Ini Archibong 'Below the Heavens' for Sé
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 partner for Sé in Italy, the gorgeously luxurious furniture design company. As part of their 10 year anniversary celebration they introduced their new collection at the gallery during Milan Design Week this year. Welcome Ini Archibong Below the Heavens!
Sé have so far created three furniture editions. Their collaboration with Jaime Hayon being especially successful, and they have always remained true to their orginal ethos. They want to reclaim the glamour and quality of 20th century furniture. 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. There is 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. We visited the Rossana Orlandi gallery during Milan Design Week and were blown away by his 'Below the Heavens' collection.
Ini Archibong is originally from the US but now resides in Switzerland. His work for this Sé collection is beautifully scupltural and elegant. He utilises a palette of soft pastels, but there is a tension between delicacy and strength running through the pieces. Materials such as marble and brass have been used to create simple silouettes. You can see this 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. These were 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.
Meet the Man
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. Taken mainly from nature, which is why he enjoys living in Switzerland so much. So he can be as 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. It is a collection of hand-blown glass and brass lights a '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. We will no doubt be seeing a lot more from this incredibly talented designer in the near future.
Photo Credits: Cecil Mathieu/Bacchus PR/thatssocool