Bringing Local Design to the Global Stage: Local Design and Cosentino
Feature by Kathryn Shanks
Local Design aims to open the Australian design industry to a global audience, showcasing local talent yearly at Milan Design Week. This year saw Local Milan no. 4 in the historic 5 Vie district, which took place April 8-14 and was the largest independent Australian exhibition to date. Co-founder of Local Design Emma Elizabeth carefully curates each exhibit to portray the uniquely Australian design aesthetic, bringing both global and local attention to Australian designers and suppliers.
Local Milan no. 4 involved the works of forty-four Australian designers across ten rooms, with a café hosted by design brand NAU. The exhibit spanned the senses, with sculptures and furniture tied together with a soundscape by DJ Mason Mulholland. Emma Elizabeth worked with designers to link works to specific sites in the building, allowing visitors to wander through shifting tones across two levels of Australian design.
To present the exhibit this year, Local Design partnered with Cosentino, a reconstituted stone specialist with Spanish origins and a global reach. Cosentino is just as passionate about supporting and advancing awareness of Australian design, owning several subsidiaries across the country. They work closely with Australian architects and designers, and their position as a global leader in the design industry gives Australian designers the perfect opportunity to advance onto the world stage.
The reconstituted stone surfaces produced by Cosentino are highly popular in Australia, with a cultural preference for durability prevailing in our choice of materials. Cooking and entertaining at home is the norm, making kitchen and living-room design a prominent market. The aesthetic of natural stone creates a modern yet opulent feel to any room and is always popular. However, the use of natural stone surfaces such as raw marble or bluestone are too high maintenance for the Australian market: the porous nature of the surfaces leaves them vulnerable to stains and other imperfections. Reconstituted stone is increasingly preferable in a culture that loves the natural stone aesthetic but privileges the cost-effectiveness of durable surfaces.
Cosentino’s popularity in Australia is exemplified by the support of Neale Whitaker, prominent interior design expert and judge on The Block. Whitaker is a brand ambassador for Silestone, one of Cosentino’s brands of reconstituted stone. He commends the quality, functionality, and durability of the stone surfaces, using them in his own home renovations, and regards them as a good long-term investment. The stone surfaces available are scratch- and stain-resistant, available in an incredible range of colours and patterns. With continual developments in technology, Cosentino can even achieve stone-surface cladding on drawers and cabinets, cutting the stone in ever-finer thicknesses.
More than merely a design company, Cosentino places great emphasis on the people that work to design, create, and supply their reconstituted stone surfaces. They have created an expanding network of people across the world who all share a passion for design, innovation, and inspiration. With over seventy members of the Cosentino family in Australia, we at Casper & Casper are certain that their support for local designers won’t waver.