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New design trends through the eyes of ANARCHITECT – Jonathan Ashmore

Jonathan Ashmore, founder and director of the international architecture and design practice ANARCHITECT predicts the new design trends following April’s Milan Design Week.

Influence of the Tropics 

“I have spotted a subtle influence of the Tropics. Statement pieces by Dimore Studio used highly lacquered cane and bamboo framed with machined metals and alloys, while new Lebanese designers, like Khaled El Mays seen at the Nilufar Depot, further challenged traditional use of rattan and cane with is bold contemporary pieces.”

Natural and earthy tones

“Whilst bold, pristine colours were still prominent, there appears to be a noticeable shift towards natural and earthy tones and a definitive movement towards handmade rather than machined perfection. Pigments offer less uniformity but add depth and character to plasters finishes and concrete tiles for both interiors and exteriors. Examples include Gypsum Arte’s new collections and Matteo Brioni’s Stratigraphies.

Technology is the new craft

“On the other hand, some companies, like  Cedit, have embraced technology as the new craft with their Rillevi collection. They used advanced manufacturing techniques to create textures and 3D geometric forms which play with colour consistency and rely on light and shadow to add depth to forms. They used technology to evoke a ‘manmade’ aesthetic.”

Glass is back 

“Glass is one of the materials making a strong come back. One of the great examples of this trend is the Bouroullec brothers’ collaboration with Wonderglass on hand-blown coloured objects with purposeful imperfections and organic forms. Glas Italia used coloured reed-glass and Mattiazzi dichroic glass to create formal room dividers, which blur vision between spaces and unify them with strong colour rendering.”


State of stone 

“Materially and superlative detail are a deep passion of mine, particularly when it comes to a natural stone. The craftsmen at Vaselli Marmi are capable of crafting stone like a skilled carpenter can work wood. They defy logic and material weight to produce kitchen and bathrooms which express the raw, natural state of stone with refinement and precision.”

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