All posts tagged milan

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 – Day 5

For our final big day of Milan Design Week we searched out the more obscure desinations – filled with students and young designers showing their work and hoping to be discovered. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed with street-cred edginess that is quite absent from the fairgrounds. And there were a lot of beards.

Sites are scattered throughout the city so we made good use of the metro and the city bike sharing program to pack in as much as possible. Here are a few highlights:


Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 – Day 4

Our fourth day of Milan Design week was spent in the centre of the city, popping into showrooms and galleries. The buzz in the city is intense as quiet side streets and courtyards become overflow areas for pop-up bars and temporary exhibition spaces. The fun part is seeing students and young designers showing their work and ideas a few feet away from the biggest names in the business.

And with weather that feels like a Vancouver summer we made the most of taking in some city sites as well.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 – Day 3

We took in more furniture on our second day at the fairgrounds as well as the International Bathroom Furniture Exposition – two halls dedicated to plumbing fixtures, vanities, lighting and tiles.

As designers we are always intrigued about process – how did a designer develop a new concept from idea to prototype to a commercial product. Several manufactures showed the design process as well as a series of prototypes that hint to the products we will see in years to come.

One of the highlights of the fair is spotting some of the superstars of the design world in the city and at the fair, and today didn’t disappoint. Jaime Hayon was being interviewed at our morning cafe, Erwin Bouroullec was at the Magis stand and Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby were at the Knoll stand. While their handlers keep them well protected we were still able to get some insight into their design perspective.


Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 – Day 2

We headed to the fairgrounds today, starting with the key exhibition “Where Architects Live.” The exhibit presented how eight of the world’s most prominent architects live in their own homes and cities through different conceptual spaces, each with a video of the architect giving a personal account. The intriguing aspect of the exhibit is that these are the people who are shaping the built environment across the planet and how we can see their influence trickle down to the lives of millions, if not billions of people.

Then we hit Eurocucina, the kitchen fair. While many of the big manufacturers were absent, there was a lot to see in how the kitchen functions as a machine today and in the future.

And of course we rounded out the day with a good dose of modern furniture from our favourite brands showing at the fair.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 – Day 1

We arrived in central Milan at 8:30pm and hit the ground running, starting at the Baccarat cocktail event at San Carpoforo. The crystal clear crystal juxtaposed against faded frescos and peeling plaster set the tone for a dramatic and moody event filled with the who’s who of design. Marcel Wanders was the first person we nearly bumped into at the front door. It’s everything one would expect from the French luxury brand.Next was the Ingo Maurer exhibition titled Il Laboratorio / The Atelier at the Spazio Krizia. We had an extensive personal tour from Peter Wachowich, a five year veteran with Ingo Maurer who is now based in Vancouver. While the lighting and installations are always lighthearted, the research and technology that goes into them is at the cutting edge of lighting design. Most of the exhibition showcased products that are in the exploration stages, and not yet ready for production. The exciting thing is to see the future of lighting design – as well as a glimpse into the process of creating new products.

— at Brera Design District.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2013 : In Review

We’ve been back from our whirlwind trip to Europe for two weeks now. Time enough to take a step back and understand what is going on in the world of design (and Europe in general).

The Salone in Milan didn’t disappoint – how could it when manufacturers are putting their best foot forward (and spending the biggest chunk of their marketing dollars). But it was a much different fair, no doubt driven by Europe’s struggling economy, especially in the south.

Some of the big established names released fewer products, more conservative products or simply re-issued old favourites in new finishes and colours. But what was on show was actually quite relevant to our times. The experience was something like getting ready to see a Haute Couture fashion show but being presented with Ready To Wear. Ultimately, it’s more practical and useable… Here are a few more images:

While Magis didn’t add many new innovative chairs, its new sideboard, Theca by Ronan & Erwin Bouroullec was impressive. The sides are made from stamped aluminum, giving the piece an unusually light appearance.

Edra usually introduces several over-the-top pieces (like the Boa sofa) but this year their new Standard Sofa was one of the top picks of the week. It is super comfortable and its slouchy, adjustable back feels very fresh amidst the rows and rows of square or squarish sofas that dominate modern design. The sectional components can make a more traditional looking sofa or they can combine with multisided corner pieces to create something sculptural an unusual.  The cloud patterned fabric might be a bit over-the-top but it added that bit of Edra glamour for good effect.

B&B Italia, Vitra, Knoll, Muuto, Moooi, Classicon, Moroso were among the companies adopting the latest fashion colour palette (see our post from 8 January on 2013 design trends). The key to being on trend is a mixing of bold, saturated colours with soft pastels. Metals are moving beyond polished chrome and oiled bronze to brass and copper (see our post from 14 April 2013).


Moooi – in Emerald Green

Vitra – pastels and copper

Aluminum Group & Standard chairs in gunmetal

LED chandelier from Moooi

Base table from Arco

Leg detail from Slim table from Arco


Milan Salone del Mobile 2013 – Day 4 / 5

We spent our fourth and fifth day in Milan cycling around the city to the endless installations and exhibits in showrooms, galleries and warehouses. Everyone wants to get in on the action: Vivienne Westwood hosted a cocktail party to promote British design and BMW commissioned Ronan and Erwin Bouroullec, French furniture designers, to create an installation in a convent courtyard to promote sustainable mobility.

