It’s always a pleasure to visit the Rossana Orlandi gallery, whether during design week or not. She is highly regarded as the design oracle, spotting new talent and giving fledgling designers a platform to present their work. You just know that whatever she has on display will be good and those she represents will more than likely become design stars of the future. Rossana Orlandi is also the exclusive for partner for Sé in Italy, the gorgeously luxurious furniture design company, and as part of their 10 year anniversary celebration they introduced their new collection at the gallery during Milan Design Week this year.
Sé have so far created three furniture editions, their collaboration with Jaime Hayon being especially successful, and have always remained true to their orginal ethos – to reclaim the glamour and quality of 20th century furniture and to become a dynamic and innovative presence in the world of contemporary luxury design. Their collections are full of highly-crafted and beautifully-finished objects with a curvaceous aesthetic and a spirit of play. So in order to mark this special occasion in the brand’s history they presented a collection from a true craftsman, somebody with integrity and the ability to design pieces that inspire, enter Ini Archibong.
Ini Archibong is originally from the US but now resides in Switzerland. His work for this Sé collection is beautifully scupltural and elegant utilising a palette of soft pastels but there is a tension between delicacy and strength running through the pieces where materials such as marble and brass have been used to create simple silouettes, witnessed most obviously in one of my favourite pieces, the Atlas bench.
11 pieces were unveiled during MDW, with a further 11 to follow to complete the collection, made up of the stunning Circe chair, steel framed with a cute, comfy and even rotund seat, and the Gaea chandelier inspired by the sun amongst other stunning objects.
Upon meeting Ini during MDW he very kindly walked us around his collection. He was incredibly charming and it was fascinating to discover his inspirations, mainly taken from nature, which is why he enjoys living in Switzerland so much as he is far removed from the noise and distractions of manic city living.
At one point, in almost childlike excitement, he beckoned us downstairs to reveal his Moirai chandelier – a collection of hand-blown glass and brass lights – his wonderful ‘constellation of clouds’. Working with one of his favourite materials he believes glass can allow you to express concepts rooted in fantasy. In contrast it is nothing but a fact that Ini is still at the beginning of his career and we will no doubt be seeing a lot more from this incredible talented designer in the near future.
Photo Credits: Cecil Mathieu/Bacchus PR/thatssocool