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Salone del Mobile

LIVE FROM MILAN: Mario Bellini granted Salone del Mobile’s Special Award

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
LIVE FROM MILAN: Mario Bellini granted Salone del Mobile’s Special Award

The Italian designer and architect was awarded the Special Lifetime Award during Salone del Mobile. Milan…

The Salone del Mobile.Milano has celebrated its 58th edition with an evening at Palazzo Marino during which it has presented a Special Lifetime Award to Mario Bellini, the multifaceted and innovative Milanese designer, many of whose furnishings and objects have become icons capable of anticipating or revolutionising taste and style.

The award has been made in recognition of his creativity and talent, as a plaudit for his ability to translate ideas and projects into products, initiatives and architecture, and as a thank you for his huge contribution to the Salone del Mobile through his collaboration with so many exhibiting companies.

The official motivation for the award is as follows: “For the genius with which he has conceived both design masterpieces and great pieces of architecture For the consistency with which he has built his work and the story of Italian design For his tireless desire to innovate and explore new frontiers For his constant dialogue with the business world For his generosity in his relationships and for having always believed in and supported his city, Milan For his contribution to the Salone del Mobile through his collaboration with the many, leading companies for whom he has designed iconic products that have helped forge the history and the success of the event.”

Modern table

Image credit: Mario Bellini, Grand Canyon Oak Design

The evening, one of the many climaxes of Milan Design Week was a perfect occasion for thanking the exhibiting companies for their productive and organisational commitment, which has, yet again, gone into making the Salone a unique experience, and for paying tribute to all the designers and people who do their utmost to make Milan the most attractive place in the world for an entire week. During the show, Bellini has been presenting his latest creation, the tables ”Canyon and Grand Canyon” produced for Oak Design.

Main image credit: Diego Ravier

LIVE FROM MILAN: Inside Tom Dixon’s new restaurant and showroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
LIVE FROM MILAN: Inside Tom Dixon’s new restaurant and showroom

British designer Tom Dixon has gone beyond the exhibition hall at Milan Design Week by unveiling his latest collection of products in the studio’s new permanent restaurant… 

After five years of exhibiting in the traditional way during Milan Design Week, British design studio Tom Dixon has opened a new restaurant and showroom called The Manzoni in Milan to display his latest collection.

The new space has pre-opened and will reopen after the show as a permanent epicentre for guests to view the studio’s latest lighting, furniture and accessories collections.

Aptly named The Manzoni after the Italian novelist Alessandro Manzoni, the new 100-cover restaurant has been created by Dixon’s Design Research Studio.”With the city being so active and engaging right now, it is the right time to forget being temporary and build something permanent,” said Dixon. “Just like in London, we don’t think it’s enough to just have a showroom. We need a place where people slow down and experience our products in a live setting.”

Operating as the designer intends his products to be promoted – by being used and handled – The Manzoni is a living and breathing showroom and restaurant, which will be styled in true Tom Dixon style – think reimagined simple shapes, clean and crisp colours and even an immersive green jungle.

“The Manzoni is more than a restaurant,” says Dixon, “It is also an experimental space, a theatrical backdrop.” The concept was created so that guests to the restaurant can browse before they dine while showroom visitors can grab a bite to eat before of after browsing the latest products within the season’s collection. Visitors to both the restaurant and the showroom will be able to see the studio’s products in an active context.

Main image credit: Tom Dixon Studio/The Manzoni

LIVE FROM MILAN: The story of LAUFEN captured in installation

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
LIVE FROM MILAN: The story of LAUFEN captured in installation

LAUFEN has told its story at the FuoriSalone, Milan, through the eyes of the New York-based studio Snarkitecture: from the clay to the finished ceramic product, an installation reveals the key to LAUFEN’s success…

During the FuoriSalone 2019, Laufen has presented an installation by the visionary New York-based group Snarkitecture, a creative, original way of narrating the company, on the borderline between art and architecture.

