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Discover WantedDesign’s Highlights from our Fall 2021 European Design Tour

Discover WantedDesign’s Highlights from our Fall 2021 European Design Tour

After 18 months without traveling to international shows, the WantedDesign team was delighted to start seeing designers and their collections in-person again, embarking on a European design tour this September that included stops in Milano, Paris, Murano, Lisbon and London.

From the beginning, international trade shows and festivals have played a vital role for our co-founders, Claire and Odile, who enjoy discovering new talent and meeting with old friends from all around the world. Seeing designers and collections in-person again reinforces for us the importance of design events and festivals for the industry.

Here are some of the highlights from our visits.

Milano, Italy


A highlight of Fuori Salone was Alcova, with over 50 exhibitors showcased in approximately 3500 square meters of indoor and outdoor space, including three historical buildings and verdant gardens. Developed by Space Caviar and Studio Vedèt, Alcova is a platform for independent design.

Leo Rydell Jost at Alcova in Milano, Sept 2021
Lindsey Adelman at Alcova in Milano, Sept 2021

“Alcova was the kind of unexpected discovery we look for when we travel to Milan, and really, any design week. It is typical of the city, bringing a bit of history and cultural context, and provides a decor that is unique and can, when well-used, emphasize the introduction of a collection, with original storytelling and installations.”

Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, WantedDesign co-founders

The Lost Graduation Show

At Salone, we enjoyed discovering the selection of talented designers from all over the world in ‘The Lost Graduation Show’. Congrats to all of them, especially to those that were featured in the WantedDesign International Schools Show and Conscious Design Awards this Spring.

Robin Bourgeois, The Lost Graduation Show at Salone 2021
Rashmi Bidasaria Kaarigari, The Lost Graduation Show at Salone 2021

We loved the diversity and wide range of projects presented. Each project was well-documented, with a short video posted on the Instagram account of the exhibit.

What made this exhibit unique was that it focused on the students, not on the schools. Instead of grouping projects per school as usual, each project could stand alone. As a visitor, we were really focusing on each individual project.

ADI Design Museum

Around town, we visited Milan’s new museum, the ADI Design Museum, which features an impressive permanent collection in a beautiful, quiet space.

It was nice to look back at iconic and historical design moments, across different products categories and disciplines.

“It was such a wonderful moment to stop and reflect on the objects and the role of design in our everyday life, reminding us why we love design, and why we love coming to Milan to celebrate it.

We treasure these moments when beauty and function meet, when the proportions are perfect, and design becomes so close to our lives.”

Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, WantedDesign co-founders
ADI Design Museum

Murano, Italy

Empathic. Discovering a Glass Legacy

Curated by Luca Nichetto, the exhibition Empathic. Discovering a Glass Legacy is on show at InGalleria, the Art Gallery of Punta Conterie a Murano, through 10 April 2022.

Luca invited friends to collaborate and design pieces for the show, including Ini Archibong, Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, GamFratesi, Benjamin Hubert, Richard Hutten, Luca Nichetto, Elena Salmistraro and Marc Thorpe.

Each piece was made on Murano and, depending on the technique required for the piece, several furnaces contributed and then pieces were assembled. For example, for Elena Salmistraro’s piece (the mirror), the cane work was done at one glass shop, the blown glass was done by another shop, etc

“More than anything, the exhibition is a wonderful tribute to craftsmanship from the island of Murano. It took the entire island contributing to create these pieces, as well as the dedication and vision of Luca to shine the spotlight on the island he was raised on and the craft he grew up with.”

Claire Pijoulat, WantedDesign co-founder

Paris, France

Maison & Objet

The fair visit was not really about discovering new brands but much more about reconnecting in person with European brands that we are hoping to welcome in New York soon, and discovering the next generation of French designers. With a reduced floor plan, it was nice walking the show, the spirit was up.

The 3 “coup de coeur” were three companies focusing on sustainability looking exploring responsible approach in terms of material and process.

“I already had a chance to discover the  young company Noma Editions two years ago when they launched in Paris, and it was nice to see them at the show.” commented Odile Hainaut.
The company is building a collection of furniture and home accessories designed by talented designers committed to sourcing materials locally and producing using the most sustainable process. The entire collection is well done, but I particularly liked the products created by Charlotte Juillard, alumni from Ecole Camondo in Paris.

Atelier Déambulons

Maison Premiere

Founded in Marseille in 2018, a “boutique manufacturer” focusing on Corian original and beautifully crafted products in small editions, a material easily recyclable.
The Maska table is designed by French designer Margaux Keller, an alumni from ENSAAMA and Ecole Boulle.

GHAN side table, Noma Editions, designed by Charlotte Juillard

L’atelier Deambulons

At a crossroads between furniture, scenography and land art, Atelier Déambulons has become known for its ‘Bamboo cocoons’, awarded the Janus label by the French Design Institute. 

All their products are designed and made entirely in France. They work with local suppliers and service providers to keep their environmental impact to a minimum. 

