For Milan Design Week, the Vivienne Westwood flagship store in Milan (Corso Venezia 25) erected an exhibition that examined the role of the maker and master craftsman in the process of transforming raw materials into luxury objects. Titled Alchemy: Material Obsessions, the installation reflected the Vivienne Westwood ethos: “Buy less, choose well and make it last.”
Created in partnership with The Cass and with London-based design brand and studio Tiipoi, founded by Spandana Gopal, the exhibition explored the tradition of making and the use of raw materials in the creation of a final object.
The Stacker chair, left. A River Runs Through It, right.
The Cass showcase exhibited pieces by selected tutors and technicians such as A River Runs Through It/Refuge by ceramic artist Fred Gatley, the CNC Windsor Chair by furniture designer William Warren, and the Stackers chair series by contemporary upholsterer Jude Dennis.
Contemporary upholsterer Jude Dennis constructing a chair as part of the "Stackers" series in the Vivienne Westwood showroom.
Tiipoi showcased the Mirror 6 Collection, part of its Experimental Projects line. The mirrors were cast using a 600-year-old bronze alloy specific to the families of Aranmula, Kerala in Southern India. Tiipoi worked with a single family in Aranmula to develop the series. Once cast, the metal surface is polished by hand until it becomes reflective. The display included mirrors of various sizes housed in solid brass or hardwood, including the largest mirror cast to date, which measured 55 centimeters in diameter.
Pieces from the Mirror 6 Collection by Tiipoi.