The location is Teatro Arsenale, in a building that dates back to 1272, at Carrobbio, inside the 5Vie district in the historical centre of Milan, now an avant-garde hotbed of cultural initiatives.

“The term innovation has many meanings, and all of them become fundamental for us at Laufen,” said Alberto Magrans, Senior Managing Director, LAUFEN. “Beyond our extensive focus on a technological plane, we believe it is important to grow along a path of multi-level research, interaction with stimulating creative counterparts, cultural influence open to a wide spectrum of the world of design and the arts. Collaborating with eclectic personalities and visionary artists like Snarkitecture gives us an opportunity to look at our history, our experience in a new perspective, to live it through new codes of interpretation, with constant reference to our true identity.”

At the entrance to the large space set aside for MATERIALMESSAGE, visitors have been immersed in a sort of canyon, whose walls face off in a dialogue of vivid contrasts: to the left, a mountain composed of 198 tons of raw clay, the same material that is stocked every day in the company’s warehouses, to become the basis of all manufacturing and to te right, a monumental three-dimensional construction composed of 701 Laufen washstands in SaphirKeramik.

Walking through the ravine visitors were able to experience the extraordinary difference between the raw material, in an imposing grey mass, impressive in terms of weight and volume, and the finished industrial product, perfectly designed, always identical, bright white, ultra-light, with a very pure, smooth surface and amazingly limited thickness. To underline these contrasts, Snarkitecture designed a theatrical illuminated scenography with a dramatic passage leading to a secondary installation of two other important protagonists: a large vat of vibrant slip, a mixture of clay and water, representing the first passage of the process of ceramic workmanship, and a video projection that reproduces sequences, sounds and images of the manufacturing.

MATERIALMESSAGE portrays the intrinsic power of a simple material like clay, capable of giving form to excellence when crafted in an impeccable way. The connecting link is the winning formula of Laufen, which blends knowledge, experience, technological innovation, design and fine workmanship.

Laufen is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: Laufen

LIVE FROM MILAN: Minotti unveils 2019 indoor collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
LIVE FROM MILAN: Minotti unveils 2019 indoor collection

During Milan Design Week’s Salone del Mobile, Minotti has finally lifted the lid on its highly anticipated 2019 indoor collection…

Hot off the heels of being at the centre of the action as the style partner for Meet Up London, Minotti has yet again raised the level of furniture design with the unveiling of its 2019 Collection during Milan Design Week.

Collection after collection, year after year, Minotti’s unquenchable passion can be sensed from all corners of the design-hub city.

For the 2019 Collection, the furniture company has conceived a new stylistic code, a new vision of the interior with surprising suggestions and atmospheres which play host to our new designs. Its intention is to provide food for thought in a surprising, creative, practical and dynamic way, to all those who choose our brand around the world.

The new collection, coordinated by Rodolfo Dordoni with Minotti Studio, brings a new vision of the living area to life, in which seating systems and furniture outline structured spaces and reveal new geometries in a continuous alternation of curves and straight lines. The result is a surprising variety of compositional solutions featuring unexpected combinations of textures and materials.

“Our partnership with designers with strong identities rooted in different cultures forge ahead with the 2019 Collection,” the company explains in its press material. “By seamlessly becoming part of the “Minotti project” they [the designers] have joined us in enhancing the new collection, so creating a renewed stylistic code with an international flavour.”

Alongside Rodolfo Dordoni, the new collection welcomes the signature of Christophe Delcourt from France, Nendo from Japan and Marcio Kogan / studio mk27 from Brazil, also witnessing the début of Danish studio GamFratesi.

Below is a handfull of the individual pieces in the collection:

DANIELS – Christophe Delcourt design

Comparable to a landscape design project, where carefully plotted combinations of elements create a new domestic scenery, the Daniels seating system redesigns the living areas with brand new compositions, in which regular curves and ellipses interrupt the linearity of the layouts, imbuing them with a more dynamic momentum.

The seats are designed based on the concepts of full modularity and maximum comfort, and feature a single cushion. The vast design system also includes decisively large chaise-longue couches with curved seating areas.

