Milan Design Week may have been a couple of weeks ago but since we got back, we have been reviewing our new finds, contacting suppliers and we've even started specifying products we found for new projects already! There was so much to see this year, especially with Euro Luce - a huge collection of fantastic lighting suppliers, both known and new. We also spent our evenings exploring the many show rooms that were open till late just for Milan Design Week. With so much to see and process, it's taken us a couple of weeks to gather our thoughts (along with all the catching up we had to do with work after missing a week for the Salone). That's why we're dedicating the following seven days to our own 'Ardesia Design Week' - or Milan Design Week Review. ;)

Day 1. Tom Rossau Lighting

We loved the Tom Rossau stand and were especially drawn to he PENCIL LAMPS - such an innovative idea, although probably quite difficult to place within a design. Nonetheless we loved the creativity (and the stack of free pencils as a reminder of the product). We also loved the more 'classic' Rossau designs - natural wood veneers bent into beautiful, organic shapes that created fantastic atmosphere. Definitely a stand-out company.

From their website:

Self taught Danish designer Tom Rossau (B.1970) started his career in the basement of his parent’s house in Faarevejle, Denmark. Building all sorts of stuff out of whatever was at hand, like all boys do. LEGO was the main companion to his vivid imagination. In the 90’s Tom picked up the thread where he’d left it some years before. He started to design and sew leather clothes and eventually opened the shop in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1997. Since 2004 Tom has worked mainly with natural wood veneers. At first these lights were only available from the shop on Istedgade in Copenhagen, but in 2006 the TR4-TR7 was introduced to a broader audience at Copenhagen Furniture Fair, where the TR7 received the “Audience Favorite Award”.

Although the business is expanding Tom still holds on to the core. And the core is design. In Tom's own words: "The design process is actually quite selfish to me. It may be that the end consumer gets his or her need covered by the product, but in all honesty I do for the kick that it gives me. It’s quite a thrill to get an idea out of the blue, to work with it, to get caught up in it, to be totally consumed by the details from the early drawings over prototypes and on to production. Then there’s the magic experience when the material intended to do one prototype suddenly starts misbehaving and reveals unintended characteristics and all there is to do is to dive right in and explore these new possibilities. Inspiration comes from all around, but the determination process of limits and potentials of materials can be so interesting. At times it would be more appropriate to refer to the material as the designer and I the mere help, fetching screws and fastening lose ends… 

With functionality, sustainability, and energy consumption as obvious issues of all design, it becomes an even more intriguing task to meet the demands of the end consumer. But all in all I’m a firm believer in coincidence and enhancement of the element of play in all design.” 

With annual exhibitions at IMM Cologne and the Northern Light Fair in Stockholm the number of retailers sharing in the Tom Rossau story is expanding rapidly. The collection has continued to grow with the addition, in January 2010, of shelving units and a convertible coffee/dining table as well as new lamps.