Salone Del Mobile 2006

by , 19.04.2006

Street Performance, Any Any
Old furniture, namely wooden chairs and tables are stacked high up on top of a truck that moves around the city from one design venue to another, a few Japanese in white worker jump suits sit atop looking down to the crowd or traffic surrounding them, you have no idea what they're doing, why they're there, but the sight of such installation gives you a giggle. Amidst a city currently obsessed with more products as if we don't already have enough of them, there's a truck full of perfectly functioning but forgotten furniture parked right outside the venues. One could make all kinds of presumptuous statement about what this group of Japanese designer punks are doing, but the they left it up to the viewer to interpret their meaning -- cheeky or serious, and it's probably best that way.

  

http://www.anyany.jp

***

Drive by Design -- Natwerk
Instead of renting booths or opt for a gallery space, these Dutch guys (them clever Dutch!) go around the city showcasing their inventions in their converted car. Last year, I spotted them outside of the fairgrounds on a large converted van, this year they converted a mini to fit into the small streets of Milan. The presentation of their products are a performance of sort, as the guy constantly demonstrate how their clever little products work. For example, a light bulb that plugs straight into the socket, adjustable candle holder for various size candles, a lamp made out of two ceramic plates, etc.

And this silly stirring machine is quite funny: you put your cup onto the designated spot along with your spoon, turn on the machine and it turns your spoon to stir the content of your cup. I guess through magnetic force of some kind. No one will ever need one, but we all love useless inventive gadgets, don't we?

http://www.natwerk.nl

***

Thorsten Van Elten
And speaking of the clever Dutch, Thorsten Van Elten studio presented a whole slew of their products, but these two tickled my eye for being so catchy:

A fruit bowl/tray called Still Life:

A mock decorative center piece made out of melted plastic toy soldiers, War Bowl:

http://www.thorstenvanelten.com

***

Susumu Shingu for Teuco
Teuco, a hi-end bathroom product company commissioned Susumu Shingu, Japanese kinetic artist, for a piece to exhibit at Le Triannale. Personally I found the events at Le Triannale to be rather mediocre, with the exception of this kinetic fountain by Shingu and the Japan Good Design Award showcase. In the midst of seeing too-many-plastic-products, this fountain was mesmerizing and very calming in its serenity.

short video:

(more to come...)

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