Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Milan Celebrates Us; It Was London's Talented New Designers Who Shone the Brightest at the Milan Furniture Fair. Barbara Chandler Brings Back the News

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Milan Celebrates Us; It Was London's Talented New Designers Who Shone the Brightest at the Milan Furniture Fair. Barbara Chandler Brings Back the News

Article excerpt

Byline: BARBARA CHANDLER

MILAN was manic last month as the world's most famous furniture fair spawned satellite events all over the exciting Italian city.

Design addicts seeking new trends buzzed around endless shows, shops and installations.

London bubbled up all over the place - not surprising, considering our deep pool of forceful creative energy. Milan is the springboard for a global market, and products from famous British architects and designers lit up the town. But Milan's most innovative design splashes were not necessarily by stellar names, but from a success-hungry tribe of young London designers showing their work in Salone Satellite, the bustling section for new talent.

Many were helped by Hidden Art, the Hackney-based promoter of new talent.

David Henrichs cuts and punches lamp shades from single sheets of card, with original and weird-butwonderful insect-like forms. Jake Phipps folds metal into a strong compact triangular stool. Giles Miller subverts and prints simple corrugated card into screens, tables and lights of delicate baroque beauty.

Laser-sintering enables Timothy Schreiber to make a moulded chair, with a rib-like structure, in one piece. Origami tables by cousins Anthony Dickens and Tony Wilson have clever slot-together metal bases visible through glass tops.

In the fair's furniture halls, some big-name Italian brands abandoned taste for kitsch. By contrast, London's design veteran Sheridan Coakley showed solid-timber furniture in quiet good taste, reminiscent of a new Arts & Crafts movement. This was for brand SCP, and his Shoreditch shop, Case.

Coakley has been carrying the cudgels for British design in Milan for 21 years, and this was his strongest offer to date. Matthew Hilton has worked with him from the beginning, refining his meticulous modernity in new designs in solid oak and simple upholstery. New names in the Coakley coterie include Russell Pinch, who fashions oak into original furniture that never forgets its function; and RCA graduate Donna Wilson, who has knitted the multicoloured diamond patchwork cover for an upholstered stool.

But young Britain's Milan design forte was a Day of Design in the British Council's palazzo apartment. …

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