EDIT by Designjunction
Lexus Design Award
Established & Sons
At the main fair, Hella Jongerius, newly crowned creative director of rug division Danskina, launches a new collection including a line combining cork and New Zealand wool.
If you were wowed by the rainbow of one-off furniture designs that filled the Jil Sander showroom for Kvadrat’s Hallingdal 65 exhibition at two years ago, you’ll be glad to know that another show of a similar scale is in the works. This time 22 designers, including Lindsey Adelman, Muller van Severen and Werner Aisslinger have been asked for their take on Divina, the 30-year-old textile created by Danish painter Finn Sködt. See the results at the arcades between Via Casati and Via San Gregorio.
Project B Gallery
Sliding Nature by Torafu
Spazio Rossana Orlandi
Triennale Design Museum
Despite mutterings that the real innovation lies outside the Salone, the main show isn’t ready to be written off yet. Last year was dominated by a Starck-led troupe of big names – presumably those who manufacturers find a safe bet in difficult times – but there was a crop of younger designers stepping into the fold too.
This year Mattiazzi, clearly enjoying its place in the limelight after 30 years as a subcontractor for other brands, is showing a new furniture collection by the Bouroullecs. The famed French brothers have projects with Vitra, Magis and Glas Italia too.
Moroso debuts the 22nd Floor Sofa by Tord Boontje, a clean-lined structure designed with a minimalist city apartment in mind, and Daniele Bortotto and Giorgia Zanellato will show Serenissima, a collection of silk-upholstered sofas inspired by the Venetian lagoon. We can also expect new pieces by Ross Lovegrove, Sebastian Herkner, Atelier Oi and Benjamin Hubert, and it wouldn’t be Moroso if there wasn’t a Patricia Urquiola collaboration in the works – this year it’s a sofa. Urquiola also presents Gliss-Up, a suspended bedroom storage system for Molteni&C.
Kartell tries to convince us that plastic can be just as precious as glass and crystal. Best sellers have been refinished in glossy and metallic finishes, and the new Sparkle line of stools and tables by Tokujin Yoshioka is made of transparent plastic in jewel-like colours like honey and amber.
With no MOST on the cards this year, Tom Dixon will show at the Fiera, despite having always overlooked the trade halls in favour of more exciting locations. New furniture, lighting and accessories have been inspired by traditional British members clubs, with additions to the Beat family of lights and Pivot, a line of chairs and stools with rotating aluminium bases.
Iittala also makes its first visit, showing pieces by Cecilie Manz, Magnus Pettersen and Matti Klenell. Poltrona Frau shows Nivola: an armchair and sofa with leather backs and rounded lines by Roberto Lazzeroni. Gebrüder Thonet Vienna has delved into its archives for two new projects on show at the fair: Ladder in steam-bent wood by Charlie Styrbjörn Nilsson and hybrid hallway piece Coat Rack Bench by Front.
The under-35s selected for a coveted spot at SaloneSatellite have even more reason to be happy – the exhibition has been moved to pavilions 13-15, closer to the big guns. Check out Current by Marjan van Aubel: a table that harvests daylight to charge appliances. Elsewhere in the Fiera’s monumental complex, you can find the International Bathroom Exhibition and kitchen showcase, EuroCucina. In pavilion 9 there’s a photography exhibition on the houses of Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, David Chipperfield and others.
The youngest design area in Milan celebrates five years. The past few have been patchy, mixing the experimental and the esoteric, but there’s always a few gems to be found in this jumble sale of a district. This year, a Maarten Baas satellite show takes place in the city centre, hoping to lure visitors out to Lambrate, where there are exhibitions by Jaime Hayon, Li Edelkoort, Design Academy Eindhoven and Lensvelt with OMA. There’s a strong Dutch flavour to the mix, but the promise of events becoming more international too, with Mexican students from Anahuac University, Berlin Design Collection and a showcase of British talent from University of the Arts London.
Pattern-obsessed textile designer Cristian Zuzunaga has a solo show of his ventures into fashion (a menswear line) and furniture (fit-together poufs in a pixel print).
Ventura Hive (Via del Canzi 19) is the place to find upcoming talent and there’s a spread of shows on in the area’s galleries and garages, including group shows by Mindcraft and INResidence.
The Ventura Living Room (Via Ventura 14), meanwhile, is a good spot to recharge with some food and drink, plus crucially, to take advantage of the free wi-fi.