DESIGN: Salone del Mobile, Milan

by Raymond Herrera


Since 1961 the Salone del Mobile has been one of the design industry’s most important annual showcase for innovative design products and ideas. The stats: Last year exhibitions were attended by 292,370 trade operators, 188,579 of whom came from foreign Countries; 39,279 members of the general public and 6,484 communication operators. It’s a pretty big show, so there is always lots to sift through. If your schedule didn’t permit it you to attend, or you just do the local shows like NYCs ICFF, Chicago’s NeoCon, or North Carolina’s High Point Market, we picked out a few products and exhibits that we were excited about. Whether or not you believe Milan is still the design capital of the world here are a few convincing arguments…



Baskets, Sam Baron / Photo: Marco Zanin

Fabrica is an applied creativity laboratory in which young artists come from all over the world to develop innovative projects in design, music and film to photography, publishing and the Internet guided in their experiments by leading figures in art and communication. Their current project Belvedere, a collection of objects showcase landscapes of Italian heritage as places of creative inspiration. Ten international designers work on projects from photography to products and more to interpret the history of Italy through modern concepts. Artists include Dean Brown, Charlotte Julliard, and David Raffoul of David Nicholas.



Carlo Magiarotti Retrospettiva, Galleria Carla Sozzani

Galleria Carla Sozzani hosts a retrospective of Carlo Magiarotti’s work. The architect, planner, designer, sculptor, and professor has done work for design companies such as Cassina, Poltronova and Snaidero. His design career spanned from his graduation from architecture school in 1948 until his passing in in 2012. His timeless products are still sought after by contemporary designers.


Carlo Magiarotti Retrospettiva, Galleria Carla Sozzani


London-based Tasmanian designer Brodie Neill, along with Theo Theodorou, launched their new design brand Made in Ratio with a handful of objects – that’s five for most of us who don’t like to gamble – at Zonca and Zonca. Lighting and furniture that from concept to manufacture were executed by Neill in full control; a rare opportunity afforded to few designers.


Supernova Table, Brodie Neill

The Triennale Design Museum features objects like Tadao Ando‘s homage to Hans J Wegner, the ‘Dream Chair’ and others; like British designer, idol of mine, and possible time machine owner Ross Lovegrove, whose Twin’Z electric city car was unveiled at the show. Everything in this car has been designed leaving all conventions behind, from the custom colored tires he developed with Michelin, to the LED patterned roof.


Ross Lovegrove concept car for Renault


Dutch design brand Moooi seemed to be a darling among design critics, with lighting and products in their exhibit. It featured lamps that look like up side down buckets and tubs by Studio Job and pieces by Moooi co-founder Marcel Wanders.


Construction Lamp, Joost van Bleiswijk, for Moooi



Serac Bench, Zaha Hadid

Officine della Torneria showcased Zaha Hadid‘s Serac Bench, manufactured by outdoor furniture company brand Lab23. Made from a quartz/resin composite the bench was inspired by a block of ice formed in the crevasses of a glacier.

Salone del Mobile and Milan Design Week were held 9-14 Apr, at the Milan Fairgrounds, Rho, Milan.

You can find out more about the exhibition here.

You can get an obscene amount of information about Salone del Mobile from Dezeen Magazine here.