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At Ventura Lambrate, a rocking horse for big, big kids

April 14, 2011 |  1:35 pm


Among the amusements during the weeklong carnival of design in Milan: the giant rocking horse created by Fabian Von Spreckelsen, a German student at the Academy of Fine Art Maastricht in the Netherlands.

Von Spreckelsen built his horse with quarter-inch-thick sheets of steel, brown leather and more than 5,000 stitches. His goals were twofold: to reduce the silhouette of a horse to a minimum, and to make the rocking motion look realistic. (It is.) Von Spreckelsen said a scout from Louis Vuitton already had been by and expressed interest in the piece.

Ventura-Lambrate-leonie-aretzThe photo was taken on the first day of the Ventura Lambrate exhibition in what's emerging as Milan's third design district. Milan's high-end showrooms have long been in the Brera district, and though the Zona Tortona neighborhood used to be where emerging designers could exhibit their work in low-key, low-rent quarters during design week, Tortona has gone the way of West Hollywood and Silver Lake.

In 2010 the younger designers began to show in Lambrate, and this year the area seems to be gathering steam, with emerging talent showcasing their ideas in empty factories that once produced motorcycles and coffee makers.

In the same industrial hall where Von Spreckelsen was rocking, Leonie Aretz was exhibiting with her fellow design students from Kunsthochschule Kassel in Germany. Aretz's piece was 42K, right, a table anchored by a limestone base that weighs 42 kilos. The ash stick sits in an angled well inside the stone, allowing the aluminum table to pivot without actually moving the base.

More reports from Milan via Twitter: @cnakano.

-- Craig Nakano in Milan, Italy

Photos: Franco Forci / For The Times