June 20, 2020

Milan’s Isola Design District Goes Completely Virtual with Interactive Online Neighborhood

It’s clear that designers from all over the world cherish their annual spring Milan pilgrimage to see and participate in trade shows, gallery viewings, parties and any other opportunities there are to celebrate the best of design. An industry-favorite locale for spotting the latest innovations and ideas is the Isola Design District, which has gone completely virtual this year, making it accessible from anywhere to keep the community spirit alive. Through a variety of different platforms, designers and design enthusiasts can peruse virtual galleries, exhibitions, and showrooms, and watch interviews and participate in workshops, many of which will focus on sustainability and emerging talents. “We simply wanted to create a well curated platform, to give a signal and to become even more a constant reference for those looking for new names and projects within the design industry,” Gabriele Cavallaro, co-founder of Isola Design District and project manager of Isola Goes Digital, tells Interior Design.  

Here is a roundup of 10 products and projects featured on the curated digital platform to celebrate its launch week, which runs from June 16 through June 21. 

1.  Wild Jersey by Giulia Pompilj 

A close up of a Wild Jersey rope. Photo courtesy of Giulia Pompilj. 

Wild Jersey is an interactive—emphasis on the “active”—space created by suspended, durable braids made of deconstructed discarded clothing, that allow users to forego the movement of the urban landscape and embrace playground-instincts of climbing and swinging from one rope to another.   

2. Circular Canopy by CooLoo

CooLoo donates leftover materials to a project that transforms them into clothing. Photo courtesy of CooLoo.

CooLoo teamed up with Dutch artist Thed Konings to develop circular art and design pieces with sustainability and the aim to connect people at its core. The CooLoo Circular Canopy is made from entirely recycled and reused materials, such as shredded bank notes and cork.

3. Felt by Stacklab

Recycled aluminum components have been added to the updated 2020 version of Felt. Photo courtesy of Stacklab. 

Combining the best of zero-waste design and computer algorithms, Stacklab’s Felt collection is made from premium local Merino wool—sourced from excess sheets manufacturers can no longer use—and designers can easily customize and color visualize the collection in real time. 

4. Circular Wall Lamp by Wisse Trooster 

This lamp is jus the beginning of a Circular collection according to Trooster. Photo courtesy of Wisse Trooster. 

Trooster selected sustainable acrylics 
and sheet material made from recycled plastic, such as old cutting boards, to create the elegant discs that are complimented and completed with LED filament light tubes.

5. Column Chair from This is Copper by Studio ThusThat 

Column Chair, with porphory stone aggregate. Most copper ore is a porphory stone deposit, hence the choice of aggregate. Photo courtesy of Studio Thus That.

This is Copper is part of Studio ThusThat’s ongoing project into mining and metals through which different 
designers hope to tell a more complete story about both the primary metals as well as their 
material backstory. Each piece is made from the leftover “slag” copper, conscious that copper’s demand outweighs our recycling abilities.  

6. In><Contro Collection by Formanuda Design

 A circle base is pictured here; bases are available in a variety of 3D shapes. Photo courtesy of Formanuda. 

Completely free-flowing and devoid of form, this lighting collection from Formanuda encourages the user to create new gestures with lighting on their own. Brass elements act as both support and constriction for the flexible neon LED light which winds smoothly and sensually.

7. Luxury Fences by Fransje Gimbrère 

The recent graduate was inspired by jewelry’s enhancement of personal beauty for this project. Photo courtesy of Fransje Gimbrère

Refined beauty is incorporated into contemporary interiors with Luxury Fences, a series of architectural embellishment textiles made from solid metal that looks weightless as its movement distorts its pattern. 

8. Trouvé by COHORS  

A production designer, motion graphics designer, artwork & graphic designer, augmented reality specialist, photographer, and soundtrack creator all came together to produce the Trouvé sensorial experience. Photo courtesy of COHORS.

This is far from your average lamp: Trouvé has its own soundtrack, art photography, animation, manual in 
Augmented Reality, and even the packaging it comes in is a piece of art itself. Trouvé is designed by a team of artists to deliver the best in acoustic and lighting quality while standing out for its bold form. 

9. SD-Melting Coffee Table by Turan Oztopal

Colorful, playful, yet totally functional and unique in design. Photo courtesy of Turan Oztopal Architects+Design Studio.

Inspired by the famous Dali painting “The Persistence of Memory,” this coffee table is designed from an artist’s perspective with a dynamic, molten-like shape. A book holder on the side and a flat surface on top, take a moment to unwind and enjoy life’s small things. 

10. Borders of Assembly by Paul Coenen Studio

Each piece from this collection is made out of a standard size of 1000 by 2000 millimeters sheet metal. Photo courtesy of Paul Coenen.

Sheet metal is often folded to rule out its flexible properties and to create stiffness in the material. Seeing flexibility as an advantage, the collection uses high precision manufacturing to allow force to lock the different pieces together, stopping the sheet from bending back to its original shape. 

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