Neri&Hu: Elle Deco’s Designers of the Year

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The annual Milan Design Week (Salone del Mobile) in April is undeniably the event of the year. Although it was a place where we first launched Parachilna back in 2014, we are not a fan of Milan Design Week and all kind of shows like this (we have already said that before). Milan is a fantastic city but during this event it becomes impossible even to walk the streets or to be properly served in restaurants. The mass of people creates an unimaginable chaos everywhere mostly in Salone itself whose enormous dimensions does not make it easier. The biggest highlight was the ELLE DECO International Design Awards (EDIDA) ceremony, where we were pleased to see Neri&Hu Design and Research Office take home the Designers of the Year award. 


It was a well-deserved win for Shanghai-based creatives Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu. For over a decade, the partners have focused their energies on projects that blend function and innovation. They deserved it also because their the most victorious ability is their humanity. We rarely meet in our lives , even in our private circles such a nice, honest, humble, caring and smiling people. It is a pity that there is no award for the truest and the best person of the year because if there was one they would be the winners!

 Neri&Hu’s speciality is giving old-fashioned spaces and concepts a modern yet minimalistic revamp. For example, the design of their Bai lights for Parachilna was based on the traditional Chinese lantern.



“We always try to find meaning and purpose in the pieces we do,” says Neri. “We tried to make sure the idea of the lantern was still there, but it also needed to be abstracted in order to be relevant.”

In the update, paper was replaced with blown glass, wire was traded for high-quality metalwork finished in aged bronze and candlelight was swapped for an LED. They even incorporated their heritage into the name of the collection, Bai, which is a common surname in China. The end result: a family of hanging lamps consisting of a mother, father and a son – a clever reflection of China’s one-child policy.

The two architects have been on a winning streak in recent years. They were named Maison&Objet Asia Designers of The Year 2015 and Wallpaper* Designer of The Year 2014. In 2013, they were inducted into the U.S. Interior Design Hall of Fame.

With Jaime Hayón winning ELLE DECO’s Designer of the Year Award in 2016, we’re happy to see two more of our collaborators receive the accolade. The ceremony was marked with excitement, along with a touching acceptance speech from the duo to cap off the evening. 

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“Lyndon and I are deeply, deeply honoured and profoundly humbled by this award,” said Hu before passing the microphone to Neri, who left the audience with a thoughtful remark: “Design is important in the world today and design can make a difference.”


Congratulations, Neri&Hu!




Featured post

Atelier Oï: Designing a Sensory Experience

A look at atelier oï’s immersive creations

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Switzerland-based design agency atelier oï is known for diving headfirst into every project they take on. Creating products for a range of clientele including Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Moroso, B&B Italia, Pringle of Scotland and Parachilna, their intrepid cross-disciplinary method ensures no two designs are ever the same. Often, their concepts encourage viewers to reconsider ordinary objects. Take their luxurious leather hammock for Louis Vuitton, for example (below), or their birdhouse made of seeds that slowly changes shape before disappearing completely.

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Of course, we wouldn’t be able to bring up atelier oï without mentioning their ethereal OÏPHORIQUE collection for Parachilna.

Watch Oïphorique‘s graceful undulations in the video above.

The series effortlessly celebrates the studio’s 20th anniversary milestone with luminaires that combine steel and textile to form light casting sculptures. Featuring unique shapes that emulate the graceful movements of jellyfish in the water, they bring a gentle elegance to both residential and hospitality projects.

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Indeed, atelier oï’s forward-thinking practice is also reflected in their name. “Oï” is derived from the Russian word troika, meaning, “a vehicle pulled by a team of three horses”. When founders Armand Louis and Aurel Aebi first met in university, they bonded over their love of architecture and design. Upon meeting third founder, Patrick Reymond (who had a background in boat construction), design sparks flew. Viewing themselves as travellers “discovering new materials and ways of creating,” atelier oï continues to reach new achievements on an international scale. And of course, having three people at the helm is a recipe for endless discussion and experimentation. Since 2009, the team has been working out of their “Moïtel,” a revamped former motel in La Neuveville, Switzerland. Their proximity to a great lake gives them the opportunity to take their clients out on the water via the “Romandie I, 1952, the atelier’s well-appointed passenger-cabin-turned-luxury-dream-boat (below).

