Design collaborations are proof that originality flourishes when collective minds come together – and nobody does them better than the Italian design industry, which has decades of experience of working in synergy. Serial collaborations often take place over years, or even decades, meaning that products become ever more ambitious and refined as designers gain intimate knowledge of production techniques, and learn to push the boundaries with each new collection.

David Dolcini first worked with Porada in 2015, and this year returns with the new ‘Halo’ light (pictured top), made from a bronze ring illuminated on its inner face, sat on a marble base. At Ceccotti Collezioni, Draw Studio has conceived the ‘Sweet Dreams’ bed (pictured centre), which has a slender headboard that still provides plenty of comfort thanks to its upholstery. New showroom Turri features the work of Andrea Bonini, including the ‘Zero’ stool (pictured bottom), which was inspired by the clean-lined geometry of mid-century architects such as Vittoriano Viganò and Carlo Scarpa.

Apart from their collaborative inception, the three share something else in common. With barely a right-angle in sight, their curvaceousness sums up the current vogue for soft silhouettes and enveloping comfort, something that’s become ever-more important in a frantic world.

Porada, First Floor, South Dome
Ceccotti Collezioni, First Floor, Centre Dome
Turri, Second Floor, South Dome

With more than international 600 brands across 120 showrooms to explore, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by choice at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. Thankfully, a friendly personal shopping service is the ideal way to help narrow down what’s in the showrooms, and pinpoint just what’s required.

Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour’s personal shopper Gabrielle Grubanovich (pictured above, holding fabric) led three special sessions at Focus/19 that were an ideal demonstration of her skills, including an introduction to textiles that answered all the questions that novices might be afraid to ask, from pattern repeats to fire-resistance; and a chance to ‘shop the show’ and explore some of the new product launches used in Focus/19’s campaign imagery.

Gabrielle’s friendly guidance and practical design advice is available year-round, with complimentary appointments available. Find out how to book here – and help to make a visit productive, enjoyable and stress-free.

 

Focus/19’s aim is to bring people closer than ever to the heart of a design story – and live demonstrations of artisan skills are the perfect way to deepen understanding and knowledge. The new Morris & Co showroom hosted block-printing sessions all week, with anyone invited to take part and create their own wallpaper (pictured top); decorative artists from the workshops of the San Patrignano community visited from Italy to show how their complex wallcoverings are created (pictured centre); and participants at a session at Lincrusta were invited to customise its ‘Chequers’ design with imaginative paint effects (pictured bottom).

It wasn’t just wallpaper that was under the spotlight, though. Elsewhere, Artisans of Devizes hosted a marbling workshop with Marmor Paperie; Marvic Textiles brought live silkworms into the showroom to tell the story of James Hare’s silk; and a chocolate-making demonstration at Christopher Peacock highlighted the robustness of its porcelain worktops.