This year’s Salone del Mobile, the world’s largest design fair in Milan, opened its doors to creative minds from all over the world, proving once again it is the most important platform to show the world new concepts of living, furnishing and designing.
Featuring more than 2,400 exhibitors among the iSaloni and the Fuorisalone and over 1,000 events spread all over the city, the new ideas, innovation and trends are born at this year’s 55th edition, destined to influence the design market in months to come. From Jaime Hayon’s plastic Mila chair for Magis, Aquario cabinet proposed by Campana brothers for BD to Arik Levy’s marble lamp for Citco and Optical light by Lee Broom to one-time installations such as Preciosa’s Automata in Via Tortona or Forest of Light by Sou Fujimoto to fresh ideas from Salone Satellite, the real testbed of young design, designMENA.com was there to take a closer look and share its experience.
Crystal Automata by Preciosa
Created by Michael Vasku and Andreas Klug, Czech lighting manufacturer Preciosa has created Crystal Automata, crystal installations inspired by Fire, Water, Air and Earth, mechanical movement and the fascinating craftsmanship behind glassmaking and clockworks. The exhibition took place in the Tortona District where visitors had the chance to examine its complexity in motion, as it wasn’t hidden in a black box, but exposed to the eye similarly as mechanics in sophisticated wristwatches.
Aquario cabinet by Campana brothers
BD Barcelona Design presented the Aquário cabinet by Campana brothers, available in two distinct colours, along with new pieces by Jaime Hayón, Oscar Tusquets, Färg & Blanche. Humberto and Fernando Campana have used ash wood and stained pine and coloured glass to fill blob-shaped gaps. The internal shelves are also made of glass to conserve the materials transparency and serving to let light pass through.
“We have been working with BD Barcelona Design’s art director, Ramón Úbeda for the past two years. We have discussed ideas which have matured with the final result being this piece, inspired in an aquarium,” explained the Brazilian duo. “Playing with the idea of different weights, with the light aspect of glass and solid wood.”
This year Dutch furniture brand Moooi revealed new furniture, lighting and carpet designs by 17 different designers, both acclaimed and emerging. Along with 22 signature carpets, some of the pieces that caught our eye include the Charleston chair by Moooi’s co-founder Marcel Wanders, Amami Sofa by Lorenza Bozzoli and the Perch lights, lamps shaped like origami birds, by Umut Yamac.
Kartell’s Talking minds
For the 2016 Salone del Mobile, Kartell’s display revolved around 11 micro-environments, dedicated to a specific designer, including Antonio Citterio, Ferruccio Laviani, Piero Lissoni, Alberto Meda, Alessandro Mendini, Fabio Novembre, Eugeni Quitllet, Philippe Starck, Patricia Urquiola, Tokujin Yoshioka, as well as the new Kartell Kids line. The very latest products were on display accompanied by the voices of those who designed them, Kartell’s “talking minds”.
Commenting design behind his Kabuki lamp, Ferruccio Laviani says: “I’m always amazed to see how exciting it is to work with plastic, capable of a versatility and expressiveness we designers have to discover and interpret.”
Karim Rashid’s Hoop chair for B-line
Italian brand B-line continues collaboration with legendary designers, like Karim Rashid, who has this year designed the Hoop chair, as well as rigorous designers such as Favaretto and Partners, who created the small Overpass armchair and the Helix chair.
Hoop is a minimalist yet sensual and lightweight that conveys restrained elegance.
“My mantra of sensual minimalism is exemplified with the Hoop Chair. Hoop is pure simplicity, designed as a soft plane of warm plastic laying over a metal or wood frame. The ergonomic shape creates integrated handle. Hoop leaves you enveloped in calming simplicity, comfort and ease,” explains Rashid.
The Gender by Patricia Urquiola for Cassina
Designed by Patricia Urquiola, the Gender armchair is dressed in layers, with textures and colours that meet and contrast to create an adaptable lexicon in relation to its surrounding environment. The Gender armchair represents Cassina’s innovation in the research for quality tailoring with the construction of a complex and sophisticated dress, which fits over a polyurethane foam structure with a flexible backrest. The soft cushioned interior of the armchair dialogues in contrast to its exterior, which is traced with a coloured leather profile.
Zaha Hadid’s table for Sawaya & Moroni
Zaha Hadid’s table for Sawaya & Moroni was her last completed design project before her untimely death. Hadid established a close working relationship as well as a friendship with William Sawaya and Paolo Moroni the protagonists of the multi-faceted italian furniture network. The design takes shape in the form of sweeping motions as the polyurethane structure emerges from a single enveloping figure. Another Hadid’s work presented at this year’s fair was Valle, a shelving system crafted in black granite for Citco. Defined by the contrasting lightness of its design with the solidity of granite each of the four shelves can be mounted as standalone piece as well as in unified configurations.
Camouflage by Fredrikson Stallard for Driade
Design duo Patrik Fredrikson and Ian Stallard designed an outdoor collection titled Camouflage, which consists of a high and low armchair, a table and small table, all made of aluminium. In these sculptured elements the geometrical design of the structure frames the elaborated fret worked decoration.
“We feel that we have created something new, something so obvious, but never actually realised into a commercial outdoor furniture collection before. Modernism killed so many of the human nuances such as the importance of sculptural aesthetics that make our lives richer,” says Stallarad.
Axor Water Dream
Building on the technological capabilities of the Axor U-Base, Axor envisioned a new dimension of individualisation: washbasin spouts crafted from alternative materials with total freedom of form for seamless integration in the interior design. Within this creative brief, Axor invited five world-renowned design partners to present their visions for the meaning of water within the living spaces of tomorrow. Together with Axor, David Adjaye, Werner Aisslinger, FRONT, Gam Fratesi and Jean-Marie Massaud designed unique spouts that through their materiality, form and function, give a new value to the tap itself and the water passing through it.
“With the Axor WaterDream 2016 we discussed the meaning and value of water in our living space with some of the world’s best architects and designers, while testing the limits of individualisation,” says Philippe Grohe, vice president of design management at Hansgrohe SE.
Anna Lindgren and Sofia Lagerkvist, the designers behind Front, put the playful character of water in focus in their project. Water Steps studies the beauty of water in all of its facets: the sculptural design and its basins made of brass creates a playful exchange between human, water and form.
Jean-Marie Massaud created a Mimicry, a concept in which natural stone meets water in a harmonious connection. Simple geometric shapes were used to create a landscape of marble that integrates perfectly into various interior design concepts.
40 years of Magis
For its 40th anniversary, Magis has set up an exhibition design that illustrates the past and present of this Italian company, which has grown into a point of reference for the design world. Presenting the latest new products, created by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic and Jerszy Seymour, an exhibition summed up the collaboration between Magis and some of the biggest names on the international design scene in the past decades. Jaime Hayoon’s Milà chair, launched by Magis at last year’s Salone del Mobile is now available on the market. After the tables launched at the last Salone del Mobile, this year the Officina collection by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec expands to include a chair and stools that echo the forged iron structure of the tables, combined with shells in a range of different materials.