Four from the floor

It’s long been evident to Canadian Interiors that the highlight of Spain’s Feria Habitat Valencia furniture fair is always sure to be the Nude section. Exhibiting works from new designers and manufacturers, Nude has grown steadily in the eight years since its inception; for the show’s 2010 edition, the fair finally had the presence of mind to put it front and centre. Literally opening the show, Nude was bigger and better than ever, and greeted visitors just inside the main entrance. As if this prime position wasn’t enough for an exhibit that is used to being tucked at the back of a room, from there it rolled right out the door and into the city. Hotel Nude, hosted at the Purple Nest Hostel – centrally located at Plaza Tetuán 5 – was an offsite attraction that featured works shown in years past, in installation settings. A further initiative, which was prompted by Hotel Nude, is City Nude, a route around the streets of Valencia focussing on design.

Glob and Tag It! are two bright ideas from Ham & Cheese Design. Glob is a cuddly stuffed toy whose face lights up when squeezed, doubling as nightlight. Tag It! is a simple little notepad for scribbling quick notes.

Shkon by Dicrein features an internal mechanism that allows an oscillating movement of the padded leather seat. Once positioned as desired, the spidery stainless steel legs hold it in place, until the user wishes to adjust again.

Vig and Joe & Averell are both from Estres Studio. Vig is a classic woodwork table that folds completely flat for storage, while Joe & Averell are the first two lamps in a whimsical series that pays homage to the Dalton Brothers, of the Lucky Luke comics.

A reversible chair/table/shelf from Aal Cuadrado’s 90° line of products.

Of course Nude couldn’t have all the attention to itself. No design show is complete without a design star and Valencia had one of the brightest this year in Patricia Urquiola. The Spanish-born designer created a special exhibit called Cosas (translation: Things) for this year’s show. The space incorporated many of her well-known works for such manufacturers as B&B Italia, Alessi, Molteni, Viccarbe, Kettel, Gandia Blasco and Moroso.

A rotating mobile of prototypes and models used in the construction of her designs took up a full of half of Cosas. The various pieces were in paper, staples, foam, bent wire, stitched felt, taped cardboard and even something that looked like a stuffed sweater – all of it jimmy-rigged to form shapes in which a variety of iconic designs could easily be recognized as they floated by on the conveyor belt of creativity.

I understood about three words of Urquiola’s speech. Her enthusiasm however, needed no translation.

Patricia Urquiola’s Cosas exhibit incorporated many of the Spanish designer’s celebrated works.

A la Mesa! Diseño y comida & LIfestyles
International Kitchen Design won’t be featured at the show again until next year, but some kitchen stuff was still on the menu and two related feature exhibits caught my eye. A la Mesa! Diseño y comida (that’s “Dinner is Served! Design and Food”) was divided into three sections: Buying, Preparing and Serving, and featured a variety of products that fit into each of those categories. The exhibit was “set up on several tables, tables being the object upon which and the place where we eat, talk, write and make plans. The table is perhaps the link between design and food,” said curator Martín Azúa.

The show’s Lifestyles exhibition was created to show four lifestyles that typify the “Made in Spain” concept: Traditional or Home Loving, Simple or Easy Living, Consumerist or Cool Hunter, and Personal Fulfilment or Sophisticated. The whole proposition is presented in vignettes created by leading architecture and design practices. Estudihac represented the Cool Hunter lifestyle and La Salamandra the Sophisticated lifestyle; Enproyecto took on Home Loving and Yonoh Estudios Creativos presented Easy Living. The concept was intended as a toll for exhibitors and visitors alike – for the companies showing their products the exhibit was as an example of how to promote the intangible values of design, while for visitors it showcased the creativity and variety of Spanish design.

From A la Mesa’s “Buying” section, Herb-savor, from Prepara.

From “Preparing,” mesh bag and silicone steaming case, both designed by Luki Huber

From “Serving,” Lladró’s porcelain Equus collection, designed by Bodo Sperlein in collaboration with the company.

La Salamandra’s “Sophisticated” and Yonoh Estudios Creativos’ “Easy Living.”