by Jill Singer
What is it that makes the mirror such fertile ground for experimentation among designers? Is it its stubbornly unchanging material DNA? After all, is a mirror made from anything other than glass really a mirror? Whatever the case may be, designers this year across Milan Design Week took the challenge to reinvent this enduring everyday object to heart. From iridescent and ombré surface treatments to spatial manipulations, we found dozens of variations on the looking glass. Here are eight of the very best.
See Right Through Me Mirror by Isabell Gatzen
For her See Right Through Me mirror, Zürich-based designer Isabell Gatzen layers differently sized backless, one-way mirrors that allow viewers to see through the mirror or to catch their own reflection, depending on the light. Each mirror sits on a perch made from white Parthenon marble and can be combined any which way.
Marmo Domestico mirror by Thévoz-Choquet for Bloc Studios
ECAL grads Josephine Choquet and Virgile Thévoz seem to specialize in making fresh, highly covetable objects from seemingly played-out materials. Last year, it was a collection of lamps in acetate, while this year the two put together a line of home accessories, including this mirror, for the new Italian marble brand Bloc Studios. Called Marmo Domestico, the pieces employ salvaged chunks of marble that are left behind in the quarries of Carrara, resulting in a whole collection that’s been made in Italy.
Shaping Colour by Germans Ermics
Latvian-born, Amsterdam-based designer Germans Ermics was a graphic designer before he began his work in furniture, and it shows in his astute use of color as a device by which to shape form. Ermics showed variations from his experiments with colored glass both at Rossana Orlandi and at the curated show Dutch Invertuals, where this ombre mirror stood alongside a console and coffee table that also played with the effects of gradation.
Trapped Mirror by Aparentment
In the Ventura Lambrate district this year, designer Josep Vila Capdevila — who runs a Barcelona-based design studio and consultancy called Aparentment— showed lamps, mirrors, candleholders, and more from his ongoing marble accessories line, cheekily called Marblelous. But we were partial to Trapped, a simple round mirror held inside a bent plate of blue-painted iron, copper or oxidized brass.
Shimmer by Patricia Urquiola for Glas Italia
Patricia Urquiola’s iridescent furniture collection for Glas Italia was one of the biggest hits from last year’s fair, and this year, the Spanish designer smartly expanded upon the line with different surface treatments, including a micro-dot finish, and new typologies. Like the rest of the collection, Urquiola’s keyhole-shaped Shimmer mirror is treated with a polychromatic finish, allowing it to change color depending upon the light source and the angle from which it’s viewed.
Tynni Mirror by Maija Puoskari
Finland’s most famous mountain (Saana) and lake (Kilpisjärvi) were the inspirations for this mirror, available in different hues of colored glass, which launched at Salone Satellite from the Helsinki-based designer Maija Puoskari. Called Tynni, Finnish for calm or serene, the mirror’s reflected curvilinear shelf is meant the mimic Saana’s peaks, and its colors resemble the Finnish sky.
Eclipse by Rooms
Last year the Georgian duo Rooms launched a series of mirrors at Spazio Rossana Orlandi inspired by medals of honor they’d found at flea markets around their hometown of Tbilisi. This year, they meditated on different modes of reflection with Eclipse, a mysterious, three-paneled mirror and wall sconce combo inspired by both the moonlight and outer space, as well as mirror-finished side tables and chairs.
Split Mirror by Lee Broom
In his grayscale faux department store (which we wrote about last week) British designer Lee Broom presented several products that were just a bit off-kilter— spherical marble and brass Crescent Lights that appeared half-unscrewed, a Drunken Side Table with haphazardly stacked shapes, and this Split Mirror, which looks as if Broom gave one sliver of it a gentle shove.
Images courtesy of respective designers