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The best Belgian design lands in Milan 2014 with the motto “Belgium is Design”

Belgium is Design is once again in evidence during this year’s Milan Design Week, which takes place from 8-13 April 2014. From the Reflections exhibition at the prestigious Triennale di Milano to the promising young designers showcased in the SaloneSatellite at Salone internazionale del Mobile’s fairground, throughout the city Belgian design talent finds a place. And whether it is the country’s companies exhibiting at Rho Fiera or those participating in the various design districts and galleries, all are featured in the Belgian Design Map, which has been published since 2007, making it even more of a must-have than a pair of comfy shoes. One focal point of Belgium is Design’s approach this year is Reflections at the Triennale. An exhibition with two standout strands: mirrors and other reflecting surfaces. Many will be seen for the first time in Milan, while others illuminate the country’s reflective designs over the last decade. There is also a past that goes even further, acknowledging the Belgian engineers who invented the mechanization of f lat glass and therefore the way mirrors were industrially produced, more than a century ago. And uniting all these examples are their ability to reflect light and mirror images, emerging both literally and incidentally.

Calda/Freddo (2007) by Leo Aerts for Alinea Design Objects

Astro (2014) by Aller-Retour Studio

Frames (2007) by Marina Bautier for Ligne Roset

Linked (2012) by Michaël Bihain

Shadow (2014) by Sylvain Willenz for Objekten

The first thread of Reflections features mirrors in all shapes and forms and also the way this type of glass can be absorbed in designs for a coat hanger, storage, fashion accessories, and even as an object for those who do not want to be confronted by their mirror image. Together these interpretations demonstrate that there is more to a mirror than with-or-without frame. Designed exclusively by Belgian designers, most are also produced by the country’s mirror manufacturers and companies, as part of an edition or in-house, while others have been commissioned for the collections of international clients.

Contrast (2013) by Julien Carretero for Victor Hunt Designart Dealer

Edvard (2012) by Loudordesign Studio for Deknudt Mirros / Reflect +

Audrey (2014) by Loudordesign Studio for Vervloet

Mirror with Suitcases (2013) by Marteen De Ceulaer manufactured by Ralph Baggaley

Archiduchaise (2007-2009) by Xavier Lust

The other category in Reflections is objects that use reflective surfaces to create spontaneous and ingenious plays with light . Here we see how the choice of materials, techniques, coatings and finishings, from intense polishing of metal to the use of glossy car paint and transparent glass, can transform and shape lighting, furniture, tableware and textiles. Collectively Reflections tells a story where there is a dynamic dialogue between tradition and progress.

Mirror 10º (2013) by Nathalie Dewez

Textured Mirror (2013) by Damien Gemay

Trap (2011) by Linde Hermans

Caldeira (2013) by Xavier Lust for FIAM Italia

Face (2013) by Mathias van de Walle for Linadura

This year represents the third time that the Belgium is Design exhibition takes place at the Triennale di Milano, and it is a strategic location in which participants receive maximum exposure in a setting where content is highly regarded. The same can be said of the SaloneSatellite, where the next generation of Belgian designers are also given a stage to attract an international audience.

SaloneSatellite - Klapp (2014) by Pauline Coudert for .rad product

SaloneSatellite - My Library (2014) by Magali Cruysmans

SaloneSatellite - Taut (2014) by Jean-Baptiste Goetgheluck

SaloneSatellite - Kaitai (2014) by Kaju Design

SaloneSatellite - Tapixel (2014) by Lise El Sayed

SaloneSatellite - Secret Cabinet (2014) by Formz

SaloneSatellite - Metal & Wood (2013) by Kenny Vanden Berghe

SaloneSatellite - Seat (2014) by Pascal Koch

SaloneSatellite - Blossom (2013-14) by Thien Vo

Together all these activities reflect the commitment to collaboration between the country’s leading design organizations and export promoters. It’s an ongoing project that manifests itself nationally and internationally, with just one example being Belgium’s role as last year’s country partner in the Business of Design Week in Hong Kong. Nurturing individuals and companies who are just starting out or working with those already established, for Belgium is Design creativity, design and innovation is always the drive behind its mission. Source: Belgium is Design Visit the Belgium is Design website
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