What We Saw at Salone Del Mobile

lifestyle_sofa_Campana BrothersBetween fashion weeks we like to spend some time in the design world – and the biggest event of the year (as we reported last week) is undoubtedly Salone del Mobile. The multi-location main fair, as well as the countless satellite fairs around the city, exhibits work by some of the most talented designers working today, many in partnership with heavyweight names from the worlds of luxury fashion and interior design. Should you have missed the cultural festivities, here are some of the strongest presentations from the week.

Really – Circular by Design
Really-Circular by Design_Kvadrat_Solid Textile Screen by Jonathan Olivares (c) Matteo Girola 002Europe’s leading contemporary textile producer Kvadrat was established  in Denmark in 1968, and has deep roots in Scandinavia’s design tradition. For decades, they’ve worked with architects and designers across the world, cherished for their high-quality innovations. For the second year, Kvadrat has partnered with Really, a design studio  founded in 2013 by Wickie Meier Engström, Klaus Samsøe and Ole Smedegaard that responding to the urgent global issue of waste by up-cycling end-of-life textiles and giving them a new life as design objects. Together, they have invented new materials and invited design thinkers and makers to interpret them in new, exciting ways. In Milan, Really showcased projects by Benjamin Hubert | LAYER, Christien Meindertsma, Claesson Koivisto Rune, Front, Jo Nagasaka, Jonathan Olivares and Raw-Edges Design Studio, all integrating textile boards and felts in furniture and interior objects. Collectively, these practices explore the changing narrative of textile resources, re-thinking them to exist in a circular economy of production.

Another returning player at Salone del Mobile is the Scandinavian high street chain COS, who each year team up with design thinkers and artists to produce immersive architectural installations. For 2018, they have invited the PKS3 to produce a new spatial installation in the gardens of the historic Palazzo Isimbardi. The glass and mirror work is alluring in that it changes its appearance throughout the day, reflecting its surrounding landscape in relation to the viewer’s position. A meditation on space, materiality, and place, PKS3 explores the modern-day monument through changing lights and colors.

Hermes @ Milan Furniture Fair
14-04065 copie
The French luxury house Hermès is not only a cherished name in fashion, but boasts an impressive design and interior range for the contemporary consumer très chic. Their pavilion at Milan Furniture Fair invites the audience into an opulent world of alluring commodities, from decorative bowls and textiles to refined wooden furniture, ceramics, and of course a whole range of ridiculously attractive leather goods. Keeping their presentation quintessentially atmosphereic, the brand simply framed their presentation through a series of sensoral prompters: burnt umber, acid lave, cobalt clue, ivory, grey cinnabar, red limestone…. Could we make just this the moodboard of our life more generally?

Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades
lifestyle_lounge chair_Marcel WandersNot unlike Hermès, the French luxury house Louis Vuitton has its roots in design objects, specifically travel merchandise. Since 1854, bourgeois travelers have been drooling over their suitcases and bags, and since 2012, LV has extended this heritage into the world of furniture design through their line Objets Nomades. In Milan, they present 10 new additions to their series of “nomadic objects” which already includes hammocks, foldable stools, and exquisite bottle holders (yes, you need one). Working with creative designers from around the world like Atelier Oï, Maarten Baas, and Nendo, each project is  an opportunity for designers and Louis Vuitton’s creative artisans to combine their savoir-faire to interpret the idea of travel in their own imaginative ways. For 2018, they’re adding two new names in the mix: India Mahdavi and Tokujin Yoshioka.

For more information, see Salone del Mobile