Richard Yasmine, Flowing Fragments and Size Matters at Milano Design City 2021

Richard Yasmine,





Lebanese designer Richard Yasmine has brought two new collections to Milan for Milano Design City 2021, projects responding to impelling issues in design today: reducing waste and upcycling. To ensure continuity in the world of design during the pandemic, they are exhibited on a digital platform created by 5VIE.

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Richard Yasmine, Flowing Fragments and Size Matters at Milano Design City 2021
The pandemic has had repercussions on all aspects of our lives, including suspension of major international events such as the 2020 edition of the Salone del Mobile in Milan and the postponement of the Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale Venezia, to mention only a couple of examples.
But last year the world of design already got organised in response to the new situation, and, following the success in September 2020 of the first edition of 5VIE D'N'A - Design 'n' Art for a Better World, 5VIE, a location in the Milan Design Week circuit, brought back the digital format for the second edition in April 2021.
The platform’s participants include Lebanese designer Richard Yasmine, known for his collections skilfully blending Lebanese handcrafting traditions with contemporary design. Flowing Fragments and Size Matters are two collections combining cultural research with a strong focus on environmental issues, exhibited online for Milano Design City 2021. Let’s take a closer look.
Flowing Fragments is profoundly rooted in Mediterranean culture, with references to Greco-Roman civilisation combining philosophy with a post-contemporary aesthetic. It is a limited edition of 16 variations on tables and stools measuring 42x42x42 cm, part of a project researching production scrap, leftovers and offcuts, which are collected during the production process and transformed by Yasmine into sculptures, beautiful furnishing accessories which are intrinsically sustainable. As the designer notes: ”Flowing Fragments emphasises our global cultural heritage, it’s an awareness to save the remaining forgotten fragments of previous civilisations.” This statement must be interpreted in the context of Lebanon at a particularly difficult time, in which protection of the country’s heritage is threatened by both urban development and antiquities trafficking.
The second collection, presented under the name Size Matters, is an edition of several pieces of furniture created out of basic geometric shapes such as cylinders, cubes, prisms and parallelepipeds, put together to form useful, dynamic objects. Some are made of brass and glass, others of recycled compacted material, all concealed with oversized fabric compressed to fit each of the shapes and detained by a belt that holds the surplus material in place. These objects, of considerable size and simple, almost infantile shape, are inspired by cubism and intentionally reject use of sophisticated techniques. They amaze with a frankness that Yasmine describes as bold, in that it reveals our mentality of over-consumption. And in fact the superfluous material held in place by the belts reminds us of the phrase “to tighten your belt”. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, interpreted with the playful, elegant creativity of Richard Yasmine. 
The idea of “less is more” definitely doesn’t mean “less is a bore”, but encourages reflection on our relationship with the objects around us, from reduction of waste to intelligent upcycling.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: Richard Yasmine - http://www.richardyasmine.com/
Location: Beirut - Milan
Year: 2021
Images: cleerstudio
Find out more: https://5vie.it/