|FOCUS: MILAN FURNITURE FAIR|
Piers Roberts and Rory Dodd, aka designersblock, are preparing for their fourth Milan outing. Designersblock was set up in 1998 and since then the pair have curated shows all over the world (including London, Milan, Tokyo and Korea) and provided a platform for the work of over 300 design companies. Roberts and Dodd are famously good at spotting new talent, and this year’s participants are no exception – Roberts promises a ‘staggeringly good’ selection. ‘We’ve got people from Sweden, Finland, Germany, hopefully from the States, hopefully from Japan, Austria, and the UK and Ireland,’ he says.
In London, the designersblock shows take
place in September and are also renowned as much for their intriguing
locations – recently St Pancras Chambers – as their contents. In Milan this
year they have a 1000 square-metre space in Studio Zeta on via Friuli (close
to the Lodi tube station), which has four spaces, a courtyard and balconies.
In addition to designersblock, Roberts and Dodd are also curating and producing The Scottish Show, together with The Lighthouse in Glasgow, which will also be based at the via Friuli space. The show will feature the work of some of Scotland’s most innovative designers and architects, including product/furniture/interior designers One Foot Taller, wallcoverings designers Timorous Beasties, graphic designers Slight, and architects NORD, who will create a bar for the occasion, using Armitage Shanks’ urinals and a mortuary slab. Typically of the range of work on show at a designersblock event, creations will include furniture, product and lighting, and digital works, including interactive storytelling from Donna Leishman’s 6AM Hoover.
This is the forty-third Milan Furniture Fair, but the novelty doesn’t wear off: ‘The good thing is that you never know what’s going to be there, but you know you’re going to see the most innovative concepts,’ Roberts says. Like all those who attend, they also make the most of the opportunity to see what everyone else is up to. Among their must-sees are Ingo Maurer and Cappellini; ‘Michele de Lucchi is always worth seeing and that’s always off the beaten track,’ Dodd says. Both also have high hopes for the Satellite show this year – ‘and that’s free!’