Milan 2014: Spazio Rossana Orlandi

Located in a former tie factory on Via Matteo Bandello in the Magenta neighborhood of Milan, Spazio Rossana Orlandi is part design-shop, part gallery, part sun-dappled courtyard cafe – and it’s always a highlight of Milan Design Week.


Luca Nichetto collaborated with Russian-born, New York-based designer Lera Moiseeva to create Cheburashka for Dymov. The table set aims to enhance and reinterpret the ritual of sharing food. ‘Cheburashka’ is the ancient Russian word for the floats used by fishermen to support their fishing nets, referencing the hand-drawn net-shaped lines on the outside of the pots. It’s also the name of a big-eared Soviet Union children’s character who bears more than passing resemblance to the shape of the main container.


Another collaboration between Luca Nichetto and Lera Moiseeva, Sucabaruca, was also on show at the specially designed Walk The Line exhibition. Sucabaruca is a ceramic coffee set including three cups, a pot, and a filter, which are available in a variety of bright colors new for Milan, and a tray made from Canadian maple wood.


Klara Sumova describes Pail as “an imaginary anagram about the functions of the vessel for the water and the vessel for the flowers,” adding “I am imagining the vase full of the tulips.” The vases were showing as part of the Krehky Gallery‘s installation.


Jan Plecháč and Henry Wielgus created a minimalist swing with the aim of letting people set aside everyday problems for a little while, by bringing the nostalgia and airy lightness of childhood back into adults’ lives.


Czech designer Maxim Velčovský creates his Snow Vases by molding snow into the shape of vases and then casting them in plaster – he calls the technique “lost-snow casting”.


The Peacock Chair by Eiri Ota and Irene Gardpoit Chan from the Toronto-based design firm UUfie looked fantastic in the outdoor courtyard, but sadly I wasn’t allowed to sit in it and test it out. It is made from a single acrylic composite sheet.


Having met Floris Wubben in Eindhoven for Dutch Design Week, it was great to see him again in Milan with a new and improved ceramic extrusion machine for making these fabulous vases.


As well as their glassware at Wallpaper*Handmade, Scholten & Baijings had several pieces of work at Rossana Orlandi, showing a move away from their usual focus on color.


Solid Patterns comprised five stunning marble tables for the Italian company Luce di Carrara.

Rossana Orlandi

And the Elements series for new glassware brand J Hill’s Standard was an experiment in texture. Stefan Scholten said, “We thought the craft of the cutting was so strong, we said to each other, let’s focus on this first, and then maybe add color, but it was not necessary.”


J Hill’s Standard, which makes mouth-blown, hand-cut glass, was also launching the Cuttings Series by Martino Gamper.


The range was inspired by the time Gamper spent cutting glass with the J Hill’s Standard artisans in Ireland’s Waterford. “Unless you try things out, unless you’re willing to risk failure, you don’t learn anything new,” he said.


Beirut-based Bokja was founded in 2000 by Huda Baroudi and Maria Hibri. These inspiring ladies try to use their products as ‘rose-tinted’ glasses to help people overcome the difficulties they face in Lebanon. For Milan Design Week, alongside their furniture, they created a ‘tree of life’ and asked people to add ribbons with things that made them happy written on each one.


We spoke to Martino Gamper, Stefan Scholten, Huda Baroudi, and Maria Hibri about what it meant to them to be in Milan and the work they were showing.

Katie Treggiden is a purpose-driven journalist, author and, podcaster championing a circular approach to design – because Planet Earth needs better stories. She is also the founder and director of Making Design Circular, a program and membership community for designer-makers who want to join the circular economy. With 20 years' experience in the creative industries, she regularly contributes to publications such as The Guardian, Crafts Magazine and Monocle24 – as well as being Editor at Large for Design Milk. She is currently exploring the question ‘can craft save the world?’ through an emerging body of work that includes her fifth book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020), and a podcast, Circular with Katie Treggiden.