At this 2022 SaloneSatellite, the meeting place for emerging projects and designers, scheduled as part of the Salone di Milano, 13 Belgians were able to present their work to the international press and to buyers and talent scouts from all over the world as part of The New Belgian, a collective stand orchestrated by Belgium is Design.
SaloneSatellite has been a must for Belgium is Design to promote Belgian designers starting out in their career for more than 20 years. This first experience at an international trade show allows them to meet a global audience. For Belgium is Design, this show is also an opportunity to showcase talents already familiar with the challenges of the Milan show. Each new participation gives them the opportunity to affirm their status as a ‘brand to watch’. For this 2022 event, a somewhat exceptional vintage since it was part of the 60th Salone, the The New Belgians exhibition comprised 13 studios, designers and projects. While the Belgian delegation comprised creative profiles as different as they were complementary, the talents who presented their work from 6 to 12 June in a very fresh scenography designed by Benoit Deneufbourg, beautifully outlined a ‘gestural’ design while underlining their desire to assert their artisanal expertise, promote short circuits and, for some, initiate reflections, or even concrete actions, in the field of social design.
This was the case for Alice Emery, with her ‘machine and hand’ approach. Trained as a cabinetmaker, qualified in design at St-Luc Tournai and based in Brussels, the designer, renowned for creating furniture (including an Orion desk in Macassar ebony presented at the SaloneSatellite), hand-tufted carpets with astonishing chromatic shades and nomadic objects, is the perfect embodiment of today’s design. Now working from a new workshop with two other creative women with whom she founded the Maak&Transmettre collective, Alice Emery develops social projects for the women in the district. This obsession with gesture, as well as with experimentation and sustainability, can be found in the work of several other designers represented at SaloneSatellite. For Studio Amorce, creators of everyday objects, including shelving systems with a playful and colourful design, this sustainable dimension translates into a desire to be found at flea markets in 30 years, in the same way as other design classics from past decades.
The strength of this selection also lies in its diversity. It included atypical profiles such as Chanel Kapitanj, originally from Liège, who is trained in welding and has a master’s degree in design. Her work, which combines cutting-edge creation and artisanal ironwork, results in art objects that include a jewel armchair in brass and stainless steel with a chain mail seat. This ‘one-of-a-kind’ approach to galleries can be found in several designers in this selection. Like Charlotte and Martin, the founders of BISKT. Their complementary profiles (she is a ceramist, he is an industrial designer) inspire them to create stoneware pieces that are sometimes accessible (intended for decoration stores), sometimes more experimental, such as the Balik bench already presented at the Galerie du Roi in Brussels.
Each year, the SaloneSatellite jury awards three innovation prizes to the designers chosen to exhibit on this platform dedicated to emerging projects. Studio Gilles Werbrouck (a project born from the meeting of textile designer Gilles Werbrouck and industrial designer Hugues Loinard) won second prize for the Lamps prototype, a limited series of lamps that combines two techniques with an avant-garde approach: a tube immersed in jesmonite and a hand-crocheted lampshade. The result is an object that is beautiful to look at and functional, as well as durable. This Milan award guarantees immediate visibility in the Italian and international press. This visibility adds to that resulting from the links forged by the Belgium is Design team with many Belgian and foreign journalists.