Sunday, April 10, 2011

isaloni - 2011

50 years old and still going strong – i saloni Milano 2011 !!!
When it first opened, the “Salone Internazionale del Mobile” was only supposed to serve as a platform for selling more Italian furniture to foreign customers. Five decades later, the result is impressive – it is the most important furniture fair in the world.
There were other anniversaries to be celebrated this year: Italy’s 150th anniversary and 30 years of Memphis Design enjoyed an ideal setting here. Dynamic, exuberant and bursting with ideas – Milan 2011 shone like a bright star and welcomed around 300,000 visitors who explored the inspiring tumult of furniture design, the art of staging and Italian lifestyle.

Everything is becoming softer now …

Seemingly amorphous, closely intertwined, one trend leads to another. And all at once, almost imperceptibly, everything changes: and becomes softer. This is not really new, and there have been hints of the trend over the past few years, but now it is clear and obvious.
The brightly coloured, harsh accents of previous years have become much scarcer and have given way to natural colours.
Yellow has returned, in many different shades, but primarily as a soft, very natural mustard yellow. Blue is omnipresent – in all shades ranging from royal blue and cyan to dove coloured. The apple green of recent years has remained, but it is frequently combined with olive and grass green. The grey shades are growing warmer and earthier across the entire spectrum, and ecology is a major issue when it comes to wood. Tropical timber is passé in Milan 2011.

… including the shapes.

Design need no longer be minimalist, and certainly not puritan. Soft, organic lines characterise the new creations by the designers. Jamie Hayon has designed a new sofa for Fritz Hansen that has what it takes to become a new classic. Favn reminds us a little of the legendary "Egg", the fauteuil by Arne Jacobsen. The sofa is like a shell in which you can snuggle up. The name Favn means something like "be embraced" in Danish and is very much in keeping with the general trend towards soft shapes with soft shades of colour.

Fluently captivating 
is also a good description of the new seating by Patrizia Urquiola for Moroso, called Beknit. The seat is made from a three-dimensional, tubular braid. It is a hard-wearing material that is also suitable for outdoor use.

A native of Spain, Urquiola lives in Milan and is without doubt one of the most active and prominent contemporary female designers. Several manufacturers presented her most recent designs, including Andreu World. She designed the family of chairs Nub for the Spanish company.

Alias is back 
– After being repurchased by founder Renato Stauffacher from the conglomerate Poltrona Frau, the company is shining again.Loggia, an archetypal bookshelf with rounding at the edges, was designed by the young architect Jakob Timpe. Each arched module of his bookshelf consists of two wall sections and one base section made of MDF, glued tightly together. This and the possibility of combining individual components in a group ensure excellent stability.

German design in Milan

This year, around 30 German manufacturers were admitted as exhibitors at the gigantic trade fair complex in Rho. "Design Germany" gave an overview of current trends, thereby promoting young talent. The exhibitors included Stefan Diez and his "Chassis" chair.

Munich-based Konstantin Grcic launched his first product for Vitra on the market. Paragliding delivered the inspiration for the armchair Waver; belts are used to connect the fabric seat shell to a swivel steel frame. Avus, an unconventional reinterpretation of the classic club chair, was designed by Grcic for the South Tyrolean production company Plank. The thermoplastic substructure is stiffened with polyurethane foam, the leather upholstery on the inserted seat shell is attached with a zip and can therefore be removed for cleaning.

Bene va Milano

… that would be a rather presumptuous claim – but we are proud of the fact that we were permitted to present our products for the second time at the Austrian pavilion in Zona Tortona.
Alongside Austrian production companies and designers such as Neue Wiener Werkstätte, Lobmeyr, Walking Chair and many more, Bene presented the furniture concept PARCS. Over the last three years, Bene has been able to launch cooperations with four Italian dealers. So although we are still a newcomer there, we are happy to be playing an active part on the Italian market. 

61 tables for Italy’s 150th anniversary

To mark the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification, Gaetano Pesce designed the Sessantuno collection for Cassina. It portrays the political map at the time of the Risorgimento and is reminiscent of 1861 and the preceding years. There are 61 different tables that form the characteristic shape of the Italian boot when they are put together. In a complete installation, the tables would be 25 metres long, but for the time being they have been separated. Five tables in a special edition will be sold at auction before the summer; all remaining tables are due to be put on sale by Cassina dealers around the world. They are international representatives of Italian design. And who knows, maybe some day they will be brought together again for an exhibition…

Happy Birthday Memphis Milan

Memphis Design is inextricably linked with the history of Italy and Milan. Established in 1981, the Italian furniture design group was founded on the initiative of Ettore Sottsass (1917 Innsbruck – 2007 Milan) and a group of young architects and designers from Milan. Memphis Design brought a new freedom of expression, used entirely new shapes, materials and patterns, and managed to transform a "collection of design objects" into a "cultural movement" with the political aim of making design objects accessible to all.
The 30th anniversary of Memphis Design was celebrated with the exclusive collection The Red Brick Sculpture Show by British designer Richard Woods in the Post Design Galerie.

Fiat Cinquecento

Who else but Lapo Elkann, Fiat grandson and designer, would be allowed to transform this Italian classic – into a "piece of furniture". The legendary small car Fiat 500 has always dominated Italy’s streets – and in future it will shape landscaped interiors as well. The table Picnic is also part of the Fiat 500 Design Collection. The collection was presented here.

You can’t get any more Italian
than that… or can you?

We’re looking forward to nextyear!

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