As part of this approach, they use French bamboo producers as much as possible.

This company got us thinking!
We could see this developing in the US as the outdoor spaces are now and forever going to be part of our lives. Bamboo might be the way to go as the cost of wood and the impact of its exploitation can be very negative on the environment.

Maska table, Maison Premiere, designed by Margaux Keller

« Informe des formes », Vincent Noir.
Diplôme 2021 DSAA Mode et inno­va­tion tex­tile. Ensaama

Vivement Demain! At la Sorbonne

It was nice to have the prestigious La Sorbonne University to serve as the decor for this group of selected students from top French design schools, in conjunction with the Campus des Metiers d’Art.
The organization was created in 2020 to represent the art and design colleges of Île-de-France, championing the training they provide amongst industry professionals. 

“This generation are very socially engaged,” notes Heloïse LeBoucher, the Campus’s Operational Director. “They are professional, inventive, curious, and the goal is to show how they challenge objects, space and the way in which items are used.”  

With this year’s theme, Paris Design Week has thrown down the gauntlet of tackling “Desirable Development”, inviting the students to come up with designs that are both attractive and responsible – a theme that echoes Maison&Objet’s “Sustainable” itinerary

Francois Azambourg continuously pushed his exploration of new ways to produce original glass pieces with the glassmakers of the CIAV Meisenthal glass center. The result is magic!

Congratulations for the new Excellsens gallery located rue de Picardie in Paris to debut with this collection, on display until October 23. The exhibition features the work of René LALIQUE, François AZAMBOURG and Anaïs JUNGER‍.

Francois Azambourg, CIAV Meisenthal

Lisbon, Portugal

Burnt Cork at Made in Situ

French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance moved to Portugal in 2017, establishing his studio and Made in Situ gallery in Lisbon. His collections for Made in Situ champion Portuguese materials, techniques and artisans, with the most recent collection, Burnt Cork, a prime example.

For Burnt Cork, the designer found inspiration and material in cork trees that had been charred by forest fires. Normally discarded, the blackened exterior layer of the cork trees were salvaged, processed into pieces of varying granularity and pressed into slabs of cork that were then machined into smooth, sinuous shapes for the collection of seven furniture pieces.

Made in Situ partnered with manufacturers NF Cork and Granorte for the project.

Burnt Cork at Made in Situ
Burnt Cork collection at Made in Situ

“What shines through in the Burnt Cork furniture collection and the previous Barro Negro ceramics project is the sincerity of Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance’s respect and admiration for Portuguese craft. He’s a French designer bringing his aesthetic to the work, but the collections are true collaborations between designer and maker. Convincing artisans and manufacturers to try new techniques isn’t always easy, but his perseverance is a reflection of his passion for Portuguese making and materials.”

Charlene Lam, WantedDesign contributing editor

London, UK

Styled By Night debut collection at London Design Festival 2021

Fanciful Installations in a Variety of Spaces

Installations have always been a strong point of the London Design Festival, taking advantage of the city’s range of historical and atmospheric environments.

With fewer trade shows anchoring the festival this year, the installations designers created in the streets, in East London’s industrial spaces, and in grand West London environments were what caught my eye.

Charlene Lam, WantedDesign contributing editor

Product & pattern designer Iona Thomas launched her debut collection of playful housewares under the name Styled by Night as part of the Shoreditch Design Triangle in East London.

For the John Madejski Garden of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Nebbia Works designed an immersive, low carbon aluminum pavilion.

The installation The Magical Value of Shapes by Damien Poulain for the Conran Shop transformed the Chelsea store in West London.

The Hothouse by Studio Weave in Stratford, East London, is inspired by a Victorian greenhouse and alludes to rising temperatures caused by climate change.

In central London, Yinka Ilore‘s colorful crosswalks aimed to “Bring London Together.”

Between Forests and Skies by Nebbia Works at the V&A. Photo credit: Ed Reeve
The Magical Value of Shapes by Damien Poulain for the Conran Shop. Photo credit: Bruno Rondinelli
The Hothouse by Studio Weave
“Bring London Together” painted crosswalk by Yinka Ilore

The Relevance of Design Events

Traveling to international design weeks again has just reinforced for us the importance of in-person events. During the pandemic, WantedDesign has been taking the time to respond to the industry’s new needs, from reinventing the format for trade shows to rethinking aspects of production.

We’ve put our heads together as a team and with our partners to consider how to create new opportunities for brands, designers and manufacturers. We are excited by the future of design events, focussing on the people and creating inspiring experiences that will push design forward.

Expect the Unexpected

WantedDesign’s events have always centered on creating a rendezvous to inspire, to connect and to provide a meeting point for like-minded people to gather. After all, the most interesting part of visiting trade shows and festivals is discovering things you didn’t expect to see and meeting people you wouldn’t have met anywhere else.

We look forward to welcoming the world back to New York City this fall for WantedDesign Manhattan November 14-15, under one roof with the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and BDNY at the Javits Center.

Registration is open

And as always, expect the unexpected.