Rossana Hu and Lyndon Neri are the talented duo behind multi-disciplinary architecture and design practice Neri&Hu and in a few short years they’ve notched up a long list of high-profile projects, well-received products and esteemed accolades. They have deservedly earned Maison&Objet Asia Designers of the Year 2015 and Wallpaper* Designer of the Year 2014 as well as being inducted into the US Interior Design Hall of Fame 2013.
Based in Shanghai and with offices in London and New York, Neri&Hu takes a global approach to design driven by a philosophy and research process that delves deeply into context and history. Much of this context and history stems from Neri&Hu’s location in Shanghai and the vibrant city’s cultural, urban and historic fabric. This point of departure informs the designers’ explorations as they challenge the traditional boundaries of architecture and align it with complementary disciplines such as interior, product and graphic design. The result is that experience, detail, materials, form, colour and light interact to create meaning for users and viewers.
Rosanna and Lyndon certainly put their approach into action at this year’s Salone del Mobile Milano, designing ‘The Cut’ stand for Kvadrat, Europe’s leading manufacturer of design textiles. Kvadrat is not only recognised for pushing the aesthetic, technological and artistic boundaries of textile design, but also for working with leading designers, architects and artists. Appropriately, Neri&Hu’s stand for Kvadrat captured the essence of the company – simplicity, colour and innovation – and created a subtle and intuitive stand to spark visitors’ curiosity.
The designers created a space that stood out from a distance and enabled Kvadrat representatives to present the new collection. “Stands all look rather similar so we wanted to create something that, straight away and even at a distance, was perceived as something different,” Lyndon explains. An abstracted blue-fabric volume defined and enclosed the space; a timber framework provided a soft and natural backdrop to showcase Kvadrat fabrics; and elegant contemporary furniture and furnishings created an intimate setting amidst the activity of the design fair.
Rugs and chairs were rendered in a neutral textile palette while stacked textiles displayed Kvadrat’s latest collection and featured colour, pattern and texture. Neri&Hu’s BAI hanging lamps suspended above the presentation added soft, warm and inviting light.
Neri&Hu designed the BAI family of luminaries for Parachilna. Based on ancient Chinese lanterns they fuse traditional and cutting-edge design with a bronze electroplated-steel structure and transparent, amber or grey glass diffusers lit by strip LED columns. The series is available at KE-ZU and includes round, elongated and bulbous forms applied to wall lamps and pendants. They can be suspended individually or in a chandelier comprised of two to five lamps.
Like much of Neri&Hu’s work The Cut engaged sight, touch and experience, and as Rosanna describes, “It’s the contrast of what you can feel and not feel. You feel with your eyes.”
Images courtesy of Kvadrat.
Photos and portraits of the cut and Neri and Hu are by Patricia Parinejad