As part of 5vie Design Week under Fuorisalone, German design editor pulpo is transforming a former financial institution into a showroom for its latest designs and products. Leaning into the space’s earlier identity, the event, titled pulpo L.O.V.E.BANK, marks the company’s first showing at Milan Design Week 2022, bringing together a scintillating list of items from its catalogue, particularly from collaborations with major players in the design world, including the likes of Sebastian Herkner, Studio BrichetZiegler, Julia Chiaramonti, Natascha Madeiski, and Visser & Meijwaard. On view from June 6-12 at the Piazza Affari on Via S Vittore Al Teatro 5, in Milan, Italy, the event also features a comprehensive sequence of talks, gatherings, and parties to supplement the main exhibition.
Following the press breakfast and official opening on the afternoon of June 6, pulpo’s showcase includes a talk by artist Julia Emslander, followed by opening events in the evening. Another opening event will take place in the evening on June 7 while a talk open to both the press and public is scheduled for the next day, featuring Robert Thiemann of FRAME in conversation with German designer Sebastian Herkner, London-based multidisciplinary artist Natascha Madeiski, and pulpo Co-Founder Patrick L’hoste. Evoking the aesthetic of a bank’s interior, the 300 sqm space serving as the scene for the exhibition “allows for the avantgarde brand to run wild, using rough and solid, yet shiny materials as a backdrop.” Additionally, the level below contains a hidden gem in the form of a secret underground vault with bright media installations to captivate the interest of attendees.
The array of design objects decorating the space includes Herkner’s imi – a handmade ceramic side table, named for the German minimalist artist Imi Knoebel. Consisting of two cylindrical volumes stacked atop one another, the simple yet refined design of each unique piece channels Herkner’s penchant for fusing craft with contemporary design sensibilities, featuring colourful glazes handpicked by the designer himself. Alongside this, Studio BrichetZiegler’s pilota low chair for pulpo will serve as a bold yet functional inclusion to the ensemble on display, consisting of two rolled, painted sheet metal shells, with an empty body covered by the seat and backrest. The chair’s frame has been assembled from powder-coated metal and can be upholstered in leather, corduroy, faux fur, or wool.
Paris-based designer Julia Chiaramonti’s tavolo due (tavolo2) dining table and tavolino due (tavolino2) side table will also adorn the interior of the bank-like space, with a base composed of either powder-coated or lacquered aluminium waves surmounted by a glass top. Driven by the distinctive materiality of its component elements, the avant-garde product design is a study in clean lines, exuding a subdued elegance.
Dutch design practice Visser & Meijwaard’s lyn cabinet series will also be exhibited within the space. Produced from float glass on a slender frame of powder-coated steel, the design embodies lightness and transparency. Doorless and exceedingly minimalist in appearance, the cabinets are a reflection of the designers’ desire to rethink established forms, conceptualised as a “graphic interplay between glass and metal frameworks”. Variations in lighting conditions and viewer perspectives generate morphing impressions of the piece, highlighting different details in each case.
In the realm of lighting design fixtures, Herkner’s oda + stripes lamp series – also on display at the event – evokes the form of a steel casting foundry, as captured on camera by the famous Dusseldorf Becher School of photography. A newer variant of the designer’s earlier oda lamp, oda + stripes has an intricate filigree with an interplay between colours, crafted using the old Filigrana glass blowing technique from hand blown glass with a steel frame to radiate different hues.
Furthermore, Natascha Madeiski’s flaming stars series of ceramic lights is a mashup of the bold Memphis Milano aesthetic and the music of Memphis, Tennessee’s most famous musical export – Elvis Presley. Crated from gloss glazed ceramic, each of the pieces have names inspired by the late musician’s greatest hits, including the models: king creole, kismet, lady madonna, little mama, little sister, long tall sally, and true love. Multicoloured designs with forms resembling found objects further enhance the connection to the iconic 1980s design movement – each item a unique manifestation of creative synergy.
Providing a detailed look into pulpo’s catalogue and the company’s fascination with ceramic and glass blowing traditions, pulpo L.O.V.E. B.A.N.K. is an impressive introduction for the design house to the vibrant landscape surrounding the festivities of Salone del Mobile.Milano.
STIR takes you on a Milanese sojourn! Experience Salone del Mobile and all the design districts – 5vie, Brera, Fuorisalone, Isola, Zona Tortona, and Durini – with us. STIR’s coverage of Milan Design Week 2022, Meanwhile in Milan showcases the best exhibits, moods, studios, events, and folks to look out for. We are also excited to announce our very own STIR press booth at Salone del Mobile – Hall 5/7 S.14, Fiera Milano RHO.