It’s not a stretch to call Milan Design Week The largest annual global event in the design world. The commercial anchor of the annual fair is the Salone Internazionale del Mobile – the trade show, held this year from Tuesday to Sunday at the RHO Fairgrounds, where design lovers, curators and leading players from the industry come together to discover and unveil the latest product and furniture releases called. from all over the world.
Within the city, a vast network of related events, known as Fuorisalon, result in acquisitions across the city with gallery and showroom exhibitions, pop-up installations, independent satellite fairs and Instagram-worthy brand activations.
After the canceled 2020 edition and the somewhat lackluster 2021 “Supersalone” event that was postponed three times last, this year’s fair, which is usually held in April, marks the 60th edition of the Salon, And after a big comeback COVID-19 clouded the calendar of industry fairs – Not to mention the supply chain issues coming soon.
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Marva Griffin Wilshere, founder and curator of Salone Satellite, the fair’s capsule program for new and emerging talent, said: “This year is starting again with a lot of positivity and energy, and a pleasure to experiment through design “
“It has felt a bit like a transitional year, although it is not yet clear which direction the transition will take,” said Eric Chen, artistic director of the Het Nieuwe Institute in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Former Director of Design Miami, “It hasn’t felt like there’s been as much attention to the ‘new,’ because everyone is so focused on being alive.” He said this year’s Milan Design Week felt more based on critical discussion.
“There is a clear sense of stability and responsibility as a normalcy,” said senior curator Paola Antonelli Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York Especially among young and emerging studios. “There is a lot of discussion and display of these objects, as well as chairs, rugs and furniture, related to their life cycle, which makes a huge difference. Without focusing unnecessarily on the objects, society at large There are also installations and discussions about the role of design in this. But objects are now Trojan horses for those subjects, in a way they weren’t as important as they were before.”
“Sustainability has been a consistent theme here,” said interior designer Kelly Wearstler, adding that many established studios and brands such as Herms, Martino Gamper and DemorStudio are “re-imagining old works” or using reusable materials.
Although the only certainty of Milan Design Week is that no one can possibly see it within the week, this year many more people turned out than the previous year, showing just how much the fair was missed. And as always, the major design take-aways made the effort worth it.
Designers and brands, established and emerging alike, adopted the many faces of craftsmanship from different cultures.
“I think every time there is a big change in culture and technology, the crafts and the local means of production re-emerge in a very important way,” said Antonelli, “a kind of slow design that is more of a slow foodie.” The assumption is similar. We still have the means of production that are certainly industrial, but now we have come to a way to reevaluate and appreciate those methods that are not necessarily industrial.”
An exhibition highlighting craft, identity and storytelling was “This Is America”, showcasing a diverse selection of Independent American Designer. The curators, Jenny Nguyen, Liz Vert and Alma Lopez, focused on the broad talents and intimate, sometimes poignant dimensions of independent designers of color. One work that personally moved Lopez was by Monica Curiel, a Mexican American designer whose artistic use of plaster was a meaningful nod to her immigrant father, a construction worker, and elevated the humble material.
Audrey Range, a designer based in Rotterdam, showcased the evolving edge of hybridized craft with their “Emissive Chandelier”, the latest in their ongoing series of works combining digital rendering and 3D printing processes – a individual “digital sculpture” Technique, as he described it. The resulting work was an iridescent lavender, light green and silver and with a craggy, shiny surface reminiscent of brocade. Meanwhile, famed designer Martino Gamper presented “Innesto (rubbing on the wrong tree)”, in which he incorporated sections of furniture legs and surface detailing plants to create a set of damaged vintage 1930s Cox furnishings. Applied the analogy of grafting. A visual mash-up of old and new. “Sometimes, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” Gamper said, “maybe with just a detail or a special addition, like trees.”
A range of sleep-inspired new seating pieces were on display by Los Angeles upstart Otherside Objects, founded by Sam Klemick, a fashion designer who transitioned to wood and furniture at the start of the pandemic. “I’m really obsessed with sleeping and dreaming, and the fact that we spend so much Our life is dreaming without understanding Or being able to understand it,” she said. “Last Year at Mariannebad” is inspired by geometric topiaries from an iconic scene from the classic 1961. French New Wave film that unfolds in an elliptical, dream-like state. Deeply aware of the scale of the fashion industry’s waste, Clémick Whenever possible, salvaged wood and deadstock fabrics are used in the designs.
Elsewhere, New York designer Annie Lee Parker along with fashion label Wells Bonner, Swiss furniture company USM and others debuted the Cloud Chair in a group exhibition presented by artists Daniel Arsham and StockX, the favorite online marketplace of hypebeasts and sneaker heads . Extra body nurturing and relaxing additions including Bohink Studio’s Peaches Seating Collection – Made of curvy, sensual contours celebrating the female form – SStrike the desire for tactile connection, comfort and solace in the ongoing pandemic era.
“Across the board, it’s really refreshing to see the use of color this year, where before it was pretty much monochrome,” Wearstler said.
For all the uncertainty of the past three years, the perennial trend of sleek geometric forms and colorful stripes has been a mainstay of the social media age. It’s an aesthetic that is equally pleasing to the eye and translates well to the screen.
The highlights of the many polychromatic offerings range from artist Laila Gohar and Belgian design studio Müller van Severen’s collaborative Pigeon Table – an eye-catching take on buffet tables made for entertaining, with colorful tiered displays and bird perches from Gohar’s childhood in Egypt. Inspired by “Monumental Wonders,” a multilevel, colorful entryway from design firm OMA features natural and semi-precious stones from the SolidNature Company.
Others include Bharat Mahdavi’s Loop chair, available in three colors for Thonet, and a collection of vessels and objects from independent designers, including Studio Berg, which took inspiration directly from candy and sweets.
It is said that the mere sight of plants gives a feeling of peace., After the pandemic lockdown, which left many months isolated at home, designers embraced the serenity and escapism of rustic settings and landscapes. With motifs ranging from waterways to botanical paintings and forest landscapes, many designers shared collections that offered an aesthetic take on biophilia.
Calico Wallpapers has focused many of its Abstract Nature Scenery Surrounding Design, including sunsets, moons and flowers. In collaboration with the company’s latest release, Tableau, interior design and architecture studio AB Concepts, the team looked outside for inspiration. The conifer-dotted, alpine mountain ranges are set in a series of eight painted metallic colorways based on photographs that AB Concept founder Ed Ng took from his home in Karuizawa, Japan.
Rachel Cope, creative director and co-founder of Calico Wallpapers, said, “We moved from downtown to upstate New York during the pandemic, and like Eddie, we now live in a mountain house completely surrounded by beautiful forests. Is.” “This idea of bringing the outside in is something we’ve always done in Calico, but because of the pandemic, we’re focused even more on bringing these immersive landscapes that can transport us to another place and time.” “
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
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