Envisions' Milan exhibition shows the process instead of the product
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Milan: Wood in Process by Envisions

Envisions' Milan exhibition shows the process instead of the final product

Dutch collective Envisions has experimented with ways of cutting into, printing on, and transforming materials for its Wood In Process exhibition at Milan design week

Milan: Wood in Process by Envisions

The exhibition, which has been created in partnership with Spanish wood manufacturer Finsa, showcases discoveries made by designers during the research phase, rather than completed pieces.

It sets out to emphasise the possibilities of the process, which the collective sees as an undervalued and rarely explored part of the industry.

Milan: Wood in Process by Envisions

"Functioning as a conceptual breeding ground, the preliminary phases of a product's formation present limitless possibilities and deserve the spotlight in their own right," said the collective, which was founded by students at Design Academy Eindhoven.

"Corporate companies often stick to the road of proven practices and clearly defined objectives, missing the possibly fruitful alternatives discovered while taking the path less travelled."

Milan: Wood in Process by Envisions

Each of the 12 members of the collective were invited to visit Finsa's production facilities to find potential new uses for its range of materials, as well as by-products created during manufacturing.

The results will be presented at the group's exhibition at Palazzo Clerici during Milan design week.

Rather than using MDF as a cheap substitute for real wood, Roos Goomperts has added collage and cut-out shapes to turn it into a more striking choice for flooring or furniture.

Milan: Wood in Process by Envisions

Simone Post has similarly played with MDF's reputation as a wood substitute, adding prints based on exaggerated versions of grain and knots.

Aukhe Fleur Janssen has taken woodgrain patterns and colour samples and transformed them into brightly patterns that could be used in wrapping paper, while Elvis Wesley designed gridded pieces he based on medieval engraved objects.

Working alongside fashion brand Dries Van Noten, textile designer Henriette Tilanis turned sheet products into pliable fibres, and Sanne Schuurman split sheets into blocks, and transformed them into interlocking geometric patterns which expose the inner fibrous texture.

Milan: Wood in Process by Envisions

Dutch duo Vantot took a slightly different approach, embedding electronic paths into Finsa's wood products and experimenting with the possibilities of adding light.

Photographer Ronald Smits captured the manufacturer's materials through a multiplane camera – a device invented and used by Walt Disney for animation – which makes the sheets appear to be sitting behind rather than on top of one another.

Milan: Wood in Process by Envisions

The Envisions group sets out to open up better dialogue between designers, clients and manufacturers through their presentations. During last year's Milan design week, they presented a similar collection of materials, showcasing the possibilities of the research process rather than the end product.

Milan: Wood in Process by Envisions

The Envisions exhibition is on from 4 to 9 April during Milan design week, and takes place at the Palazzo Clerici. Other exhibitions on display during the fair include a showcase of meat alternatives and a collection of furniture made from the foundations of Paul Cocksedge's London studio.

Photography is by Ronald Smits.

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Milan: Wood in Process by Envisions
Milan: Wood in Process by Envisions
Milan: Wood in Process by Envisions
Milan: Wood in Process by Envisions