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E&Y: Greenland

by Brian Fichtner in Design on 21 April 2008

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Just steps from the infamous 10 Corso Como, the Japanese brand E&Y mounted a modest show at Galleria Antonia Jannone under the name "Greenland." The title was supposed to reference both global warming and the changing nature of the namesake country. I didn't quite get the connection between their products and sustainability, especially considering the wanton (albeit well-designed) use of paper and cardboard in the press kit.

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In any case, the new products were connected by a sense of humility and serenity lacking in many releases this year. E&Y has brought several products by Scandinavian designers to the market this year, notably Mårten Claesson, Cecile Manz, and Mika Tolvanen. Tolvanen designed Riuku (which means lath in Finnish), a bench made from nyatoh wood that resembles a sawhorse—it's about as minimal as a design could be. At a time when reusable shopping bags are becoming the rage the world over, Cecile Manz has riffed on it accordingly, creating a bag that looks as though it could fold neatly for storage. It's actually made from thin veneered wood, bound together with colored tape.

A couple more highlights from E&Y's show were the Oblique vase by Gen Sizuki, a poly stone vessel with a skewed distortion, and the 4FB coathanger by Koichi Futatsumata, a perfectly simple assembly of four flat bars, powder coated in black, white, or brown.

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