Austrian design at Villa Necchi - a review of the show / by Georg Oehler

Georg Œhler curated and designed a show for Advantage Austria at the Milan Design Week 2016. The exhibition united 60 designers and brands at the famous Villa Necchi Campiglio. This a review in pictures.

ertl.novak, Roben, eL Be Keramik, Pia Bauernberger, Katharina Eisenköck, ka ma interior
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Tension Mirror by London-based Katharina Eisenköck combines a rough piece of marble with the fragility of a mirror held by a slim brass band. Pia Bauernberger showed coats that have been designed especially for design duo mischer'traxler. Robin Bensoussan alias Roben surprises with a finely worked Masque-pied - a shoe mask. A geomtetrical pattern unfolds to a golden wall lamp by ka ma interior.

Mads Perch & Georg Œhler, Forcher, Guggenbichler Design, Glass-Inspiration, Wittmann, Franz West Privatstiftung, Kohlmaier, Klemens Schillinger, Braun Lockenhaus, Nina Mair
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Furniture designed and/or made in Austria was presented together with re-edited designs by Friedrich Kiesler and a limited edition piece by Franz West, a coat rack named Sinnlos. The reference by West to Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein reflects the motto of the show - Looking back, while moving ahead.

Swarovski Optik, Thomas Feichtner, Caelum, Soda Designers, Conform Badmöbel, Josef Prödl Tischlerei
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

The exhibition offered new perspectives of the design objects by allowing the visitors to use high precision telescopes by Swarovski Optik. The ATX scope system is a legend amongst bird watchers and also a truly stunning piece to discover for designers. A-Chair is a light new creation in wood by Thomas Feichtner.

Back Ahead - New Austrian Design Perspectives
Photography by Georg Oehler

Ten telescopes invited the visitors to focus on details of the excellently crafted pieces. The time spent focusing, looking around and zooming in on the objects establish a different connection with the beholder. A combination of ceramics and brass handle makes a lot of sense for orchids to hold on to Mr Wong, a flower pot by eL Be Keramik.

Mergentime Chair by Friedrich Kiesler, Wittmann
Digiscoping by Georg Œhler via Swarovski Optik ATX

Simply by using a mobile phone camera the objects can be photogrpahed using the excellent quality of the telescope lenses. The light and the depth-of-field give a special air to the image and the vignette from the telescope delivers a sort of a lomographic filter automatically.

Katharina Eisenköck, Roben, Swarovski Optik, eL Be Keramik, Jürgen Steineder
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

A hydroponic system called Habitat by Jürgen Steineder is a prototype for a super sustainable life circle station for every home.

Mads Perch & Georg Œhler, Studio Bellidea, Wittmann, Glass-Inspiration, Tischlerei Pühringer, ka ma interior, Phil Divi, Pia Bauernberger, Katharina Eisenköck
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

A re-edition of Friedrich Kiesler Mergentime chair design by Austrian high-quality manufacturer Wittmann unites contemporary and tradition. A collaboration between Mads Perch and Georg Oehler resulted in a bar cabinet comibining crafts and arts. Alfonzo Conzeta created a circular wall light with layers, Eccentric for Austrian company Glass-Inspiration.

Wittmann, Team 7, Nina Mair Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Wittmann, Team 7, Nina Mair
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Austrian specialist in solid wood Team 7 showed Sol, a work desk combining elegance with utility designed by Sebastian Desch. Cables and wiring for phone chargers and work stations are hidden cleverly in an elegant escritoire.

superTEX, Studio David Tavcar, Leitner Leinen
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Supertex showed Greenwall by Valentine Troi, a fully automated vertical garden for indoors. Leitner Leinen showed a woven fabric Friuli Art.256 sporting a pattern from a 18th century baroque chapel.

David Tavcar had four pieces on show. The designer born 1992 in Ljubljana studied in Vienna and Eindhoven. The Haus Scheu Honeypot takes a piece of architecture by Adolf Loos and turns it into a home accessoire. Find more on his website www.davidtavcar.com

Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

The garden of Villa Necchi Campiglio is a stunning treasure in the heart of Milan. An outdoor kitchen for sophisticated adventurers by Camp Champ fitted perfectly for the understated elegance of the site. March Gut presented their colourful stools Leo.

Camp Champ outdoor kitchen
Digiscoping by Georg Œhler via Swarovski Optik ATX

Outdoor lounge chairs and a solar powered lamp by Viteo
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Without any doubt one of the main attractions of the venue is the peaceful garden in the heart of buzzing Milan. On the terrace by the pool Viteo showed a lounge chair from its Home Collection made of weather resistant larch wood. The outdoor lamp Zoe Solar is charged by sunlight during the day.

mischer'traxler showed their Equilumen installation in the garden of Villa Necchi Campiglio
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Equilumen by mischer'traxler is an installation of two lights in a fragile balance. Visitors can move it and while it gets closer the light gets more intense on one side and decreases on the other. A poetic interplay unfolds between the lights and the beholder.

