Envisions x Finsa
Experimental Dutch design collective Envisions teamed up with Spanish heritage wood manufacturer Finsa on a new series of wildly haptic, colourful, innovate and speculative forms; showcased at Palazzo Clerici during Milan Design Week.
Evident more than ever at this year’s Milan Design Week was a push for bold geometries, tactile materials and striking colour schemes. Minimalism has made its third coming. Still, the days of the Memphis revival are slowly slipping away. Instead, leading and emerging talents alike are finding far more clever ways to express their ideas about material, function and form.
Making a strong case for this evolving zeitgeist is Dutch design collective Envisions. Born out of the collaboration of recent graduates – Aukje Fleur Janssen, Elvis Wesley, Henriette Tilanus, Iwan Pol, Jeroen van de Gruiter, Robin Pleun Maas, Roel Deden, Roos Gomperts, Sanne Schuurman, Simone Post, Thomas Trum and Vantot – the venture demonstrates material experimentation at its most adept.
Seeking to make each step of the investigation and production process explicit, the group actively responds and mitigates the ever-expanding responsibility designers are faced with today. Such a transparent approach allows each talent to present a more honest individuality while bypassing the commonplace issue of plagiarism, often resulting from the implicit concealment of process.
At this year’s Milan Design Week, Envisions forayed into working with industry. Forging a close link with Spanish heritage wood manufacturer Finsa, each of the 13 designers developed a new range of speculative compositions and applications. Here experimentations became more important than end products.
Presented on an amassed platform at Palazzo Clerici – as part of Atelier Clerici – the full gamut was displayed as a flourishing forest of colours, textures, reliefs and constructions. The strategic use of 3D-printing and laser-cutting techniques did not outshine personal signature styles.
Highlights included Conduct by Eindhoven-based duo Vantot. True to their own mandate of making entire processes evident in completed products, this latest project didactically evokes the path electricity takes in our domestic environments; how new technologies provide lower voltage solutions and in turn ensure that direct contact with the energy source has become safer.
Envisions co-curated and designer in her own right, Simone Post developed Wannabe Wood. After a close investigation of how Finsa mills MDF to an unrecognisable state and how digital laminate prints mimic natural wood, the talent developed a new composite that could shed light on this contradiction. Employing a method of unequivocal critique, Post applied the laminate, as cut-out wood-grain reliefs, to the raw MDF below.
With Graved Grids, Elvis Wesley (Wesley DeBoer) translated the virtual back into haptic shape. Two-dimensional orthogonal patterns were transmuted into three-dimensional lattice structures; reminiscent of engraved objects from the Middle Ages.
Far from the romantic stigma of gimmicky ‘handmade’ imperfection, Envisions reveals a new road into the future of dynamic artisanal production; giving new clout to Dutch design. In their second year, the collective continues to exhibit around the world. Envisions will present as part of Ventura New York: The Dutch Edition showcase, during the Wanted Design Fair.
Ventura New York: 20-23 May
Wanted Design Manhattan
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