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When they do travel, they make a statement. Their participation in Milan Design Week 2017 had them presenting new products like their Spiral Lamp, Belt Chair and Swing Boat for Louis Vuitton, as well as collaborative exhibits. One of these was CASA GIFU II The art of Seki, the second installation of an on-going project in partnership with Japan’s Gifu Prefecture. The first exhibition of this kind was at Milan Design Week 2016. It focused on two Japanese crafts: paper-making (originally produced in the region of Mino) and cedar wood (originating from the Takayama region).

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This year, the exhibit aimed to “relocate” Seki (a Japanese city known for its 780-year-old cutlery and sword-making traditions) to the heart of Milan’s Brera District. Co-working with one of the oldest forges of the region, atelier oï developed a katana, a traditional Japanese sword used by the samurai of ancient Japan.

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Through a sea of sparks and clanging steel, the immersive demonstration transported onlookers to Japan through a sensory experience. This synthesis of cultures, inspirations and artisanal skills is reflective of atelier oï’s 25-year passion for continually crossing borders. Their disruptive approach to breaking down boundaries between genres and reinvigorating artisanal traditions is one of the reasons we wanted to collaborate with them. As they continue to light up the world’s design scene, we look forward to seeing what’s next for this dynamic trio.

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Bateel International

Parachilna’s Aballs designed by Jaime Hayón and Anwar by Stephen Burks triumph also in The Middle East and take part of the renowned and luxurious chain of cafés, chocolateries, boutiques and bakeries.

Bateel International LLC produces and markets chocolates, dates, pastries, and gourmet foods. In addition, it operates cafés that provide gourmet foods, desserts, coffee, and other beverages in the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The first Café Bateel opened in 2007 in the UAE. Since then, it has expanded into other countries and can be found in the most prestigious locations. In 2015, two new concepts were born: a combined café and bakery in the Arabian Ranches, Dubai and the first flagship store housing the boutique, bakery and café all under one roof at JBR The Walk, Dubai.

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M 11 Studio in Auckland

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The contemporary, elegant M11 Studio by Hare Interiors has taken the top prize at the 2016 Interior Awards evening. Presented by Interior magazine at an exciting industry event in Auckland on 23 June.

M11 overcomes all your expectations on what a refined salon environment should be. It was realized thanks to Young + Richards architects and interior designer Lauren Hare who chose Parachilna’s Aballs, designed by Jaime Hayón, as a part of an illumination.

This space is a luxury retail that “relies on minimalist, linear and sculptural forms”, plays with the concept of illusion with controlled palette of black, smoked and mirrored surfaces that offer translucency and transparency. Also due to play of materials, finishes and well-researched vintage pieces, the originality and tension is kept.

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Scenography “Oïphorique”


Learn more about Neri&Hu


6 Light-filled Interiors by Neri&Hu


The art of contrast is at the core of Neri&Hu’s practice. While the world of Chinese design is famous for its ostentatious display of colour and bling, the Shanghai-based husband-and-wife team favour a more rigorous, pared-down approach. Their distinct interiors, products and architectural projects have made Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu one of the most sought after design duos in the world. We were pleased to commission them to design Parachilna’s BAI collection, an elevated take on the traditional Chinese lantern. 

The secret to their success is rooted in their unique dichotomy. While Hu is extremely rational, Neri describes himself as emotional with a “Spanish-like vibrancy”. Moreover, he tends to conceptualize by drawing, whereas Hu prefers to process ideas through writing. Their juxtaposing qualities are often reflected in their sophisticated spaces that feature a strategic use of light and noble materials. Hot off being named Elle Deco’s Designers of the Year 2017, we highlight a few of our favourite Neri&Hu interiors.

 Comme Moi Flagship


Leave it to Neri&Hu to convert a raw concrete shell into a hipster boutique outfitted with fixtures in brass and metal mesh. Their work is self-described as a celebration of the mundane and it definitely shows in this industrial-style space. Housed in the art deco Donghu Hotel in Shanghai, the flagship store for Chinese fashion brand Comme Moi is understated yet incredibly elegant. The focus is on the quality of the materials including smooth grey terrazzo and oak flooring, BAI lights from Parachilna and select furnishings by Jean Prouvé and ClassiCon.


