Great design served fast in Milan.

Custom metal designs from Chemetal decorate “The Diner.”

This year, at Salone del Mobile in Milan, Chemetal partnered with Rockwell Group, 2x4, and Surface Magazine on The Diner – a coast to coast exploration of American Design. The Diner was a pop-up space during Milan Design Week located off-site, in a funky old concrete railroad storage bunker just north of Milano Centrale.

A Supporting Partner of the The Diner, Chemetal created custom polished metal designs for the booth areas of The Diner.

Rockwell Group reached out to Chemetal in late 2017, based on embossed Dome and Triangle designs in Chemetal’s 2017 “Glowing Metals” new material launch. In 2017, Glowing Metals was named a finalist in Interior Design Magazine’s Best of Year (BOY) Awards.

Working with custom designs by The Diner graphics partner 2x4, Chemetal turned to one of their regular partners, Rhode Island-based Dorch Design, to produce plate prototypes on carved high density MDF.

“The more you simplify, the better things turn out,” says Chemetal Creative Director and President Geoff Schaefer, “this is especially true with Chemetal’s roll press process. Only when you start pressing protypes do you see where both design issues and really cool metal looks are happening.”

Once a design was chosen, Dorch Design produced a final 48” x 54” CNC “plate.” Chemetal pressed the design into reflective clear and brass-look anodized aluminum on its roll press, producing enough material to line the booth areas of The Diner.

The Diner was a huge success. It received the “Best Engagement” award from Milan Design Week. Plus, Chemetal #606 Blackened Aluminum, a popular design, was featured in the entry lobby.

“We really enjoyed creating these materials, and hanging out late night at The Diner, which is the archetypal diner time for me” says Schaefer. “The people at Rockwell were great to work with, I don’t think they slept much in Milan, but then again, nobody does during Saloni.”

Photo credit for all Milan photos
The Diner. Photo:Michele de Candia for Surface Media

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