Crowds will again be flocking to Milan next week (from Tuesday) for the opening of the 52nd Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the city’s annual furniture fair. Themed “Milan: interiors of tomorrow”, this year’s show will have a home bias, with Italian companies making up a large proportion of the 1,400 exhibitors. Highlights will include Dedon’s new outdoor seating, designed by Philippe Starck, and Fritz Hansen’s new easy chair by Spanish designer Jaime Hayon. The Salone will run from April 9-14 and will occupy all but six of the 24 pavilions at the Milan Fairgrounds in Rho. But it’s not the be-all and end-all: numerous other satellite shows will be taking place around the city. Here is our guide to what else is happening in Milan this year:
Euroluce is held every other year and showcases every conceivable type of lighting. This year Italian lighting company Flos will exhibit new lights by the Greek-born designer Michael Anastassiades and London-based designer Paul Cocksedge. Also on display will be a transparent bubble-like table lamp for Foscarini by Norwegian designers Anderssen & Voll and Gubi’s new pendant light, the Ronde, designed by German Oliver Schick.
Milan Fairgrounds, Rho Pavilions: 9, 11, 13, 15, www.cosmit.it
The highlight of this year’s International Workplace Exhibition, which showcases the latest in office furniture, is likely to be architect Jean Nouvel’s “Project: offices for living”, which will present a variety of solutions to how the workplace might meet the demands of the future. The exhibit looks at eight alternative working environments – including a classical apartment and an industrial warehouse – and encourages a move away from generic and characterless office environments in favour of spaces that reflect a greater engagement with the workforce.
Milan Fairgrounds, Rho Pavilions: 22-24, www.cosmit.it
Now in its 16th year, the official SaloneSatellite will show the work of 700 young designers including students from 17 international design schools. This is the place to scout out new talent. Look for Mateo Pinto and Carolina Cisneros’s milkcrate and plywood stools, and a collection of textiles inspired by water patterns in Venice by Giorgia Zanellato and Daniele Bortotto. Other pieces of interest will include a rocking chair made from aluminium, naval rope and embroidery by Brazilian designer Nicole Tomazi, and Edward Linacre’s bamboo veneer pendant lamp, designed to resemble the honeycomb architecture of a bee’s nest.
Milan Fairgrounds, RhoPavilions: 22-24, www.cosmit.it
Returning for its second year, the MOST satellite show, instigated by Tom Dixon, is titled Disrupting Design and intends to challenge industry norms and traditional routes to market, all in an attempt to return power to the designer. One of the show’s exhibitors, Fab.com, will be hosting an open competition whereby new designers can present their work to a panel of industry judges, with the favourite three designs being put into production. Anyone interested in entering need only email their name and country of origin to email@example.com to pre-register. Other highlights include Tom Dixon’s collaboration with Adidas, creating suitcases that carry a week’s worth of clothing and footwear and that unzip and adapt to become travel wardrobes, and Bloc hotel brand’s affordable “pods,” featuring Missoni carpets and Artemide lighting.
National Museum of Science and Technology, www.mostsalone.com
Doyenne of interior design Rossana Orlandi’s gallery and shop is always a hive of activity during the Milan furniture fair. Set around a beautiful courtyard, it’s the place to find great design objects and enjoy a drink at the bar. Baroncelli, who create handcrafted lighting from Murano, will present a wall installation made from remnants of vintage chandeliers. Meanwhile Seletti have collaborated with Toilet Paper magazine and Maurizio Cattelan to create a range of tin plates and mugs.
14-16 Via Matteo Bandello, www.rossanaorlandi.com
Ventura Lambrate takes place in a former industrial district in the northeast of Milan. Now in its third year, the event – which is spread over several nearby venues – will include work by Danish Crafts and the Analogia Project. Several new locations have been added this year, including an old printing factory that will host Ventura at Work, an exhibition looking at production processes and technological developments. The Ventura Warehouse will allow young designers to present their latest projects.
EDIT by Design Junction
After a successful first year at London Design Week 2012, Design Junction is taking a smaller version of their show to Milan. The work of more than 25 global brands will be on display at La Pelota, a former sports arena in the Brera Design District, in the centre of the city. Look out for British brand Case Furniture, who will be showing their new Vitrina cabinets with brightly coloured interiors by Hierve Studio. Another British company, Modus, will be exhibiting a sofa and credenza designed by Arik Levy that references classic Japanese footwear and incorporates an elevated wooden base.
10 Via Palermo, thedesignjunction.co.uk
Wallpaper* has commissioned international craftsmen, designers and manufacturers to create more than 300 one-off pieces and products which will be on display at L’Eclettico, a new contemporary design studio just northeast of the city centre. Confirmed exhibitors include Bethan Gray, who has collaborated with Harrogate-based stone specialist Lapicida to create a range of tabletop products. Another highlight will be Danish designer Nina Tolstrup’s work with fashion brand Marc by Marc Jacobs. Together they have created the Mirror Chair, a stool with a back support which doubles up as a half-length mirror.
39 Via San Gregorio, www.leclettico.it
Karl Lagerfeld and Cassina
Last January in Paris, Karl Lagerfeld showed his first ever photographic project for a furniture brand – Cassina. The exhibition will appear again (until May 31) in Cassina’s Milan showroom, where Lagerfeld will create a special “scenography” from the 30 classic Cassina designs he chose to photograph.
Cassina Showroom, 16 Via Durini, www.cassina.com
Nendo’s Stone Garden
During last year’s London Design Week, Japanese design studio Nendo scattered chairs around the V&A. This year, the studio have collaborated with Caesarstone to create an installation of about 200 table-like forms made with seven different stone-shaped quartz surfaces, each supported by a metal rod. The intention is to create a minimalistic floating landscape in the courtyard of the Palazzo Crivelli, in the Brera Design District. Although the installation was unveiled earlier this year at Interior Design Show 2013 in Toronto, it will be displayed in a new formation.
12 Via Pontaccio, www.nendo.jp