But this is where the soul of the interior design industry is revealed – students, new designers and emerging companies, who can’t afford a stand on the Salone fairgrounds, showcase their work. And established companies like Moroso transform their showrooms into experiences that educate and entertain. Nendo’s exhibit for Glas Italia showed several prototypes of a series of shelves and tables called Deep Sea. Cassina showed Carl Lagerfeld’s photos of their iconic furniture. Rug maker Nodus took over a convent to show their rugs.

Below is just a taste of what we were able to take in. A few videos to follow.

The Revolving Room by Patricia Urquiola in the Moroso showroom



Deep Sea by Nendo for Glas Italia


Nendo exhibit for Ceasarstone


Nodus rugs in a convent


B&B Italia showroom with new copper finishes 


Carl Lagerfeld’s photo exhibit at the Cassina showroom


Magis showroom

Milan Salone del Mobile 2013 – Day 3

Scandinavian manufacturers showed with more energy and optimism than their southern European counterparts. Muuto’s floor lamp shows craft-like detailing of the cord and stem while the new simple stool with a curved seat is comfortable and easy for hopping on and off. Also notable were Norman Copenhagen’s console prototype using metal, wood and lacquer and The Cuba stool by Add Interior, a young Danish company. The pieces are all quite casual but show sophisticated detailing.

Royal Botania’s new series of white outdoor furniture is quiet and light – the bar stool is stackable and the lounger has ergonomic adjustability with a button under the side rail where the hand naturally rests when sitting or lying down. This subtle detail made it one of Niels Bendtsen’s picks of the show and we would have to agree.

We took a few extra shots of the Arper stand to show the size and scale of what the larger manufacturers construct inside the 20 halls on the fairgrounds. Japanese manufacturer Maruni’s stand is much smaller but still shows the energy put into the stands – the entire white surface is steel studs and drywall.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2013 – Day 2

We tackled a few more halls today at the fair and managed to run into more familiar faces from home. It seems to happen often enough despite there being over 300,000 people who have descended on the city for the week.

Notable mentions today: Penta lighting has fantastic range of new lamps and pendants from gently tinted glass, metal and stone. Meridiano from Vibia (an outdoor stool), the Mochi pendant clusters from Fabbian and Itka from Artemide and Rituals from Foscarini.

Classicon’s stand was tiny but impressive – Sebastian Herkner’s Bell Pendant Lamps with interchangeable shades are clever – what would be gimmicky if attempted by other manufacturers is simple but surprisingly sophisticated. Also, the Euvira Rocker by Jader Almieda was compact and comfy – both in leather and this rope version.

Moroso is always a highlight for us – Patricia Urquiola didn’t disappoint with an on trend colour palette and upholstering and stitching details that are distinctively Moroso.

Jean Nouvel’s exhibit Office For Living was an interesting micro study of different types of office settings from office towers, apartments, houses and what was closest to the Falken Reynolds studio, warehouse. All had a human touch, warmth and colours, textures and materials that are more familiar to a residential environment. No plain white walls with harsh overhead lighting here… It was an interesting contrast to the many sterile trade stands in the hall just outside the exhibit. The highlight was the series of (recorded) live cams of Philippe Starck, Ron Arad, Marc Newson and Michele de Lucchi at work in their creative studios.

One of the big reasons we get excited (and geek-out a bit) during design events is because we get to see, touch and test products. There is no doubt we rely heavily on the internet and catalogues when we select items for projects. This week gives us a crucial opportunity to see a manufacturer’s quality, not just in the one or two pieces that a local showroom carries, but across a wide range of products.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2013 – Day 1

Our first day at the Salone del Mobile in Milan was pretty special – hometown lighting company Bocci is not only exhibiting at the most important international design event of the year, they pretty much stole the show. Amidst noticeable restraint from the European manufacturers Omer Arbel, architect and Bocci’s creative director, went all out with a stunning showcase for the organic forms of glass, porcelain and copper. Vancouver should be very, very proud.

While there are noticeably fewer new products on show than years past the quality and ingenuity is still impressive. Flos is showing a number of new pieces pushing the boundaries with LED’s. Edra’s new modular sofa is comfortable, organic and surprisingly practical while still maintaining a unique edge.

Handmade and craft are still major themes – Valcunine was hand carving it’s kitchens on site at it’s showroom in the Brera, Zavier Manosa’s glass and ceramic vessels were on display at Kettal juxtaposed against Jasper Morrisons’ new line called Village. Organic forms are playing a major role in demonstrating the quality of work not easily copied by the Asian knock-off companies who are here in droves. Jaime Hayon’s Ro chair for Fritz Hansen shows the skill and detailing few can replicate – showing off the underside of the chair with floor mirrors.

We closed out the night at the Frame / Moooi awards in it’s fantastic space in Zona Tortona. Always playful and a bit cheeky.