The frame of the back, and the combination of two different depths produces an effect in which the backrests appear to overlap, creating movement at the back which dispels the perception of the sofa as a continuous screen when set in the centre of the room, as well as making it possible to add the Clive console table, which further accentuates its motion.

AMBER – Christophe Delcourt design

With a design that develops a quarter, eighth and sixteenth of a circle into three-dimensional elements, the Amber low units give the impression of modular furniture with countless configurations, flaunting forms that twist and turn in the space.

They are designed to stand alone or for use as part of an arrangement, as individual features or combined in seating systems, creating interesting contrasts between hard and soft materials that convey a dynamic effect to the various solutions.

LAWSON – Rodolfo Dordoni design

With the fluid line of its shapes and the equilibrium of its soft volumes, the Lawson seating system explores different types of seats, offering innovative solutions that push out the traditional style boundaries, ranging from small lounge armchairs to the larger easy chair, and even sofas.

WEST – Rodolfo Dordoni design

A faceting effect livens up and interrupts the cubism that sets the morphology of the West seating system apart from the clichés of modern design. Characterised by its suitability for use in a wide range of different contemporary and traditional arrangements, West also features glints of pure creativity, such as the chaise-longue, available in pentagonal or hexagonal form and the elements that stand out for their striking backrests in saddle hide, ergonomically shaped to rise and support the rear cushion.

ANGIE – GamFratesi design

A saddle hide element designs a wing that embraces the armchair, sustaining the frame like a sculptural bustier, characterised inside by the inviting softness of the seat and backrest. Behind the apparent simplicity of the design lies an advanced technological process used to make both the padding with different textures of foam and the saddle hide bustier, made using two different Baydur moulds, which perfectly follows the curved line of the armchair and available in Bordeaux, Ash, Dove Grey, Sage, Mud, Moka and Black colours.

The GamFratesi studio, signing the design, worked on the idea of contrast, emphasising it and juxtaposing the stiff frame of the saddle hide element with the softness of the upholstered part, which can also be seen on the back, so setting the scene for interesting colour combinations of saddle hide and fabric.

SHELLEY – GamFratesi design

Distinguished by its elegant formal cubist shape, Shelley sports a linear geometry, enhanced by the presence of saddle hide and its accurate processing technique.

Its characteristic alluring saddle hide volume hosts cushions covered in fabric and opens at the front on the sides to reveal the inviting seat, while the rear part accommodates the body in a soft embrace. The saddle hide also serves to bind the legs together, wrapping itself round them and allowing the top part to emerge, ending in a fine decorative detail with Black Nickel finish.

The bearing frame reveals interesting shape solutions, such as the sloping front legs, slightly open at the sides or the tightness of the saddle hide at the base of the chair, which gradually loosens in an elegant tapering effect towards the exterior of the top part. Sartorial details, such as neat piping, define the edges of the cushions, with those of the backrest and armrest designed as three separate elements.

SUITCASE LINE – Rodolfo Dordoni design

The iconic cubic Suitcase armchair, designed by Rodolfo Dordoni in 1997, gets an overhaul in the 2019 edition of Suitcase Line, providing a contemporary take on the concept and geometric rigour of the original piece, characterised by new details.

With the chrome feet that originally supported the armchair now removed, the volume sits on the floor and features four flawless strips in aluminium on the corners that provide a glimpse of the upholstery at the end. The strips are painted in an all-new Brandy colour finish that adds depth to the metal.

As recalled by Rodolfo Dordoni, who designed it the same year he had started the collaboration with Minotti, “Suitcase was born as a declaration of intent, indicating the change that Minotti wanted to give to its new path. It was an armchair without particular features, without exuberance in form, minimal, but with a different interpretation. It was enough dressing it up, putting a dress on it to mark the subsequent phase of interpretation of the product. We have added new sensations to its lines, the same work we did on the shapes has been applied to the surfaces, too. This has been the strong intuition.”

