Climb on and explore design

Fifteen works from Wallpaper*'s Milan show in April are now on display in Singapore

When design devotees were at the Milan Design Week in April, a must-see was the Wallpaper*'s Holy Handmade! exhibition.

Now, 15 items from that showcase, which played on the theme of the sacred, are on display at Gillman Barracks until Oct 31.

Each year since 2010, Wallpaper*, an influential design and lifestyle magazine based in London, pairs designers with manufacturers, commissioning them to create bespoke pieces that have become synonymous with world-class design.

For this year's edition, the creatives crafted about 50 items that explore ideas of rituals, worship and well-being. Fittingly, the Milan show was held in Mediateca Santa Teresa, a deconsecrated church in the Brera design district.

In Singapore, visitors get to see the curated selection in a 321 sq m space on the former military premises.

The show here is called Wallpaper* Handmade On Tour and replaces the Singapore + Wallpaper* Handmade Classics - held in the same space from March and showing designer- maker projects from exhibitions through the years.

  • VIEW IT / WALLPAPER* HANDMADE ON TOUR

  • WHERE: Gillman Barracks, 9 Lock Road

    WHEN: Till Oct 31, noon to 7pm (Tuesdays to Sundays)

    ADMISSION: Free

Ms Maria Sobrino, interiors stylist at Wallpaper* who was in Singapore last week to set up the exhibition, says the selected pieces complement one another: "Some projects are more fashion-focused, while some are focused on the materials and technology used to make the product. These 15 were chosen to keep the show balanced."

Each design is displayed on a plinth, so visitors can walk around the space to observe the item up close.

Highlights include Time Capsule, a stylish clutch case by British eyewear brand Cutler and Gross and London-based design studio Doshi Levien that was inspired by the ritual of dressing up.

There is also the speckled terrazzo stone Infinity Table by Lebanese designer Karen Chekerdjian, reminiscent of tables used in older Housing Board void decks here.

And while Gillman Barracks is not a place of worship, Ms Sobrino says the quiet arts cluster has a similar atmosphere ideal for visitors to linger and ponder.

"As we wanted Handmade to be relevant to everyone, (the items) weren't made for a particular religion. It's about a space where they can contemplate and 'worship' design."

Exhibits to catch


THE PORTAL PHOTO: DON WONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

THE PORTAL

A free-standing ladder hovering between two circular mirrors creates the illusion of a never- ending stairway to heaven.

Go closer to appreciate the fine details. The ladder, made of oak, is stained black for a sleek look. Its side rails are covered in luxurious Cohiba leather.

The installation is a collaboration among multidisciplinary firm Snohetta, headquartered in Norway; Brooklyn design studio Everything Elevated; and Danish upholsterer Erik Jorgensen Mobelfabrik.


AMBIENT TEAS AND WABI-SABI TEA KIT

Italian designer Pietro Russo teamed up with London-based Postcard Teas to produce a luxurious tea "tool box" that includes tea paraphernalia and two blends for pairing with fine foods.



AMBIENT TEAS AND WABI-SABI TEA KIT PHOTO: DON WONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Russo, who loves referencing nature in his work, made various pieces including a caddy, strainer and brass scoop modelled on the shape of a leaf.

The collection also features short-stemmed tea cups, handblown by master craftsmen from Milan-based glass-making specialist Ichendorf.

To go with the set, Postcard Teas' owner Tim d'Offay debuted the London Sun, a roasted black tea with a sweet nutty, chocolate flavour; and High Green, a blend of Darjeeling and Taiwanese tea with elderflower and tropical fruit notes.


SPIRITUAL CUPBOARD

Playing on the idea of a tabernacle, Italian furniture designer Giacomo Moor delivers his contemporary rendition of a traditional repository for precious items.

Spiritual Cupboard, crafted by family-run Italian manufacturer Emmemobili, is made with Canaletto walnut veneer, fir and straw.


SPIRITUAL CUPBOARD PHOTO: DON WONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

The cabinet opens up from the centre to reveal boxes and shelves. Moor also worked in a table top that can be used as a desk and added a light fixture.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2017, with the headline 'Climb on and explore design'. Print Edition | Subscribe