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In Milan, in the heart of the Brera Design District, a scenographic apartment where you can immerse yourself in colors, material surfaces, art, vintage and contemporary design.

I’ll be your mirror was the setting curated by H+O, Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer and Elisa Ossino, during the last Fuorisalone edition, 2021. It was my favorite event of the last Design Week without a doubt!

A perfect mix of international brands with a strong Italian and Nordic presence, contemporary furnishings mixed with design icons, such as Finn Juhl’s icons. An “immersive” setting, an “experimental apartment experience”.

Il titolo dell’allestimento “I’ll be your mirror” è stato ispirato da una canzone dei Velvet Underground e giocando con la parola “mirror”, in ogni stanza è stato posizionato uno specchio in modo da riconnettere l’interno con l’esterno e metaforicamente alludendo a come abbiamo vissuto negli ultimi anni della pandemia.

The title of the exhibition “I’ll be your mirror” was inspired by the Velvet Underground song and playing with the word “mirror”, they placed a real mirror in each room in order to reconnect the inside with the outside, and metaphorically, alluding to what we experienced in the last years of the pandemic.

It is not a “passive” space, here the tactile surfaces, textures and colors invite you to interact with the interior.

“We are all in need of something powerful. Something that lifts us. Something that makes us smile. Something that excites us. Something to reflect on”. H+O, Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer and Elisa Ossino

Wonderful ceramic surfaces “Rilievi” by File Under Pop in collaboration with H+O

Great protagonists of this wonderful installation were the 16 lights by Atelier Areti, floor, wall and ceiling lamps, as beautiful as sculptures.
Atelier Areti is an interdisciplinary design studio founded by sisters Gwendolyn and Guillane Kerschbaumer. The Atelier Areti team work between Trieste, London and Germany where most of the lamps are created.

The background in visual arts of Gwendolyn and Guillane is reflected in their sensibility and imagination expressed with their sculptural lamp. I asked them a few questions to understand what it was like to collaborate in the creation of a perfect mix like this wonderful apartment.

Sculptural silver steel mirror curtains by &Drape

How did your lamps fit into and interact with H+O’s set design?

The interior makes bold statements through color, contrast and shapes. The lights are in dialogue with the other elements of the interior, the colored surfaces, fabrics and furniture pieces.
Each light has a strong sculptural shape and thus presence without overbearing the other elements of the interior.

Do you often work in such colourful environments or do you prefer white spaces?

We like working with both. We love the abstract quality of white spaces and their calmness and simplicity. But there is another dimension to working with color, which is very beautiful and interesting to explore.
We did not know beforehand which color palette Elisa and Josephine (of H+O) would choose for the interior, so it was a surprise to us as well that the mostly black, white, and brass lights worked so beautifully in this colorful environment.
In recent years, we have actually been working with color more, and in our upcoming ‘Elements’ collection, color plays a fundamental role.

“The Bonhomme lamp contrasts with the bold colors of the walls and ceiling. The simplicity of the color scheme – black and white only – allows for their sculptural form to read clearly”
“The black Rotation lamp and solemn shape contrast against the ochre wall and the off-white sculpture next to it. The sculpture’s organic and uneven shape becomes even more visible by standing next to the rotation floor light, as much as the simplicity and geometrical exactness of the rotation light are celebrated in contrast to the organic sculpture.”

Are you satisfied with the overall result of “I’ll be your mirror”?

Yes, of course, for many reasons! This event had been planned for 2020 but was canceled due to Covid.
The months leading to the Salone 2021 in September were uncertain and stressful – with everyone wondering if the event would take place and if people would be able to travel to Milan.
It was thus a little spark of joy to see this beautiful project be completed and shared not only with those who were able to travel to Milan, but also a wider audience via publications.

Capisco benissimo lo stress e la sensazione di incertezza di cui parlano Gwendolyn e Guillane, ed è stato forse anche questo a moltiplicare il piacere e l’emozione di tornare a vedere dal vivo la bellezza del design. Questo appartamento è stato per me l’allestimento più bello di tutta la settimana del Design 2021, uno spazio speciale dove trovare ispirazione.

I understand very well the stress and the feeling of uncertainty that Gwendolyn and Guillane are talking about, maybe it helped magnify the pleasure and excitement of being back to see the beauty of design in person. This apartment was for me the most beautiful event of the whole Design Week 2021, a special space where to find inspiration.

Now we just have to wait for June (5-12 June 2022) to see how Design Week 2022 will surprise us!