70s values

70s values

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Salone del Mobile 2015, Milan, Italy: a close encounter of design kind.


The Salone 2015 edition is now completed, giving us the best of the best yet to come from the design industry and beyond. The biggest design event of the planet, presenting and influencing all areas of the design process, from scratch paper to business plan , from initial idea to production line, from seller to buyer, from the design team to final user end, from closed studio walls  to the public. Great things did happen this year, as expected, keeping the standards as high as ever, introducing new design forces, reassuring the design established, re-discovering the old and interesting by heading to the new and promising. Here are some of the highlights, (according to the A4D-D4A design gospel), focus points  and brands who really make an impact this year, with a complete and interesting exhibit package:
Euroluce, the international lighting exhibition key stands:
Llum Democratic Design sl, (also featuring  Omio), Spain
Spain seriously hit a chord this year, being entirely present with a strong core of exhibitors all over Salone,  but in lighting design  they were some more-than-pleasant surprises, like the ceramic hanging lights by Omio, attracting the eye, among many others in the company’s catalog,  with their memorable eco-feel , their exquisite form and intelligent technical orientation. A very noticeable manufacturer and a design team evolving the Mediterranean lighting design tradition to a whole new different level. Lights with beauty and brains.
Hanging lights by OMIO

Michael Anastassiades Ltd, UK
Prodigious designer and engineer, Michael Anastassiades chose to showcase his lighting ventures this year, raising again the eyebrows of the design community by his perfectionism, his philosophy  and his ability to translate our very basic existential equations to lighting objects. A true designer by definition , explores entirely the contemporary possibilities of artificial lighting, in a wonderfully executed wooden space-stand in Euroluce, and the result is captivating. Real, so –close-to-natural -lights ,designed for human beings.

M.Anastassiades' space at Euroluce

Artemide Architectural, France
It’s impossible to visit the Salone and ignore corners like the Artemide Architectural space. A team of the most prestigious designers and architects unite with the high-tech savvy and the most innovative technical deliberation by far. The science of light resides here, together with exclusivity in design and state-of-the art production and manufacturing. The collections, the corporate projects, the open discussions, the lighting objects themselves- everything races literally under light speed. Fascinating, invigorating, embracing the new, Artemide is a company of the world. Sigh and respect.

Jean Nouvel creates for Artemide Architectural

Ingo Maurer GmbH, Germany
Last, but not least, an exhibitor’s space which really left its mark on this current edition of Euroluce 2015, very cleverly situated as a welcome-point, at a strategic spot , next to the entrance of pavilion 15 (the first to visit from the west gate of Milan Fiera).  Ingo Maurer is a legend, but he can also be extremely up-to date.  The company’s team in the reception , the visitor’s transparent  navigation throughout the stand, the presentations of the fascinating lights in the space and in the catalogs, all possible aspects  were celebrating unpretentiously the ideas and the products  of this unique designer- brand name. Fair to declare the most relevant and dominant design figure of the Euroluce show.
Campari Bar table lamp - Ingo Maurer GmbH

Ingo's Light "dining table" at Euroluce

Parallel event: FAVILLA
This year the Salone del Mobile.Milano wanted to leave its luminous trace on the city again, with the event “FAVILLA. To Every Light a Voice”, dedicated to Milan and to all the visitors to Design Week. The installation, signed by architect Attilio Stocchi, is a homage to light, celebrated this year by the biennial Euroluce exhibition at the Salone del Mobile, but also  by UNESCO, which has proclaimed 2015 the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies. The narrative illustrates the characteristics of light movement, through a series of images from nature, in a very poetic and deeply philosophical way. The construction of the dome hosting the projection was curated by Ford Design.

Favilla: The Black shell (the entrance)

Workplace 3.0, the international workspace exhibition key people and elements:
The world of work unveiled many different possibilities for workspace design this year. A turn to generate creative productivity at work: new materials or new uses for old ones , bold color schemes and shapes, economic solutions and ergo-“green”-omic ideas, put the puzzle of the industry together. Noted stands-exhibitors ,  among many, Habic- Asociatión Cluster del Sector del Hábitat, Spain and Swedish Design Goes Milan 2015, Sweden.

The  remarkable project by architect Michele De Lucchi, “is a huge event born from the incomparable sensitivity and vision of  the architect , a stunning interpretation of work charged with a new and deep emotion. A journey, or rather a walk, through the style and art of life, the quality of living”, (Roberto Snaidero, President of Salone del Mobile.Milano).
M. De Lucchi bridged the industrial with the artisan, the homely with the avant-garde , the traditional with the contemporary , showcasing the potential of a continental, fluid workspace for the next generations to come. His organic perception includes nothing that can turn a human unhappy anymore in the actual environment, most accused to cause discomfort to the majority of our fellow citizens: our work place.  Love, creativity and work are no longer unabridged or distant notions between each other.

