandparents. In this case, clear customs in modern form, and not casually was placed on the edge of the table, as if about to fall to the ground: metaphor for the passing of the time.Along with many other products, Letter G leads to Fuorisalone a chair that could have great success in the coming years, the Moodern. It is a chair shaped in a very conventional and familiar way, but this time the company has been able to give a benefit, combining painted steel rod for the structure and methacrylate bi-sanded with polished edge for the seat and back surfaces. The set of chairs is fun and not obvious at all, result definitely deserved thanks to the excellent work done during the design process.Before leaving the Superstudio I stopped at My Own Gallery, a space dedicated to artists and interior designers who want to express their creativity by furnishing and decorating the environment. This week, Gisella Borioli and Lella Valtorta, who called the show “Collective - Dialogues between art and design”, have edited the space. Artists and companies worked in partnership with them and I have decided to capture this set of wrought iron tables and copper taken from Piazza di Spagna 9 collection, high level all-inclusive rental home service, but also showroom for some brands in luxury design. The grid form can be definitely considered a trend in this Fuorisalone 2015, and in this case lightens the use of ferrous material, giving the whole a rough effect but at the same time valuable thanks to the copper.On the other side of the building there is a zone dedicated to a selection promoted by Archiproducts, providing the opportunity to Dsignedby exposing some products. I fell immediately in love with the fluidity of the bottom and the perfect combination of materials, though so different, Table Table T. It is an excellence of furniture design as a winner of the prestigious 2014-2015 A 'Design Award in Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design. His legs pointed express extreme modernity thanks to copper grid that intersects the base of the table. Smooth as silk.Back on the road, continue in west direction to the entrance of the Opificio 31, large space with many installations also from overseas places. There are selections of Brazilian and Irish design together with industrial corporations like the PSA group that on this occasion promotes the Peugeot brand with a super technology food truck.Enrico Cassina, leader in door handles, introduce the new line Pop Gum, transparent, colored, interchangeable PVC knobs. The concept is that you can change the color of the knob depending on the environment in which you use. The knobs Pop Gum can be defined innovative because with so little space you can bring a highly notable touch of color, becoming effective tool for anyone who works in interior design, especially in places with frequent replacement of assets such as offices and shops.It seems that everything is over, but a few tens of meters after there is the great Padiglione Visconti which houses the Tokyo Design Week, coming away from the Rising Sun land with the best of his students, creative and award winners. The upper floor has a Manga influences art exhibition, while the ground floor is full of products with a high rate of innovation. Video games, Internet of things and video mappings, but some features such as Nukumori incandescent lamps flush designed by Shinya Yoshida: obsolete technology, but are very popular these days at the show. Thanks to a wooden base and a crystal-clear glass for the bulb, the minimalism typical of the Japanese managed to compose an elegant table lamp that seems to keep levitating light source. Can be also used as a pendant from the ceiling. Much more modern this another example, very similar to the lamp Luctra produced by Durable. Compared to the product German winner of the Red Dot Award 2015, the design of this Alair produced by Grand Fujisash looks even cleaner, perhaps due to the absence of a control buttons panel. There is only one key and that’s the on/off one. Easy.Among the furnishings of the Japanese festival, Heart Egg was definitely the most photographed: it is a bionic heart built with recycled materials. The shell of the heart is made of the same cardboard of the eggs packaging, while inside there is a thick sheet of plexiglass, with a hearts pattern printed above, illuminated by LEDs hidden below. Some details reminded me of Blade Runner: at least would be fine in a film set for sure. I decide to push my walk to the edge of the area and find myself on the top spot marked on the official map: the NHow Hotel. Here a number of companies works on fabrics and decorations (a little 'too flashy in my opinion), find themselves sharing space with one of the most innovative companies of outdoor textiles. The GoreTex is famous for water resistance and breathability that makes it a winning choice for manufacturers of technical equipment, especially in winter sports. This year the promoted the use of their products also in the footwear, and among the many models present, the Asics Gel Lyte V seemed to me the top listed. I think an excellent classic running shoe sewn of GoreTex could candidate to be the most functional city shoe ever. Very good job Asics, but selling it only in Us and Japan I think is a pity. Returning to Pt.Genova passing through Via Savona that hosting some big names in interior design and home appliances, I decided to see the exhibit that the CNA for the occasion. Start up for rapid prototyping and a new automated system to move your TV easily with a remote control are the house specialties. Felt very tired I decide to go home, but that last stand led me to put my hand to the camera again: I'm talking about Stone Island, made in Italy brand, leading innovative, quality urban fashion. Some employees guided me on a tour through the history of the brand and their design guru Massimo Osti, prophet of urban fashion, designer of garments that have shaped the history of this sector. Reflective Research is the name of the exhibition and brings together the old models and prototypes taken from warehouses of Stone Island, characterized by their reflectance. Serious technology for 1992.Exerpt:Since the top of the bridge on the rails you can feel a strange vibration: creativity invades everything, the walls, the voices and people are different from the slumber of Pt.Genova metro station. For many years now Zona Tortona remains the reference point for those who want to experience the Design Week in the most intense and enjoyable way. For those who Brera is too elegant and Ventura-Lambrate is not so Italian. The street looks so noisy and a bit dirty, but the content located in the inner..

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