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Neri&Hu: A Home for Stellar Works

Mar 28, 2017

Shanghai architecture and design office Neri&Hu speak to TLmag about how they used design as a cultural force in the new Stellar Works collections to be launched in Milan.

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Text by Nadine Botha

Stellar Works’ immersive installation at Milan Design Week will contrast the nostalgia for home with the exciting urban context of Shanghai. Designed by the furniture design brand’s creative directors, Neri&Hu, the exhibition at Officina 31 entails an abstract house-like structure with a series of rooms with immersive vignettes that can be viewed through apertures. The grid-like house structure creates ‘a space within a space’ that is both refuge and cage for possessions and rituals.

“It does not follow a single plot but explores ways of inhabiting many places at once and imagining different time zones. It loves details, not symbols,” explains Lyndon Neri, who with Rosanna Hu, makes up Neri&Hu. “When we examine cities, people and buildings through these lenses, we begin to reveal certain recurring obsessions that, in return, manifest in each of our projects.”

A dialogue between East and West is opened up with a memory lane that references Shanghai’s narrow streets. New work by Neri&Hu, Space Copenhagen, Yabu Pushelberg and Crème, alongside its first objects collection – a selection of Arita ceramics designed by Neri&Hu – will be launched. Stellar Works’ French refinement, Japanese elegance and sense of beauty, Nordic simplicity, and high standard of Chinese craftsmanship is palpable. TLmag spoke to Neri&Hu about design as a cultural force.

TLmag: How did you meet, come to work together and found the Neri&Hu office?
Neri&Hu: Rossana’s first year was Lyndon’s last year at Berkeley. We overlapped in the school one year. We worked at Michael Graves office for a few years after Rossana graduated from Princeton, but never on the same team. It was when we came to Shanghai that we worked together and decided to launch our firm in 2004.

How would you describe your work philosophy?
We believe in architecture and design as a powerful cultural force. The functional aspects are less interesting for us, although as professionals that’s the prerequisite — your design must work on a very realistic level. We believe in the subtext over the obvious and the poetic over the utilitarian.

What has informed your creative direction of Stellar Works?
Everything we feel the brand is related to, from a contextual relationship with the city to the cultural attachments of the founder, artists and designers, as well as the time within which these elements are situated.

What inspired the development of the Arita Collection, the first object range for Stellar Works?
The ceramic set of seven bowls and plates started as a project ensemble under A Cabinet of Curiosity. Seven objects were to be displayed in a glass cabinet that carries emblems of seven animals that relate to the seven sins – pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. Each ceramic piece is a different size with varying heights and volumes, blurring the typology of bowls and plates to respond to the contemporary lifestyle of full flexibilitywith distinction. Each vessel shape offers endless functional possibilities, and any combination of them suggests a rebirth of a personalised table styling.

TLmag invites you to join Stellar Works CEO Yuichiro Hori, along with designers Neri&Hu, Space Copenhagen, Yabu Pushelberg and Crème

Exhibition 4-9 April, 10.00-19.00 hrs

Press Preview on 4 April, 10.00-16.00 hrs

at Officina 31, Via Tortona 31, Milan, Italy

Rosanna Hu and Lyndon Neri at Milan Design Week 2016
Rosanna Hu and Lyndon Neri at Milan Design Week 2016
Slow Collection by Space Copenhagen for Stellar Works
Slow Collection by Space Copenhagen for Stellar Works
Arita Collection by Neri&Hu for Stellar Works
Arita Collection by Neri&Hu for Stellar Works
Blink Collection by Yabu Pushelberg for Stellar Works
Blink Collection by Yabu Pushelberg for Stellar Works
Exchange Collection by Crème for Stellar Works
Exchange Collection by Crème for Stellar Works
Mandarin Collection by Neri&Hu for Stellar Works
Mandarin Collection by Neri&Hu for Stellar Works
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