GRANT – Rodolfo Dordoni design

A coloured top – in Mulberry, Olive, Rust and Smoke – that plays around with the transparencies and texture of the glass, treated using a special fusion process, is the distinguishing feature of the Grant coffee table.

Made of metal, it has a one-piece crown-shaped frame in a polished Chrome or painted Black finish, with legs tapered towards the bottom.

The tactile sensoriality of the top, with its slightly wavy surface characteristic of pieces in fused glass,  is contrasted by the plasticity of the forms, endowing a simple furnishing element with a sculptural feel.

Minotti is an Italian company, established in 1948, with a solid reputation at an international level as an excellent expression of “Made in Italy” in the field of contemporary furniture design and ambassador of a classic-modern lifestyle in the residential and hospitality segments.

LIVE FROM MILAN: Tarkett collaborates with Note Design Studio to unveil Formations

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
LIVE FROM MILAN: Tarkett collaborates with Note Design Studio to unveil Formations

Tarkett and Note Design Studio have joined forces during Milan Design Week to collaborate on the installation Formations…

Inspired by forms on multiple scales, an installation between Tarkett and Note Design Studio is described as an echo of archetypal design principles, a modern industrial material like no other and an iconic backdrop rich in history.

During Milan Design Week 2019, Tarkett, which was an event partner for Meet Up London, together with Note Design Studio are exploring the creative possibilities of its new collection iQ Surface.

Formations is an exhibition that questions notions of scale, by taking architectural archetypes and turning them on their head. Owning the space of the historic Circolo Filologico Milanese, the installation is a celebration and homage to how design language can be twisted into new creative phrases.

Formations introduces the new sustainable vinyl collection iQ Surface – the first collection created for Tarkett by Note Design Studio. Made from 25.5 per cent recycled material, iQ Surface is designed not just as a flooring material, but as an architectural surface for walls and furniture too. In Formations, Note use the creative versatility of the new collection to explore notions of scale and colour blocking. By presenting material normally found underfoot in a startling new context, Note aims to provoke a powerful emotional impact on the public – and inspire architects, designers and other material specifiers to push the boundaries of material convention.

Main image credit: Note Design Studio

LIVE FROM MILAN: First images of Swedish Design Moves’ exhibition

726 565 Hamish Kilburn
LIVE FROM MILAN: First images of Swedish Design Moves’ exhibition

The first images of Swedish Design Moves’ returning exhibition at Milan Design Week have been released…

Inspired by sustainable materials and the complex relationship between nature and technology, Swedish Design Moves’ HEMMA gone wild has launched during Milan Design Week. The exhibition, which takes place until April 14 in the Brera Design District, is a sequel to the 2018 exhibition, HEMMA – Stories of Home.

Curated and designed by Joyn Studio, HEMMA gone wild invites visitors to experience an abstract and playful vision of home, from hallway to living room and onwards through an unfolding scenography that showcases the best of Swedish design, drawn by curiosity and a mood of mystery. Home is a place of refuge and security – but it can also be a place from which to escape.

“Swedish landscape represents where we are from but it is only one element of our story. It was important to us that this dynamic flow of influence be reflected throughout HEMMA gone wild”, said Joyn Studio.

Image credit: Swedish Design Moves

The exhibition explores the complex relationship that we have with home and the influences of both nature and technology as they shape our experience of living and our connectedness with the changing world around us.

Just as a home is a reflection of a personality, all of the pieces within the exhibition have been selected for what they have to tell us and positioned with careful consideration to how they speak to each other. Among them are a number of the 82 new objects created for the Nationalmuseum’s NM& Collection – a unique collaboration between 32 Swedish designers and 20 manufacturers, unveiled late last year. These include the Curve lamp for the museum’s library designed by Front and produced by Zero, Sand dinnerware designed by Carina Seth Andersson in collaboration with Design House Stockholm, the Ateljé dining table designed by Matti Klenell (artistic director of the NM& project) and produced by Gärsnäs, and the Botero chair, also designed by Matti Klenell in collaboration with Peter Andersson and produced by Källemo.