Katharina Eisenköck, David Tavcar, mischer'traxler
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

In the lavish interiors of the Villa Necchi Campiglio young Austrian talent was on display. Katharina Eisenköck, David Tavcar and mischer'traxler were set in the context of the library and living space of the famous 19030's home designed by Piero Portaluppi.

Silhouette International, ertl.novak, Neue Wiener Werkstätte
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

The architect Piero Portaluppi was at the top of his career when he created Villa Necchi Campiglio. Not only every detail, door handle and finish was custom made but he also implemented cutting-edge technology of the time. Heating system, sliding door mechanism and the first swimming pool in Italy made the villa not only an object for architeture history but to a superbly functional family home until 2001. This mixture of style and knowledge is reflected by the choice of objects on the second floor. Silhouette presented their new collection uniting colours with their signature frameless lightness - Titan Minimal Art Pulse. Ertl.Novak's crystal was grown in their own lab and while the exhibition was going on one crystal was grown live. Neue Wiener Werkstätte showed an elegant yet minimalistic chair called Vitoria by Thomas Feichtner.

Swarovski Optik ATX in the hallway of Portaluppi's masterpiece
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

The Swarovski Optik telescopes allowed also a closer look at the incredible details of the museum run by FAI - Fondazione del ambiente Italiano.

The design for the Villa by Portaluppi included china. Beside his design with a C for Campiglio a design by Gio Ponti for the family can be seen.

Wiener Silber Manufactur, David Tavcar, Lobmeyr, Neue Wiener Werkstätte
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Lobmeyr and Wiener Silber Manufactur both showcased new work by Ted Muehling. Lobmeyr also showed Crystal Jellies by Talia Radford - a reality enhancing optical wearable. David Tavcar showed a ceramic design Haus Scheu Honeypot using an element of Adolf Loos' architecture as an inspiration.

Crystal Jelly by Talia Radford for Lobmeyr
Photography by Georg Œhler

Crystal Jellies from Viennese manufacturer Lobmeyr is a reality enhancing wearable designed by Talia Radford. Lobmeyr produce refined objects in glass since 1823 and are still seeking to be on the forefront of design innovation.

Neue Wiener Werkstätte at Galeria Pomara Scibetta in the Villa Necchi Campiglio
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Neue Wiener Werkstätte showed a new collection by Thomas Feichtner. The Vitoria collection unites minimalistic with elegant style. Neue Wiener Werkstätte melts tradition, craftsmanship and design into contemporary classic furniture.

Nov24, Camp Champ
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Nov24 showed rugs handmade by nomads in Iran. The patterns are fading and re-appearing in different colour combinations.

Gretl, Mano Design, Thomas Feichtner
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

The excellence of the refined details in Sunday Morning makes it a master piece of a tray. Designer Kai Merkert makes use of the stunning wood working skills to be found in Bregenz forest area in the West of Austria.

Gretl in the kitchen of Villa Necchi made famous by "I am love" with Tilda Swinton
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Steckn is wardrobe simply suspended between floor and ceiling by Kai Merkert for his label Gretl. A hidden thread allows adjustment of the finely crafted object.

Neudoerfler Office Systems Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Neudoerfler Office Systems
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Neudoerfler showed office chairs on the marble staircase of Piero Portaluppi. The staging of the 1930's villa works very well with the high-end cutting-edge industrial design.

Maya Pindeus & Johanna Pichlbauer, Neudoerfler Office Systems
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Maya Pindeus and Johanna Pichlbauer light installation A Play Of Dependencies used different connections and contacts in a way that two elements always have to work together. The metaphor is great for a work environment where a complex world of relations and collaborations is necessary to achieve a goal. The installation is presented on a table called Unit from Neudoerfler Office Systems designed by Kinzo.

Christian Lutz, Ulrike Leitner
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Christian Lutz showed his work I Felt Oak inspired by the traditional craft techniques of the Austrian Waldviertel. He was selected from student works entered by New Design University in St Pölten.

Ten works by students from Technical University TU Graz focused on wooden joints
Photography by Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade

Instead of chosing one student Georg Œhler from the works entered by TU Graz (Technical University Graz) he decided to show all of them as the quality of the works were more than convincing. The works were all focusing on joints in wood working.

Photo by Georg Œhler

Photo by Peter Philipp

Back Ahead - New Austrian Design Perspectives was organised by Advantage Austria. Director of Creative Industries Reanne Leuning. Curator and Creative Director for the show was Georg Œhler. He was assisted by designer Rio Kobayashi.

The team in Milan was headed by Trade Commissioner Dr Michael Berger and the team was led by Carmen Kröpfl.

Special thanks go out to Lilly Panholzer and Andrés Fredes from Alldsgn for the graphic works, to Swarovski Optik for the excellent support and to the team of FAI at Villa Necchi Campiglio under Cristiana Barriati and Nino.

Photo by Georg Œhler

The exhibition was amongst 16 shortlisted for the best installation of the Fuorisalone 2016. The selection was made by a jury from 1200 installations. Georg Oehler, Reanne Leuning, Rio Kobayashi.