Portland design reporter Damon Johnston will cover the 60th edition of Dell mobile salonThe prestigious Furniture and Design Fair, June 7-12 at Fiera Milano Rho in Milan, Italy. Trends and products that debuted during last year’s Milan Design Week appear in showrooms. Here are the highlights:
Although attendance at Milan Design Week in 2021 has dropped significantly due to the COVID-19 travel ban, it hasn’t stopped brands from coming out at full capacity, but differently than in previous years.
The drop in visitors left more time for attendees to interact more in depth. Many designers, owners, and PR people were relieved to reconnect in a less tense atmosphere.
There were fewer models and everything looked smaller, but this reduced distraction made the standout trends more visible.
The new luxury is touch. From fabrics like the trendy Dedar flower to the 3D woven wallpaper in the Salvioni showroom on Via Durini, each brand showcased highly tactile elements.
Pottery in Nilofar and Archiproducts as well as rostrato, or embroidered Barovier & Toso’s glass and opera lighting fixtures by Philippe Nigro emphasized the human hand in creating objects.
The Salvatore Stone Company continued to lead fashion with its soft dark brown round marble in a chevron pattern.
The coronavirus pandemic and climate change have prompted designers to invite more nature indoors. This trend transcends obvious houseplants into indoor bushes like the one created at Storage Milano.
Designer Khaled Elmais’ collection at Nilufer Depot felt like a magical, acid-filled jungle room.
Images of nature dominated the murals by Federica Perazzoli in Nilufar and the wall coverings at Dimorestudio.
The use of unadulterated natural materials such as the Armadillo Furniture Collection by Philippe Negro was clearly in the minds of designers of all spectrums.
The large, fluid shapes in the furnishings created a world of uncertainty. Childish shapes provided comfort. This design language is seen in the remodel of the Four Seasons Hotel in Milan.
B&B Italia has reissued many famous pieces such as Up 6 in cork. Swedish designers Mira Bergh and Josefin Zachrisson have created bench outdoor furniture that is playful and comfortable.
Arched lighting at Palazzo Litta, curved benches at Nilufar Depot and Nilufar’s Brassless Gallery in Alcova also exemplify this trend.
From boho to disco, the 1970s decade of massive social change provides the perfect inspiration for today.
Curvy, rounded corners soften the clean lines and hard edges of yesteryear. Showcase this Baxter Milanese with the Milano bed designed by Paola Navone and the Barret chair by Draga & Aurel.
At Dimorestudio, brown replaced black and the work of architect and industrial designer Claudio Salucci was highlighted as designer Emiliano Salci created vintage murals.
Not only has architect and designer Mario Bellini inspired a lot from this trend, his work has also grown in importance as seen with Bambolongue at Nilufar Gallery and Bambole at B&B Italia.
Mikado, a free-standing bookcase designed by Federico Peri, blends metal, glass, and leather.
French architect and designer Jean-Marie Massoud reinterpreted the classic Le Club chair from a monumental form into a light and comfortable deconstruction of the Poliform.
Australian furniture maker Farid Ghanem and UK marble furniture maker Agglomerati have entered into their first stone partnership with Mass. Ganim used Palissandro marble to sculpt a monolithic, curved base with movable cantilevered shelves that appear to float parallel to the ground.
Inspired by the periodic rebuilding of Japanese temples, Patricia Urquiola has created an ergonomically proportioned modular sofa system for Cassina filled with 100% recycled fibers to suit even the most funky designs.
Edra’s first outdoor collection, A’mare designed by Jacopo Foggini, mimics the blue and green of water shimmering in the sun. The furniture is made of polycarbonate “sticks” that refer to vernacular wooden furniture. The overall effect is amazing.
The 3D-printed work of Eindhoven-based French designer Audrey Large, in Nilofar, opens up a dialogue between the real and the digital. She designs figures digitally with pictorial references that remain intentionally abstract. You print the pieces that fit in a 3D printer and then assemble them into the larger work.
British designer Bethan Laura Wood started this project as an exploration of knob shapes as furniture jewelry. The name “Meisen” came from Wood’s passion for colorful kimonos inspired by popular Western modernists from 1912 to the 1950s. Wood worked with APLI software to create the lifelike bespoke wood veneer seen in Nilufar.
Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai, a Pritzker Architecture Prize nominee, is the first Indian-born architect to collaborate with French luxury brand Hermes.
Inspired by the Lignage d’Hermes club chair, the wood frame is covered with a new type of cellulose microfiber from Puglia, Italy and then painted by hand. Sillage d’Hermes table in black stone is hand-carved in a radial pattern that turns gray when engraved.
For the Lost Stones in collaboration with Salvatore, Gabriele Salvatori and Piero Lissoni drew inspiration from the traditional Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by repairing broken areas with varnishes dusted with or mixed with gold powder.
Contrary to the Western conception of perfection, breaking and repairing are not only an acceptance of imperfection but become more valuable. Because the stone is brittle, there is a great deal of breakage. This provides a solution to create a more valuable product than what was previously wasted.
Showcase maker and global flair maker Rosana Orlandi continues her quest to turn plastic waste into great design. Her international project Guiltless Plastic, held at the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, offered solutions in recycling one of the most abundant resources available.
Orlandi argues that plastic itself is not the problem, but that we need to discover transformative ideas to create useful and desirable products.
A Circular Lab made of liquid containers marked a lecture area in the museum’s courtyard.
At the Rossana Orlandi Gallery in Milan, Orlandi presented a tile made of recycled eggshell by Nature Squared and designer Elain Ng. Wall and floor tiles are handcrafted in the Philippines.
– Damon Johnston
More Damon Johnstun design stories:
• Archiproducts is an online design wonderland
• Your home office deserves a premium modern chair by Eames, Saarinen and Citterio
• Formafantasma, rethinking the future
• Antonio Citrio’s guide to contemporary Italian elegance
• The simple master Piero Lissoni is surprisingly funny: Milan Design Week
• Step into an evocative world at Dimore Studio: Milan Design Week (photos)
• Chic, quiet office chairs come home: an interview with Janet Atheer
• Hive Modern hosts Italian luxury furniture chief Patrizia Moroso
• Christian Lacroix, Sacha and the Caves makes carpets for Moi
• The elegant work of a Paris-based designer is documented in a new book, “Joseph Deeran’s Interiors”.
• “Milan is the capital of design,” says Nina Yasar from Nilofar showrooms
• Furniture designer Giulio Cappellini in Milan (photos)
• Papilio chair inspired by the swallowtail butterfly: Naoto Fukasawa in Milan
• Modern Furniture Inspired by Mini Cooper: GamFratesi in Milan
Gallery owner Rosana Orlandi: Star Furniture Designers
• Lollipop-inspired lighting by designer Bethan Laura Wood
• Architect and Furniture Designer Vincent van Duysen: “Timeless Modernism”
• Lighting designer Michael Anastasiades: simplicity is sophistication
• $100,000 Pool Table: “The Price of Pursuing Perfection”
• Ferruccio Laviani: People who are obsessed with design know his name, others will soon know his name
• Bisazza interprets Pucci’s iconic prints in mosaics: reflecting design shows in Milan
• Magritte-inspired boudoir and a nude pink room with a velvet sofa: shots from a furniture exhibition
• A glimpse of Giancarlo Giametti’s grandiose book “Private”
• Barcelona’s early modernist masterpiece: Mies van der Rohe’s suite
• Baccarat party-goers in Milan are treated to iconic crystal luxury
• Philip Naxon, a self-taught multicultural designer, invests in a new future: Design City
• Portland Design Week Kick-Off: Stunning Non-Stop Photos