Aram Gallery, the London-based exhibition venue, veritable Mecca for design lovers, is celebrating its fifteenth year, with “Designers select designers”, from 8th March until 28th April, on the third floor of the Aram Store at 110 Drury Lane in Covent Garden. The gallery has requested famous designers who have exhibited their works here in the past, to nominate emerging talents they wish to pair up with and participate in the event.
Veteran participants include high-calibre names such as Bethan Laura Wood, Gitta Gschwendtner, Industrial Facility, Ineke Hans, Jasper Morrison, Martino Gamper, Max Lamb, Michael Anastassiades, Michael Marriott, Pearson Lloyd, Peter Marigold, Ptolemy Mann, Sebastian Bergne, Shin Azumi, Thomas Heatherwick, all with their respective “junior” partners.
Jasper Morrison, for example, has chosen Théolonius Goupil, skilled in craftsmanship and ceramics. Morrison has entered Thinking Man’s Chair, a lacquered metal armchair with tubular frame, and seat as well as back made from flat bars, launched for the first time back in 1987, spotted and manufactured by Giulio Cappellini. Théolonius Goupil has proposed Vases des Launes, a series of vases manufactured in Villefranche-sur-Saône, France, by Ceramique du Beaujolais. Models are sculpted by rolling a clay plate around a mould, according to a technique inspired by the production of “saggars”, shells used to protect fragile ceramic pieces during kiln firing.
Other entries include the one by Michael Anastassiades, IC F1, the poetic family of lights conceived for Flos in 2014. These lamps are reminiscent of a juggler with spheres, and are characterised by a mouth-blown glass globe, perfectly balanced on a metal structure. Right next to the refined Anastassiades we find the talented Vittorio Venezia with 4Decimi, a collection of twelve suspended steel lamps inspired by the sculptural simplicity of metal containers and traditional western Sicilian instruments. Each lamp is cut, curved, bent by hand and personally welded by the master craftsman Nino Ciminna.
Lastly, the Martino Gamper + Tiago Almeida is particularly worthy of mention: Gamper, famous for his self-productions, has entered Round&Square Chair, studio-made furniture pieces based on intricate articulations of wood. Hand-made at his Hackney-based studio in London, the pieces form a home collection which includes chairs, tables, shelves, armchairs and stool-side tables. Tiago Almeida introduces a bookshelf, a project which combines a natural material, wood, with it synthetic alter ego: plastic wood obtained by recycling flattened polystyrene objects, such as CD cases and old coat hangers.
Photo credit © Amandine Alessandra