Grass roots: Visionnaire’s latest collection is green at heart

Grass roots: Visionnaire’s latest collection is green at heart

A theme of greenery prevailed at Italian furniture brand Visionnaire’s Milan-wide Salone del Mobile showcase this year. It was conveyed not only through the abundance of tropical foliage sprouting from the brand’s booth, but also less obviously, within the bones of its new furniture collection, ‘Cosmical’. Made using sustainably sourced materials and environmentally friendly production processes, Visionnaire’s 2017 collection is green to the core.

‘For several years, we asked ourselves what luxury today means,’ says art director Eleonore Cavalli. ‘The most common answer among our customers and lovers of design and architecture, like us, is often: being able to enjoy a green heart.’

It seems greenery is something we have been craving more of in recent times. Pantone named the shade its colour of the year for 2017, while architect Stefano Boeri’s plant-covered Bosco Verticale development in Milan was deemed the world’s most beautiful and innovative highrise in 2014.

Inspired by the growing interest in all things green, Cavalli and her team set about planning Visionnaire’s own ‘re-evolution’. Taking the new 2017 collection as a starting point, the brand’s research and development department created a sustainability programme that ensures all new products are made using materials with a low environmental impact.

‘For instance, the wood we use for the construction of beds and sofa structures is supplied by companies that are part of certified production chains,’ Cavalli says. ‘The selected trees are cut at the correct age and then replanted. For suspension systems, we use jute webbing instead of elastic straps and petroleum-based materials.’

‘Cosmical’ includes collaborations with designers Mauro Lipparini, Steve Leung, Alessandro La Spada, Maurizio Manzoni and Roberto Tapinassi. Kapok fillings replace feathers for cushion pads, while millet and flax are used as padding for pillows. Similarly, upholstery fabrics are all woven from natural fibres such as flax, wool, cotton and ramie, and processed using only natural plant-based dyes and tints. For leather, chemical-heavy chrome tanning has been abandoned in favour of vegetable dyes.

To celebrate the launch of the new collection, Visionnaire commissioned greenery-inspired exhibitions at each of its Milan showrooms. At Wunderkammer Visionnaire on Piazza Cavour, an exhibition of oil paintings by Swiss artist Conrad Jon Godly has been curated by Marco Morandini. A former fashion photographer who returned to the Swiss mountains after years in Los Angeles, Godly’s paintings use a limited palette of colours to evoke primordial landscapes and geological processes.

Meanwhile, over at the Via Turati showroom, the first in a new series of artist-designed window installations is on display. Called ‘Visions of the Future’, the site-specific installation comes courtesy of multimedia artist Enrico T De Paris, who has transformed the window into a place of refection with a series of sculptures. Acting as metaphors, his works describe a future where nature is in grave danger, owing to biotechnologies and powerful pharmaceutical and agrochemical multinationals.

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