New York designer Lindsey Adelman and brand Calico Wallpaper have collaborated on a joint presentation for Milan design week, including lighting and murals patterned using salt to create effects of “alchemy and decay”.
The US studios’ combined Beyond the Deep exhibition will showcase new products from both: Adelman’s Drop lighting system and Calico’s Oceania wallpaper.
Ahead of the event, the two participants discovered they were similarly experimenting with corrosive natural chemicals, like salt, to alter the appearance of surfaces.
They therefore chose to display their subaqueous-themed products together, in a series of spaces combining the designs – which conjure images of the ocean through the colours and patterns.
“The multi-room presentation explores the effect of naturally occurring chemical reactions on surfaces and will immerse viewers into a dreamy world of alchemy and decay,” said a statement about the exhibition.
Calico will line the walls of the rooms with murals, patterned with blue watercolours that have been dispersed and marbled with salt.
Created by hand and then transferred to digital format, the large prints follow the theme of natural processes and effects found in the brand’s products.
It previously used the same technique, but on a much smaller scale, to create chocolate bar wrappers in collaboration with Mast Brothers.
“Beyond the Deep has been the perfect collaboration for us because we were able to create something that felt unique to Calico Wallpaper, but also in sync with Lindsey’s creative vision,” said Calico co-founder Nick Cope. “We have long admired her as an artist and design innovator, so it’s an honour to showcase our work together in Milan.”
For her first standalone exhibition in Milan, Adelman will debut her Drop collection. The system includes blown-glass droplet shades suspended on thin cylindrical bars.
These brass frames have been treated using salt and ammonia, resulting in a verdigris patina that resembles algae and rust overtaking parts of a shipwreck.
The lighting designs will hang in front of Calico’s wallpaper, together creating a subaqueous atmosphere.
“I have been inspired and in awe of the moody and technically accomplished body of work by Rachel and Nick Cope since they founded Calico Wallpaper,” said Adelman. “We have a similar appreciation for pushing the boundaries of art and design, which made our working together quite natural.”
For other highlights, check out our guide to the must-see installations and exhibitions, as well as our list of other US designers and brands we’re looking forward to seeing there.