Chi-Q Restaurant


For lovers of light, dining under a canopy of luminaires is a heavenly experience. This is likely what Neri&Hu had in mind when they transformed the under-used atrium of Shanghai’s Chi-Q restaurant into a brilliant atrium. The central space of the Korean restaurant is filled with a long communal table surrounded by wooden dining chairs. The most notable feature is the series of large glass bulbs suspended at intervals from the ceiling, adding airiness to an eatery otherwise dominated by wood and metal.


Das Haus Installation

(IMM Cologne Trade Show)

Every year, IMM Cologne in Germany invites a designer to simulate a 240-square-metre residence for its main installation, Das Haus. For the 2015 edition of the annual furniture fair, Neri&Hu unveiled ‘Memory Lane’, a space filled with nostalgic references to Shanghai’s 1930s lane houses. The multi-room space featured lighting from Parachilna, Gandia Blasco’s Jian aluminum sofa and custom pieces designed by Neri&Hu.



 Logan’s Punch Bar                                           


A night on the town in Shanghai isn’t complete without a visit to Logan’s Punch in the Jing’an district. As its name might suggest, the bar exclusively serves punch, but the real treat is soaking up its cool interiors. For the project, Neri&Hu drew inspiration from the city’s alleyways, traditional timber houses and bamboo cladding. The wood-filled space is livened up with pops of colour including glass lampshades in bottle green that hang from the ceilings.

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 New Shanghai Theatre


When Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu were tasked with revamping a 1930 theatre, one word came to mind: drama. Taking a cue from the performing arts, they conceptualized the space as a series of theatrical acts. As visitors enter, they’re greeted by a cavernous lightwell carved out of the stone overhead. Inside, the space features several skylights and supplemental evening lamps that dynamically cast light and shadows on the bronze and stone-clad surfaces.


Bloomberg’s Hong Kong Office

(Hong Kong)

In most offices, a staircase is strictly practical. But Bloomberg Hong Kong isn’t most offices. Neri&Hu used the project as an opportunity to elevate everyday elements – this time, with a “Stair of Encounters”. The client’s brief was to design a single staircase to encourage employee interaction between floors. The result was a sculptural stairway enclosed in light ashwood and complemented by recessed lighting to mimic ceiling skylights. Meanwhile, conference rooms and workspaces illuminated by Parachilna BAI lights, surround the centrepiece.


 Learn more about Neri&Hu’s lighting collections for Parachilna.



Neri&Hu: EDIDA ceremony

Stockholm Design Fair

Parachilna’s success in Stockholm

This February, from the 7 – 11, Parachilna’s collections were presented side-by-side with Roam in Scandinavia’s largest and most renowned furniture and design fair. With more than 70.000 m² of the exposition, the Stockholm Design Fair reunited more than 7000 expositors of 32 nationalities. The Stockholm Design Week is a true source of fabulous Scandinavian design.

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Guest of Honour of the Stockholm Design Fair 2017

Jaime Hayón

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Among many invited you could find also Spanish designer Jaime Hayón. The designer who has won many prestigious awards, including ‘Best Designer‘ 2016 at the ELLE Deco International Awards, ‘Best Installation’ by Icon Magazine and ‘Designer of the year’ for AD Russia 2009. He has been listed as one of the 100 most influential creators by Time Magazine and Wallpaper. He currently has offices in Italy, Spain and Japan.

Hayón was the 14th Guest of Honor for the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair.

Animal-inspired design was well represented at this year’s Stockholm Design Fair. The designer is known for an animal imagery, particularly monkeys, which he has featured in his furniture. Everyone was invited to his DNA Gallery designed especially for Stockholm Design Fair. The structure whose installation is characterized by a mixture of fantasy and extravagancy. The DNA Hayón’s Gallery conduces a visitor to his past and present work. Every kind of art could be found in his Gallery, from sculptures to daily products dividing space into four different zones:

  • The Game of Fantasy
  • Folk Culture
  • Flora and Fauna
  • Craft Heritage



“The pavilion is an experimental way of looking at architecture,” he continued. “It’s a mixture of folklore together with some influences that I have from my travels – little elements and glimpse of things put together in an experimental box.”


“When you enter the space, you get a momentary sense of what’s in my brain,” Hayón told Dezeen. “I thought you had to be in a shell to feel a little bit of my vibe.”



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