| MOROSO / MILAN INTERNATIONAL FURNITURE FAIR 2007
Moroso is an open-minded company - buoyant, curious, courageous.
Many keys to interpretation, can be used to describe the activity of Moroso. It can be recounted through the designers, research, technologies, materials, product types, experiments, idioms, influences by art and other creative arenas and the commercial daring.
An all-round company with the courage to take up the challenge at all times, concerned with placing great importance on young designers and successfully achieving considerable commercial results with undeniable and amazing growth.
The choice of an international team of designers whose origins range from northern Europe to the Mediterranean basin, from the Middle to the Far East (in pursuit of new design inputs that join up different cultures and lifestyles) feeds and enriches the company's know-how which, through exchange and dialogue, is constantly renewed.
To highlight its globality, this year at the Milan fair Moroso is to present many different products of great personality, the result of specific research expressed in many styles set within a space designed by Patricia Urquiola with Martino Berghinz. The exhibition stand is broken up geometrically by the volumes which are seen to float above the products. Thus luminous partitions are formed in which the expressions of the various designers are combined, forming new furnishing solutions. White makes the atmosphere neutral, allowing full freedom for the product colour schemes, while the shapes and volumes suggest to the public how to use space.
Patricia Urquiola, Spanish by birth yet Milanese by adoption, designed the Volant - sofa, armchair, chair and stool - with a totally new concept. A further step forwards in the development of upholstered furniture where the covers are the true stars. She plays with fabric which, worked with unique sartorial skill, creates the object, designs its shape and makes it precious. It becomes a magnificent outfit, not only a cover but also an element of perception and definition of the design which uses the base to transform itself and give life to three different versions, from the simplest to the most spectacular. Urquiola's idiom is feminine, profound and never banal.
Seeking a new form for a non-upholstered seat, a lounge chair or chaiselongue, the Antibodi by Patricia Urquiola develops from the "cellular" genesis of petals sewn triangularly to form generous shapes. The petals are in two layers of material and are slightly padded, to create load supporting upholstery, later attached to a chromed or painted metal frame. The upholstery takes on a double function, with the petals turned upwards for a more eccentric and decorative version and with the petals turned downwards for a deliberately severe and matelassť look. The double face is proposed here in black and white or in natural, combined with highly coloured patchwork. The more luxury versions in wool or leather are joined by a new, more accessible type, in which the modules that make up the seat are in a thermoformed material.
To underline Moroso's idea of proposing an actual "Moroso lifestyle" and to add to the ranges of furnishing accessories for the home, the new design proposals include the B Side bookcase by Patricia Urquiola.
It is an extremely sophisticated, chic bookcase, lightweight and modular, which allows you to play with the shape. The MDF shelves with black or white lacquer finish are designed like trays with the edges raised and asymmetrical. They can be used from one side and from the other according to the intended use. If used with the higher edge they can serve as containers, with the lower edge they can hold books.
Ron Arad, who lives and works in London, also handles upholstered products, concentrating in particular on the shapes and mouldability of the materials. Each design represents a real challenge of feasibility. Ron Arad has designed Misfits, a modular seating system for endless combinations. The shapes mould the material almost as if they were sculptures, the lines are sinuous, fluid and flexible.
Always playing with lines and with the potential of the materials, Ron Arad has introduced Wavy, a sinuous chair in which plastic plays a leading role and which Moroso has introduced into its catalogue, interpreting it and each time presenting it in a different way. It is a project that involves the construction of a complex mould that gives the plastic unusual characteristics such as softness and ductility. Used like a fabric, it is lightweight, with an unusual yielding and bending effect, and is combined with a structure in metal.
A different approach to the same material by Ross Lovegrove, a true Welshman, which has led to the development of the Supernatural Armchair. Lovegrove in his designs explores the creation of organic and sculptural forms using the most sophisticated technologies. The form is set free from the material and the object is born spontaneously, following the natural flow inside the mould. The "intelligent" objects are the result of a scientific and technological process combined with in-depth aesthetic and lyrical exploration. In the small armchair version the Supernatural Armchair, is the development of the chair and is the result of injection moulding of polypropylene reinforced with glass fibre and gas moulding. Te design of the armchair came from the study of the natural shape created from the flow of material inside the mould. The holes, in addition to their decorative function and a multi-sensorial effect created by the fascinating play of shadows, are necessary for liberating the shape, eliminating surplus material. The structure that is created is "intelligent", lightweight and basic and the armchair gains greater features of comfort, elasticity, strength and stackability.
