Talent exhibition merges Milanese textures with groundbreaking innovations
We speak to Copenhagen studio TABLEAU on how a global centre for design can inspire a creative process.
9 May 2023

one&twenty is a yearly prize of the German Design Council, where a jury of creative professionals select 21 of the best submitted designs from all over the world, focusing on innovation, functionality, and the future of the design keeping in mind the state of the world. During Milan Design Week, they were showcased in a special exhibition created by TABLEAU, a multidisciplinary creative studio striving to break down the existing barriers between different creative industries. For the set design, Boris Peianov, Architect and Creative Developer of the exhibition design, explains that TABLEAU worked to let the pieces to shine, inspired by Milan as a global centre for design. 

— We wanted to use typical Milanese textures and materials but play with placement and scale, pattern, and texture, he says. We were inspired by the residential architecture here, the corridors of the buildings, the tiled facades, the marble, and such. This led us to print different textures on counterintuitive backgrounds, like marble printed on silk in collaboration with Justin Morin and trying to bring a hint of the Colonne of Milan, or the black marble 3D texture in collaboration with the young studio Begue Bresot. We tried to use typical shapes and frame things in a way where we layer the textures throughout the room and offer the visitors a visually rich and captivating experience.

— We wanted to design a backdrop for the selected designs inspired by the eclectic and materialistic architecture and public spaces in Milan, Julius Værnes Iversen, Creative Director of TABLEAU and also in charge of Creative Development of the exhibition design, adds. The city is known for its significant brown and green color pallet with heavy and luxurious materialism consisting of marbles, stainless steel, veneer and other astonishing materials. We basically tried to brake down that materialism into an exhibition design.

Which were the exhibition highlights?

— We saw many ingenious, clever, and beautiful designs. Personal favourites of mine, just to name a few, were NakedPak from Naama Nicotra — ready meals, in fully edible packaging; Woven Change from Sophie Jungkvist — a woven fabric that can change patterns, and Urban Coolspot from Julia Sulikowska – an urban cooling system in clay, says Peianov.

And what was your general, overall impression of the week in Milan?

— Busy as usual. However, we always find time to see our friends at Raawi with a very fresh setup, the always amazing Dimore, and Drop City. Alcova also keeps being the place to be, where we saw again this year an impressive selection of design and Base Milano which just opened, says Peianov.

— For me, this year’s Salone del Mobile showed a high level of craftsmanship and a desire to understand materials higher than ever before, Værnes Iversen notes. From the new ways of working with Resin showed by Objects of Common Interest at Nilufar Depot to the absolutely amazing set design in natural stones by OMA Architects for Solid Nature where new ways of constructing stone was shown. Norwegian Presence showed beautiful objects where materiality and craftsmanship was at a high level and David Thulstrup launched his monograph table book with Phaidon. The Scandinavian design scene was in general quite present at this years event. Norwegian artist and designer Ali Shah Gallefoss opened a solo show at Numeroventi a week prior Salone del Mobile. A part of this production were showcased at the renowned Capsule Casa during the design week.