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Tania da Cruz

Nature, irony and poetry in a budding designer's Milan showings

by Paolo Ferrarini in Design on 18 April 2011

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A poetic mix of function and decoration, Tania da Cruz' objects highlight the hidden aspects of daily life. This is how her newest creations, recently presented at the 50th annual Salone del Mobile, come to life.

Born in Lisbon, da Cruz spent her childhood in Brussels before beginning her design training and education at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan. But it was her research at HKU in Utrecht that really started her down the path of uncovering the poetic aspects of projects, both in design and communication.

Of her work showing at Salone Satellite, Wig—consisting of a white ceramic vase in the shape of a head—is among the finest. The clever design allows users to experiment with creating their own imaginative floral hairdos atop designs that recall Modigliani's heads in nature and silhouette.

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Another ceramic piece, Cuore Sacro (Sacred Heart) is a white lamp in the shape of a cardiac muscle, inspired by classic representations of the organ in Christian iconography. Twee, a clean and essential floor lamp in lacquered steel, resembles a sort of linear, minimalist tree; roots and branches function as base and hangers.

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Nature also inspires Florafil, a flexible green rubber cover for wires that looks like a green vine snaking across walls. Its concept comes from the desire to give aesthetic value to a functional and unadorned object.

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Senses, a jewelry collection that's both soft and provocative, is based on the idea of giving emotions through touch. Combining gold and silver with recycled fur in various colors, the different perceptions of soft and hard or cold and warm creates a tactile experience that pairs with the sight of the different colors.

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