To complete the family Ross Lovegrove has also designed the Supernatural Table, ideal for both indoors and outdoors, in polypropylene reinforced with glass fibre produced by injection moulding. It has a simple and minimalist design and consists of a single body with square top, supported by a central leg. It follows the rules of a new aesthetic code that references the structural shapes of plastic.
Poetry too for Japan's Toshiyuki Kita, whose take on upholstery is highly personal. Kita designed Saruyama Islands, many independent land masses whose geomorphic shapes force us towards a free interpretation of use. A cultural mix of oriental and western that compels us to rethink the way in which we sit on a sofa rather than on an armchair. The first Saruyama, with its geomorphic shape, an extraordinarily lyrical object, is made up of three modules which, joined together, form a large circular island, different one from the other to suggest a free interpretation of seating.
The successful partnership, set up last year, between Moroso and Tomita Kazuhiko, designer of the Ukiyo tables, continues. Mikado is a stool where the mono connection is provided by the metal stem that connects the seat and footrest. The beauty of this item lies in its extreme simplicity and in the contrast between the solid space of the seat, decorated with Japanese kimono fabrics, and the empty space of the footrest, defined by a single-colour metal structure, with a rectangular shape.
A different design approach for Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien, chosen by Moroso again in search of fresh ideas on new furnishing concepts.
This duo (she's Indian and he's English) base their work on the mix of the and rigidity, patterns of colours and a single colour. With Moroso they propose Charpoy, an unusual object, neither bed nor sofa nor armchair and a courageous idea that allows freedom of interpretation, a precious product with its hand embroidery embellishment. It is a stool that incorporates opposing qualities, solid and empty, softness
Diversity and contraposition also in Shitake, which means "bench of the elves", the irreverent and eccentric design by the Dutch Marcel Wanders. With he Moroso has experimented the potential of technology, this time rotational moulding technology, for processing plastics and discovering their new performances. Through this technology Wanders decorates material with rich embroidery and creates a fun, young and bold object that is also innovative and original.
From plastic to wood, with Belgium's Arne Quinze, who presents the Quartz chair where the warmth of the material is opposed to the rigidity of the design. Corners and edges accentuate the form and shape the material, creating a sculptural object.
The chair by Quinze is integrated with the Twist table designed by the For Use group, Croatian in origin, who have chosen to make the wooden legs "dance" by creating a deliberate alternation in which the material gains life through the movement and becomes animated.
Again in wood and faceted is the top of Take a Table by the Swiss-Argentine Alfredo Haeberli, in search of a new sociability.
Movement and dynamism become the main features of the side table Vertigo by the two young designers Laura Aquili and Ergian Alberg. It incorporates a strong conceptual abstraction and the form evolves into a measured rotation until it reaches perfect symmetrical balance. The umpteenth challenge to the potential of material and the use of technology in which a large slab of Corian is rotated, engraved and bent.
Bent, by the young designers Christoph de la Fontane and Stephen Diez, is an addition to the Moroso collection for outdoors. It is a range of highly coloured tables and chairs in powder-coated aluminium with a clear reference to an industrial and graphic idiom made up of faceting, three and six-pointed geometric shapes and functional punched holes that allow the aluminium sheet to bend and form 3D objects of actual utility, from chairs to tables. The collection is available in the range of warm colours from yellow to red.
Suspended between form and structure in a give-and-take of impressions, the new tables and stools are additions to the Around the Roses (Dreaming Flowers Collection) family designed by Luca Nichetto and Massimo Gardone.
Occasional tables with a high technological content on account of the use of the Alicrite plastic, both in the version with two-tone layers and the one with dye-sublimation printed and embedded fabric, with floral inspiration themes, the work of Massimo Gardone. The collection of side tables is joined by two large-size tables, both 70 cm high, with a circular top 70 and 125 cm in diameter.
Also the stools, in line with the products presented previously, also have a metal structure for supporting the round upholstered seat covered with two different types of fabrics. A first technical fabric is in orange while the others follow and fit in with the floral images of the entire collection.
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