ECO TREND: Barrique Project
ECO TREND: Barrique Project
 

25 Apr. 2012

MILAN DESIGN WEEK THINKS BIG

Salone Del Mobile - Gallery
Eco-friendly solutions, animal instincts, color crazes, relaxing hints and liquid glass effects inspired Milan’s recent Design Week and switched optimism on again.

The most recent edition of Milan Design Week, April 17-22, came to an end with very positive results and an overall euphorically busy atmosphere that enlivened the city.

The Salone Del Mobile show held in Rho registered over 330,000 people (331,649 in 2011), including consumers who visited the pavilions on the last two days of the event, while insiders and professionals came in at over 293,370, 3.5% more than in 2011. Foreign visitors added up to 188,579 (64.5% of the total), 5.9% more than last year. Italian visitors remained stable.

COLOR TREND: Objet Colore FABRICA
COLOR TREND: Objet Colore FABRICA
The city's atmosphere was lively and energetic late into the night due to various events, parties and cocktails. Collaborations between designer fashion brands and design specialists took place every day. The main exhibition organized by Cosmit hosted over 2,500 exhibitors on a 209,000 sqm space. The city’s events occupied nine different areas of Milan - the city center around the Duomo and San Babila, Lambrate, Brera, Magenta and the Triennale di Milano art exhibition centre, Porta Genova, Porta Romana, Porta Venezia and Sempione. A series of events were also hosted inside historical locations such as Palazzo Bagatti Valsecchi, Palazzo Clerici, Palazzo Visconti, Casa Degli Atellani, Villa Necchi and the San Simpliciano cloister.

“Only by following this spirit can we free ourselves from the crisis," commented Carlo Guglielmi, president of Cosmit, emphasizing how the design sector wants to go beyond this moment without anyone’s help by simply aiming to support Milan and the whole country. To encourage this, organizers gave space to anyone who had some interesting idea to show or communicate - be it Poltrona Frau's centennial or the Salone Satellite, part of the Salone Del Mobile, which hosted 750 young designers’ works.

Eco and Helpful Design
Sustainable decor objects and initiatives were hot. The bicycle seems to be one of the hottest vehicles for most companies - especially fashion brands - concentrated on different co-brandings. Levi's teamed up with Rossignol; Dolce&Gabbana presented their Animalier printed model; Dirk Bikkembergs launched its own ergonomic version; Sartoria Cicli offered a made-to-measure model according to each customer’s personality; Nike launched a sustainable model called Flynit (see our news); Slowear presented a folding bike in collaboration with Tern. The Italian community helping social recovery San Patrignano presented Barrique, a special series of objects made by recycling old wood barrel elements into new objects like swings, tables, DJ banks, seats or benches. Last but not least, Marni hosted woven chairs made by Columbian ex-prisoners.

ANIMAL TREND: Louis Vuitton, Maroquinaris Zoologicae
ANIMAL TREND: Louis Vuitton, Maroquinaris Zoologicae
Animal Charm
Many designers bet on animal inspiration. First for creativity and innovation was Louis Vuitton's Maroquinaris Zoologicae series of animals made by employing pieces of bags and accessories and assembled by British designer Billie Achilleos, already presented in the shop windows of London's New Bond Street and New York's 5th Avenue stores. Frankie Morello presented black animal-like chairs while Driade's stylized peacock-like seats and Magis' rolling penguins and rocking horses enlivened the Milanese zoo design garden.

Fashion Goes Crazy for Design
The fashion world cannot stay away from events or partnerships that show their own ability to present home decors or design objects bearing their own signature. Designers like Giorgio Armani, Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Moschino, Blumarine, Mila Schön, Marni, Fendi, Coveri, Tommy Hilfiger, Gherardini and Missoni are some of the brands that presented their collections. Lapo Elkann's Italia Independent presented a special limited edition of the Smeg fridge covered with a stain-resistant and waterproof denim. Kartell signed a special chair designed by Lenny Kravitz. Benetton presented Object Colorè, a series of colorful prototype decor solutions for stores, some of which were already hosted inside a selection of their flagships.

Innovative Solutions
A top innovation was Lasvit Liquidkristal, designed by Ross Lovegrove, a special crystal covering that can be used for inner walls and outer coverings creating a special wave effect surface. Also new was a project by Repower, a Swiss electric energy company, that presented a series of alternative energy employs including an electric scooter designed by Italo Rota. The scooter can be recharged through plug-in columns that can be placed anywhere in a city. This idea could produce a revolution for energy consumption as well as fight pollution.

Brand new was the horizontal shower by Dornbracht - a spa-meets-shower solution hosting a bench that one can lay upon while experiencing a sprayed water effect over the body. Also interesting was a special bowl made out of sewn wood by Raimundo Nonato.

HOLIDAY TREND: Driade - Rimini-castored sunbed
HOLIDAY TREND: Driade - Rimini-castored sunbed

Maria Cristina Pavarini

Back to home