design folio

Maison Martin Margiela in Milan

Claire Sullivan - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

One of our favourite visionary fashion designers Martin Margiela is making the obvious move into furniture and interiors with an installation at the Milan Salone. Margiela followers will be familiar with their clearly recognisable and often copied white interiors within their fashion boutiques. Their genius use of every version of white conceivable have produced some humorous and utterly unique interiors with ambience. It comes as not too much of a surprise then that after constant pressure from fans worldwide Maison Martin Margiela are taking on the world of interiors. 

The Milan installation as shown above is actually a recreation of the fashion houses interior design studio in Paris. Walking through the space this afternoon it's easy to get excited by their forthcoming range. Employing similar techniques that we've seen them use in their fashion lines such as screen printing, a range of rugs and wallpapers will carry images of french baroque doors and window frames, while a swiss ball is covered with small mirrors creating a sporty disco ball.

Further to the lines in development, Maison Margiela will also  offer their interior design services with the intension of working in projects such as hotels, bars and restaurants. 

Margiela's fashion line  is available locally at Zambesi. For more information on the interiors line go here.

Breakfast at Casa Armani

Claire Sullivan - Monday, April 20, 2009
Breakfast with Giorgio Armani is enough to get many a jaded  traveler out of bed early, us included. Armani Casa hosted the first press event  this morning in their flagship store on Via Manzoni.  The presentation was a welcome and glamourous start to what is being tipped as a potentially sombre fair this year. The global credit crisis had no place amongst the Armani Casa collection, that ironically takes its influences from the 1930s and 1940s. Armani showed a true understanding for the use of dramatic materials to create stunning outcomes, with pieces crafted from materials such as  lizard skin and shargreen. My personal favourites amongst the collection are the round side tables that house all the accoutrements one needs for creating the perfect cocktail, a definite must for curing financial woes. Armani Casa is available locally at Matisse.

Koncord Stool by Karim Rashid

Claire Sullivan - Monday, April 20, 2009

After the ubiquitous Bombo barstool over took  every New Zealand home, I was seriously turned off by barstools in general, particularly plastic ones. It's great then to see that Karim Rashid can attract my attention again to the ever handy barstool without drawing the same design references we are so tired of.  The Koncord stool, manufactured by Slide, has Rashid's trademark colourful and slightly futuristic touch.

Cosmic Leaf by Ross Lovegrove for Artemide

Claire Sullivan - Monday, April 20, 2009
British designer Ross Lovegrove's organically shaped Cosmic Leaf Light allows light to shine through a perforated  metal casing. Artemide is available locally here.

Tuyomyo by Frank Gehry for Emeco

Claire Sullivan - Monday, April 20, 2009

Frank Gehry has created a one off piece for aluminium company Emeco to be exhibited at the Milan Salone. Clearly reminiscent of one of the great architects many buildings, the bench is to be auctioned off for charity after the Fair, no doubt attracting huge interest from Gehry fans wanting a piece of the masters work.

The Vegetal Chair for Vitra

Claire Sullivan - Monday, April 20, 2009
In theory the Bouroullec brothers released the Vegetal chair for Vitra late in 2008. But for many, including us,  the Milan Salone will be their first look. Stackable and suitable for both indoors and out, the Vegetal chair is pretty clear about it's influences. Being manufactured by Vitra is a definite shortcut to icon status. Vitra is available locally here.

Industrial Landscapes by Josef Schulz

Claire Sullivan - Monday, April 20, 2009

German photographer Josef  Schulz makes the austere and industrial into beautiful works of photographic art. With a passion for images that depict long forgotten and rarely admired  landscapes, Schulz has a talent for making these everyday scenes into one of wonder. Check out more of his portfolio here.

Shigeru Ban for Artek

Claire Sullivan - Monday, April 20, 2009

Composed from recycled plastic and paper, Shigeru Ban's new furniture system for Artek is a perfect proposal for the minimal and sustainably conscious Finnish company. Ban, a Japanese architect, has created a modular system using L-shaped modules that can be joined together to create all manor of pieces.  

The inspiring work of Ryuji Nakamura

Claire Sullivan - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Japanese architect Ryuji Nakamura creates the most beautiful visions in white. The above installation titled Blossom is a series of stainless steel petals attached to the walls of a private dining room at a wedding venue in Japan. Simply divine.

The architect describes the Kuma Teddy Bear's purpose is to heal. One would imagine that creating this piece by hand using paper would require some healing of the mind once completed.

Both of the above chairs are also made from paper. I can't tell you if you can actually sit on either of these, but who cares they are so beautiful it doesn't matter.

The Aurora was designed as a private vip room within Japanese restaurant Matsumoto Nagano. For this installation Nakamura uses fabric draping techniques to create the effect of honeycomb on the ceiling. I adore all of the work by this young and talented architect. To learn more visit his website at

EggO House by A69 Architects

Claire Sullivan - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This recently completed house located in Prague is not what you expect to find in such a historical city. Designed around an enclosed central courtyard the home offers the owners complete privacy from the surrounding neighbourhood. Despite the buildings contemporary nature the architects have succeeded in producing a dwelling that fits subtly into the landscape.