Kartell Goes Bourgie

Schermata 2014-04-04 alle 14.59.26

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Bourgie is certainly one of the most recognizable lamps of the last decade—as well as one of the best sellers for famed Italian brand, Kartell. Designed by Ferruccio Laviani, its baroque allure masterfully meets the simplicity of a pure outline while dignifying plastic as an excellent design material.

The Bourgie is now celebrating its 10th anniversary, and Kartell has made the exciting decision to tap some of the most renowned international designers to re-conceive the lamp in tribute to its lasting design. The upshot is an impressive collection of 14 unique pieces, which will be unveiled in Paris on 23 January 2014, at Kartell’s flagship store. This will be the first in a series of international exhibitions that will go on throughout the year.

The “Kartell Goes Bourgie” project features Philippe Starck, who has gone for a fantastically over-the-top design in which the lamp’s base is almost entirely covered in a cascade of colorful paraphernalia. In contrast, Ludovica+Roberto Palomba reproduced a simple and delicate metallic structure which works with RGB-colored lights that give life to an impressive game of polychromatic shadows.

Some of the designers truly reinvented the Bourgie. Front Design‘s love of fluid and unconventional shapes is expressed by a deformation of a white Bourgie. Mario Bellini added a whole new function to the lamp and turned it into a hanger—complete with an umbrella stand. Patricia Urquiola‘s vision means Bourgie can finally fly and become a ceiling lamp, although created from the same components as the original.

Absolute simplicity is the cue for the reinterpretations realized by Christophe Pillet, Nendo, Tokujiin Yoshioka and Piero Lissoni, while other striking contributions from Alberto Meda, Lenny Kravitz, Eugeni Quitllet, Patrick Jouin and Rodolfo Dordoni will also delight viewers.

“Kartell Goes Bourgie” collection will be unveiled 23 January 2014 at Kartell’s Paris flagship store located at 242 Boulevard Saint Germain.

Kartell: The Culture of Plastics

Kartell-monograph-1-thumb-425x227-54124My new article for Cool Hunting

From the very beginning of Kartell‘s history plastic and design have been the mantra. Founded by Giulio Castelli, a chemical engineer, the Italian furniture brand is the most influential proponent of plastic industrial design, building a sizable following through quality production processes and design contribution by innovative designers. The homes of the 1960s and ’70s were very keen on accepting this experimentation and thus the company grew rapidly. Even though today Kartell is owned and directed by Claudio Luti, the founding ideals remain the same, making a strong argument for the chemical formula of success.

In order to celebrate this tradition Taschen has recently released a substantial, meticulously curated monograph entitled “Kartell: The Culture of Plastics.” The work of editor Hans Werner Holzwarth, professor of visual communications at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, and Elisa Storace, curator of the Kartell Museum, describes in its 400 pages more than 60 years of activity, nine Compasso D’Oro ADI awards and the colorful design icons created by the likes of Gae Aulenti, Joe ColomboPhilippe Starck, Vico Magistretti, Antonio Citterio, Ron Arad, Piero Lissoni, Ferruccio Laviani, Patricia Urquiola, Marcel Wanders and Tokujin Yoshioka, to name a few.

This self-proclaimed “big book of plastics” is strictly organized in chronological order, leading us through the astonishing shapes and space-age aesthetic of the ’60s, the experimentation of the ’70s, the almost subversive style of the ’80s, the “transparent revolution” of the ’90s and the sensorial approach of the last 10 years. Authors of the book include international design experts, museum directors, philosophers, journalists and artists such as Silvana Annicchiarico, Franca Sozzani, Gillo Dorfles, Deyan Sudjic, Chantal Hamaide, R. Craig Miller, Marie-Laure Jousset, Giovanni Odoni.

Kartell: The Culture of Plastics will be published on 1 March 2013 by Taschen in two editions, the first in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese and the second in English, French and German. The historic accuracy is also guaranteed by an index of each product and award. Find it from Taschen directly or pre-order on Amazon for $40.

Yellow Circuit

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During Milan’s recent Design Week, it was hard not to miss Veuve Clicquot’s presence in the city. Dubbing their project the Yellow Circuit, the revered champagne producers splashed their signature color in showrooms, exhibits and even on a trolley. Strategic partnerships included 20 hotels, lounges and bars around Milan, as well as design spaces like ComprexEdraKartellMDF Italia and Moroso.

Ubiquitous at all the venues was Clicq’d Up, a foldable champagne bucket designed by young Belgian designer Mathias van de Walle that was also the subject of most of the media buzz. Debuting as part of the design festivities, van de Walle based his innovative object on the idea of creating an origami structure full of ice—a combination of form, function and fun. The reusable bucket packs flat, making it easily transported, set up and stored.

A constant mobile presence as it made its rounds through the city, Clicquot On The Move turned a classic Milanese trolley into a roaming boutique, designed in partnership with ATM, the city’s public transport company. With stops in the center area between Piazza Castello and Piazza Fontana, passengers had the chance to enjoy sights alongside a Veuve Clicquot personal shopper.

La Rinascente Design Supermarket

Immagine 3-1

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The Design Supermarket, a new floor entirely devoted to design in its multiple expressions, debuted recently as part of Milanese shopping icon La Rinascente’s ongoing renovation. Over the past four years, international architects and designers such as Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Cibic & Partners, Dordoni Architetti, Vincent Van Duysen and Future Systems, have been transforming the seven-floor department store with the basement-level design shop as the latest facet of its reinvented identity.

Directly linked to the nearby Duomo metro station, the new space houses a wide range of products from microelectronics to lighting, technological gadgets to office accessories and kitchen and tableware to small pieces of furniture. Starting with objects for just a few Euro to several hundreds, the range of prices makes the store the perfect place for both a little souvenir and important gifts.

Claudio Silvestrin Giuliana Salmaso Architects designed the 2,000 square-meter space, which creates the contemporary equivalent of a city square. The perimeter hosts various shops within the shop, including Alessi, Conran Shop, Kartell, Georg Jensen, Tumi, Samsonite and Nespresso, while long white stands run along the center. The display closely recalls a museum, with hundreds of objects from more than 200 different brands.

Overall, the boutique feels airy and bright, inviting browsers to touch and experiment with all the objects, like in a real supermarket. In the center of the floor, a colorful and cozy cafeteria designed by Martino Berghinz stands in contrast with the rest of the space, lending a bold splash of purple and dark grey with furnishing and fifties-inspired graphics.