Milan Design Week, known locally as il Salone del Mobile, is one of the design world’s biggest annual affairs. Industry professionals from every corner of the globe flock to Italy hoping to network, familiarize themselves with the hottest new designs and, of course, have a good time. Trends in interior design, architecture, and fashion are often born at Milan Design Week. Here are some of our favorites from this year’s fair:
This pop-perfect slice of California was widely regarded as the fair’s most Instagrammed installation. Consisting of a pastel pink daybed shaded by the canopies of tall, metallic leaves, French-Italian designer Marc-Ange drew inspiration from his adopted home of Los Angeles to create this work of “comfort and peace…like a childhood memory.” The leaves themselves are also perforated and cast striking shadows onto the bed. The color, which has been deemed “Millennial Pink”, has been making the rounds at this year’s design fairs, no doubt desired for its vibrant, “post-worthy” hue. Clearly, social media has already begun to play a vital role in the design community!
New Spring, a collaboration between minimalist fashion label Cos and London-based Studio Swine, was another one of the fair’s attention-grabbing installations. On display inside Milan’s Cinema Arti, this multi-sensory experience was inspired by Japan’s famous cherry blossom festival and features a gray “tree-like” sculpture that produces and drops a series of mist-filled spheres. These giant bubbles burst and evaporate on contact with human skin, but can be held by wearing special gloves. The tree was intentionally made to resemble the intricate chandeliers found inside Italian palazzos. The sense of wonder created by this exhibition is as fleeting as the Earth’s seasons. Of course, that’s probably the point of New Spring.
Spanish designer Jaime Hayon has been the toast of several design festivals this year, having been named guest of honor at both the Stockholm Furniture Fair and Milan Design Week. Working with Caesarstone’s premium quartz products (normally used for countertops), stained glass, and metal, Hayon produced a series of abstract screens that echo post-modernism, Art Deco, and Picasso.
Formafantasma’s Foundation lighting exhibition proved to be a smash hit at this year’s fair. The Italian duo showcased 16 different lighting pieces positioned at unusual angles, many of which were pointed at reflective discs for added brilliance. One piece, named “Ellipse,” consisted of a slender, golden pole that projected light onto a large disc suspended from the ceiling. Another popular design featured a series of brass rings suspended from an overhead railing, shining pools of light onto the ground below. From the outset of the project, Formafantasma knew that they wanted to focus on light and not on the lamps emitting it. The result was this minimal and experimental collection.
London design firm Sé overhauled a Milanese apartment to create an opulent interior collection full of rich textures, fabrics, and colors. The four-room show apartment was constructed in a former tile factory and displayed furniture from all three of the design studio’s previous collections across a lounge, salon, dressing room, and dining room. Geometric wall art was specifically chosen to offset the showrooms’ heavy velvet curtains and patterned carpets.