I was extremely honoured to have been selected by curator Marva Griffin to exhibit at the 18th edition of The Salone Satellite at The Milan Furniture Fair in April.
‘The SaloneSatellite was created in 1998 for the express purpose of bringing together, in the same place and time, the most promising young designers from all over the world with the most important business people and talent scouts gathered in Milan to visit or exhibit at the Salone del Mobile.’
To be exhibiting at The Milan Furniture Fair was a dream come true. I first visited the fair in my graduating year of 2012 and I promised myself the next time I came back, it would be to exhibit.
The ‘As if from nowhere…’ bookcase was also shortlisted for The Design Report Award. Among the jury of 6, was the curator of contemporary furniture at The Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Dr. Jana Scholze.
I spent 7 months preparing for Milan. And as the saying goes, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
But we got there in the end!
I arrived in Milan on the Sunday before the opening on Tuesday. My furniture beat me to Milan and was waiting for me at the Fairgrounds when I arrived. On Monday morning we began the all day set up.
There was an incredible buzz being ‘back stage’ at such a remarkable event. All the major brands had massive installations to set up which was mind-boggling to see and there was music blasting through the Fairgrounds to keep everyone motivated as we all worked on setting up our spaces!
Each day would be an early start to get to the fairgrounds and make sure the stand was looking well before the public entered. The day was spent demonstrating the bookcase and talking to a range of people from press to designers and architects, retailers, general public and visiting students. The fair welcomed 310,840 visitors during the 6 days.
We realised very early on that perhaps a video on a loop might have been a good idea. People passing by thought it was just a colourful bookcase until they saw the furniture could be taken out, needless to say the team and myself got quite a workout demonstrating the furniture.
I would love to have a number on how many times the furniture was taken out and then put back in!
I used the evenings to see some other events, as I didn’t see far beyond my stand during the day.
I loved visiting Designjunction as I am exhibiting with them at London Design Week in September. While at their opening party I met Tom Dixon and I got to see his band Rough play!
I also got to meet Ron Arad which was amazing because in Design School I was made to draw his ‘Well Tempered Chair’ over and over until I got the shading just right. When I met him I told him this…
It was sad for the week in Milan to end. It was incredible to show the collection and see the reaction. Many times I would take out all the chairs and tables and I got an applause!
Other times people would come up to me to say, ‘I saw this on Pinterest’ or ‘I shared this on Facebook’ and they insisted on getting pictures so they could show their friends they had seen it.
People were so happy and their reaction was a mix of surprise, smiles and laughter, which was my intention designing this piece. It was a marvelous week.
Until next year Milano x