Other featured designers include Monica Förster, one of Sweden’s most acclaimed designers who is represented with her Retreat sofa for Fogia, which also brings pieces by TAF Studio and fashion designer Lars Nilsson who has collaborated with Vandra Rugs on a number of projects including Snö & Kol which brings Vandra Rugs to exhibit at Milan Design Week this year for the first time.

“Swedish design finds its unique expression in deeply felt values of equality and accessibility paired with innovation and creativity – all reflected by the multitude of talented designers and brands invited to participate in this year’s exhibition in Milan“, said Michael Persson Gripkow, Brand & Strategic Marketing Officer at Visit Sweden and project manager for Swedish Design Moves.

Sustainability is a driving influence for Sweden’s designers and manufacturers. Two leading design brands to highlight in this regard are Bolon, which launched in 1949 with rugs produced from textile waste and today uses 33 per cent recycled materials in its flooring products, and acoustic product producer Baux, which was founded on the belief that building materials should be sustainable, surprisingly functional and remarkably beautiful.

In addition to these designers and brands, the breadth of design talent across furniture and lighting will be represented by established design brands Asplund, Blå Station, Gemla, and Tre Sekel and some of the country’s newest studios and brands: Massproductions, Myltha, Pholc and Studio Mia Cullin. Bringing Swedish design to every element of the home, other brands exhibited include Electrolux, office design brands EFG and Ogeborg, bathroom specialists Westerbergs, urban design company Nola and wood-fired bathtub manufacturer Hikki.

Emerging talents throughout HEMMA gone wild will be accentuated by the inclusion of the work of students of Beckmans College of Design and HDK Academy of Design and Crafts and the winners of the Swedish national award for young designers (Ung Svensk Form), many of whom will show graduation and prototype projects.

HEMMA gone wild is an exhibition of contrasting colour, light, material and sound as well as of feeling.

Main image credit: Swedish Design Moves

LIVE FROM MILAN: Zaha Hadid Design at ME Milan Il Duca

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
LIVE FROM MILAN: Zaha Hadid Design at ME Milan Il Duca

Zaha Hadid Design has announced that its Milan Design Week will be anchored at ME Milan Il Duca hotel, where it will host a thoughtful exhibition featuring contrasting textures… 

The ME Milan Il Duca hotel has collaborated with Zaha Hadid Design to host an exhibition during Salone del Mobile 2019 at Milan Design Week. In honour of the ME Dubai, due to open in December 2019 with its interiors designed by Zaha Hadid, ME by Meliá is dedicating the month of April to the architect and designer, continuing the hotel brand’s commitment to supporting excellence in design.

Investigating the evolution of Zaha Hadid’s formal language, the “Zaha Hadid Design at ME Milan Il Duca” exhibition explores the interrelated fields of architecture and product design. As a singular composition, it presents a variety of works – limited edition furniture pieces, lighting objects, vases and other accessories – manufactured in materials that include glass, marble and ceramics.

“Zaha Hadid Design at ME Milan Il Duca” is a celebration of the studio’s diverse repertoire of designs realised in collaboration with some of the world’s most renowned brands as well as Hadid’s signature collection.

Fabrics and surfaces

Image credit: MHI property

The exhibition features:
• Moon System Sofa for B and B Italia
• ZH One Armchair for Cassina
• Mercuric Collection, Tela Shelving and Malea Table for Citco
• Serac Bench for Italian Lab
• Lapp, Weave and Strip vases for Rosenthal
• Cellular and Ribbon hand tufted rugs for Royal Thai
• Aria Suspension Lamp for Slamp
• Z-Chair for Sawaya Moroni
• Crystal Architecture Collection for Lalique
• Zaha Hadid Design Collection

“Zaha Hadid Design x ME Milan Il Duca” exhibition is open until Tuesday 30 April 2019. Originally designed by Aldo Rossi, the ME Milan Il Duca hotel is located in Milan’s Piazza della Repubblica, at the heart of the action in Milan this week.

Main image credit: Zaha Hadid Designs