The situation  necessitates a re-look at how and where office work is done creating new opportunities for the design of our work tools, the composition and humanization of our work environments and most importantly to re-think how all of this will ultimately influence and change the regeneration and growth of our urban development”. (Michele De  Lucchi, Nicholas  Bewick).
The Walk from the top

The Walk: a section view

The Walk: a shortcut

The Walk: a side view

Design-Modern-SaloneSatellite: Important features

Japan Furniture Industry Development Association, Japan

The Association presents three exceptional companies in Milan this year: Hida Sangyo Co. Ltd, Karimoku Furniture Inc. and  Shirakawa Corporation. Karimoku New Standard exhibition propels the principals of traditional Japanese furniture design to a whole new level, creating a modern, flawless, final product and a mesmerizing effect. Karimoku re-invents home furniture DNA, as Japanese design does the last 65 years, setting the trends for the Salone future editions and offering serious food-for -(design)-thought. Destined to be worshiped by the public and instantly becoming an icon for the western design world.
Karimoku Chairs x 2
Karimoku dining space

VITEO GmbH, Austria
Great outdoor furniture, home furniture or both? Austrian design can be perceived as plain German design with a twist, only that in certain companies, this is not necessarily the case. VITEO embraces everything that good, joyful design can be, focusing on the dual nature of outdoor furniture, making it even more attractive for the user-client.  Very clever applications and patents allover the design process and execution, underline a quality company, with flair, taste and solutions. Certainly a distinguished , smart stand , fierce among some major players.
VITEO: chill corner


A LOT OF brasil, Brasil
This year A LOT OF brasil (Alessandro Mendini, Borek Sipek, Fernando and Humberto Campana, Fabio Novembre, Nika Zupanc, Paolo Ulian,Pininfarina, Karim Rashid, Vico Magistretti, Pedro Franco)collaborates with Campana brothers studio  (Estudio Campana) in a space designed by Brazil’s most famous design-dynamic duo. The result is a super interesting series of metallic furniture, The Estrela Collection, exhibited in the space and of course a direct contact with the spirit and the very essence of Brazilian design: alternative materials, cutting edge technology, craftsmanship in mass production, affordable, sophisticated design with a “sustainable heart”, made in Brazil.

The Estrela Collection: 3 pieces

Vitra International AG, Switzerland
Vitra’s  exhibition point in Salone 2015 edition was a feast, a design festival , packed with hearty people , ventures and talks, coming from every possible corner of the globe. A media magnet and right so, Vitra explored every possibility to communicate adequately and overachieved in effort to engage the visitor. Success guaranteed. A great Salone shortcut , with a collection called Novelties 2015- older designs of larger-than-life designers revisited (such as the Eames plastic side chair and armchair in new height and colours- available from June 2016), Vitra was declared unanimously the Design Republic of the Salone, a real D-emocracy .
Vitra: a perspective view of the space

Kartell, Italy
The name Kartell is synonymous of a certain Status Quo, reflecting the design choice of a social elite. In the Salone 2015 series Kartell assembles again the golden team of international design services (Antonio Citterio, Patricia Urquiola, Philippe Starck, Ferruccio Laviani and Ron Arad among others) , creating a fusion of objects, styles and aesthetics. Its voluptuous space  leaves a vivid impression, with a corporate feel and an overflowing, intense  energy. A master manufacturer of molds, the company incorporates five individual sectors-catalogs (Home, fashion, tableware, fragrances and bathroom: alias.Kartell by Laufen), all illustrious. Glamour equals Kartell.

Ron Arad's fluorescent book cases for Kartell


Complimentary event >IN ITALY: The space and The App
The country’s best, the “sacred cow” of Italian design numbers 62 companies participating in this project. There was an App to help discover them all with just one click. IN ITALY has brought together a group of visionary entrepreneurs for the first time to tell the world about themselves and their professional achievements in Italy’s diverse design and manufacturing sector.

Where was China in the Salone del Mobile 2015?

 There was no Chinese representation in the Salone del Mobile 2015. The reason is very simple. European design biggest competitor and replicator throws the 21st International Furniture Expo in Pudong, Shanghai, on September 2015. Its moto? “Sourcing for the Best Value from 3000 exhibitors”. Under current economic turbulence, China  re-addresses budgets and promises reduced costs on the basis of a so-called “fair-trade platform” for the whole furniture industry chain. Interested? Online Pre-registration Access on:

Furniture China 2015: the exhibition poster at the Rho Fiera Metro


Friday, 10 April 2015


The Salone del Mobile, for the year 2015 is only one breath away. Some great surprises will still happen this year, under the same higher-stronger-faster mode, with some really illustrious events about to take place. Furnishing, lighting and workspace design at their best all along, side to side with the top new designers under 35-year old (SaloneSatellite), installations such as the Walk by Michele de Lucchi and Favilla among others and finally the hottest exhibitors list, showcasing design work & production from almost 45 countries. A huge treasure hunt, a city inside a city, Salone's revealing secrets are expected to tone up global (design) economy and streamline local European markets, which seem to struggle with their own vices. Stay tuned for more, exciting and different-than-usual news to come, regarding this innovative mega-event, after April 19th!-))))