It was an absolute pleasure to be back at Milan Design Week, running 7-12 June 2022 having been postponed from its usual dates in April. A vast array of new rugs and inspiring design was to be found at Salone del Mobile and at venues across the city. Here we share some of the of the top rug content as seen IRL, with more to follow in the next issue of COVER magazine.
Design Variations at Circolo Filologico Milanese
Battilossi’s imposing installation, ‘The Hall of Supreme Harmony’ designed by Nicola Gallizia, featured its new capsule collection including four silk meditation mats and three large rugs which offer a contemporary take on the beauty and artistic mastery of an Imperial Chinese aesthetic. In the main space designed by Sebastian Herkner, Herkner’s own rug designes for M2Rugs grounded the displays of Thonet furniture.
Masterly: The Dutch in Milan
Contemporary coats of arms for four Italian cities—from the 21st Century Heraldry series by the graphic design studio 75b and made at the TexileLab in Tilburg—were on show in an exhibition of Dutch design at Palazzo Francesco Turati. In the tapestry Milano, there are more than 130 symbolic references to the city. Plus, Claudy Jongstra launched her WEVED fabric made from the waste wool which is a byproduct of Dutch farming. It has been used in furniture designed by Studio Floris Schoonderbeek and Regained.
At Salone, Kath’s son kept visitors riveted with his live weaving demonstration. Over at the Masterworks exhibition at Alberto Levi Gallery in Brera, four distinctive Jan Kath collections filled the space: East, Spectrum, Artworks and Heiter bis Wolkig.
A reusable stand design incorporated metres of hanging handwoven Verdi fabrics constructed from natural fibres, indigenous to the brand’s native Colombia, and metal thread. The maze-like route to the centre of ‘The Textile Labyrinth’ led visitors from translucent to opaque material options past clumps of raw bast fibre and sparkling metallic weavings.
Colombian brand Ames presented new rug designs by Sebastian Herkner inspired by a trip to the subterranean Zipaquira Cathedral, located in a former salt mine, and the shape of canal systems built by the Zenues people. A new rug designed by Mae Engelgeer combines wool and fique fibres in an unusual way.
Renowned for putting on a good show, Milanese cc-tapis did not disappoint the crowds, launching five new collections by five designer collaborators at its Duomo showroom and at Salone. New rug designs came courtesy of Odd Matter, Bethan Laura Wood, Duccio Maria Gambi, Patricia Urquiola and Mae Engelgeer.
The Re-Rug collection of flatweaves makes use of left-over yarn generated by Nanimarquina’s Indian producers; a fact illustrated by huge heaps of multicoloured yarn stacked in all corners of the company’s stand at Salone. Each Re-Rug uses 1kg of preprocessed wool per square metre. The brand was celebrating both its 35th anniversary and its recent Climate Neutral certification, and is working towards becoming carbon-negative in the near future.
The installation at Nilufar Depoy ‘Innesto (Rubbing up the wrong tree)’ showcased a new collection of carpets and furniture designed by Martino Gamper and curated by Nilufar’s founder, Nina Yashar. The title refers to the practice of grafting (innesto in Italian) when something new is grafted on to an existing plant, sometimes resulting in the growth of a specimen quite different from the original; A gardening practice which reflects Gamper’s artistic approach to design.
Four new rug collections stood out on the GAN stand, designed by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who is also responsible for the Goz Collection of flatweaves which incorporates different shaped wooden batons intended to be felt underfoot. Also, the modular Crochet Collection by Clara von Zweigbergk; Reversible by Charlotte Lancelot featuring double sided designs of wool and linen; and Plastic Rivers by Alvaro Catalán de Ocón which represents three of the world’s most polluted waterways.
Matter of Course, 5vie
Lyk Carpets was among those from the collective, made up of independent Berlin design studios, exhibiting at Via Cesare Correnti. In the courtyard, the Lebanese designer Richard Yasmine launched a series of woven and braided furniture Woven Whispers in ‘The City and the Tower’ installation intended as a ‘symbol of communication, solidarity, union and harmony between human beings and nations’.