The latest edition of the Salone del Mobile in Milan has stood out for its commitment to sustainability. The fair of the Italian city has joined the United Nations Global Compact for corporate social responsibility, which implies good practices of companies in relation to labor rights and sustainable development. It is about deciding ethically and responsibly how and with what materials each piece of furniture or lamp that is put into circulation is going to be produced. Without forgetting, in addition, to take into account how they will be recycled at the end of their useful life or how they can be repaired so that they do not end up in a landfill.
These are the new challenges that companies face and Maria Porro, president of the Salone, champions this business way of thinking, committed to the future that it is today. This was demonstrated by the pieces of furniture that could be seen at the Salone del Mobile in Milan. Some, like these, called to make history and create trends.
A renewed classic
Gebrüder Thonet Vienna, the hundred-year-old Austrian firm known for its technique in curved wood, renews its catalog with Mickey, a chair with whimsical curves designed by the Iranian-French architect and designer India Mahdavi. In the playful tone that characterizes her designs and interior design, Mahdavi has finished off the armchair with a pair of scrolls reminiscent of Mickey Mouse’s ears. The combination of dark wood with the two green tones of the upholstery contribute to the light spirit of a seat that enlivens any interior. “The chair Mickey she is tall and comfortable, but also cosy, colorful and friendly. A friend to love and with big ears, who listens to all your fears”, defines Mahdavi herself. An ingenious way to renew the tradition of an iconic company.
simple and elegant
Table Thierry XXL, designed by Piero Lissoni for Kartell, it completes a collection of side tables that already drew attention at last year’s Salone del Mobile in metal structure and tempered glass top painted on the back. In the usual line of work of the architect and designer, the generously sized piece, which can be oval or rectangular, is formally very simple and, even so, has a graceful and elegant profile. However, its strong point is the availability of different colors, which adds versatility and customization to the design, since two or three combined tones can be used on the same table, to suit the consumer.
The closets Line, designed by Alessandro Mendini in 2015, are now produced by Porro, a brand known for exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail. Its interior layout with shelves and compartments helps anyone keep clutter at bay. They draw attention because they contrast simple formal volumes with colorful geometric drawings in vibrant colors that make them visually impressive. The surfaces are made of cellulose acetate in blue, yellow and red colors that are as intense as they are energetic, transmitting energy and vitality that, together with the geometric patterns, add dynamism to the whole.
Sheep’s wool vs. foam rubber
This year the Tacchini firm has collaborated with the Formafantasma designers to investigate a new way of making upholstery and padding for its sofas. The traditional pieces from the brand’s catalog have been presented without apparently having undergone any change in their design. However, Formafantasma carried out an in-depth study on how to change the way they were made to adapt them to a world that cries out for sustainability and a circular economy. The designers have been inspired for the fillings by the old technique of making mattresses using surplus sheep’s wool to replace the industrial foam that was being used, in combination with a natural latex to provide softness. The couch the wall by Mario Bellini, the armchair costela by Martin Eisler, the armchair lina by Gianfranco Frattini and the chaise longue five-to-nine de Studiopepe have been the first to pass away.
Tradition and vanguard
The lamp Knitted, designed by Meike Harde for Vibia, takes its inspiration from the art of weaving. It combines traditional textile techniques with contemporary materials and technology, something that distinguishes the work of this German designer. For this model, she has transformed the traditional weaving process into a three-dimensional pattern made of flexible, resin-coated yarn. The light it emits is soft and diffuse, filtered through the fabric of the fabric.
Play of light and shadows
inumbra, a project by Michele de Lucchi for District Eight, is a modular shelving system of impeccable finish, technical prowess and exquisite attention to detail. In the line that characterizes the work of this architect, the design establishes an intriguing play of light and shadow. The metal frame forms a series of intersecting lines and angles, creating an intricate design that provides both stability and visual harmony. The shelves are cleverly placed to allow light to filter through, casting shadows on the surrounding surfaces. This interplay between light and shadow adds a sense of depth and dimension to the bookcase. In addition, its open design allows it to be configured in multiple ways, according to the personal needs of the user.
the chair Twaine, designed by Konstantin Grcic and Hella Jongerius for Magis, it shows the fantastic fusion of two ways of looking at design. On the one hand, the industrial and severe aesthetic of Grcic and on the other, that of Jongerius, an expert in fabrics and color. A robust structure, with clean lines, inspired by the classic safari chairs (easy to disassemble and can travel flat), made of wood and leather straps, combined with an innovative upholstery on the seat and back, interesting both visually and tactilely due to its game of textures. Furthermore, the chair offers many possibilities, leaving the user the ability to choose the upholstery in their preferred combinations.
Inspired by the Japanese wardrobe
Patricia Urquiola this time takes inspiration from Japan to make the collection Hayama, in particular the take on the jackets haori, who dress over the kimono. This is the origin of the geometric cut lines of this sideboard that he has designed for Cassina, underlined by the effect cannette of the doors and whose legs are oblique with respect to the body of the same. It has two doors and clear glass shelves inside, as well as a series of drawers that can be adapted to individual needs and uses. They are distinguished, above all, by the exterior in polished lacquer that is offered in a wide variety of colors. It is a reinterpretation of the work of the architect Kazuhide Takahama, who industrialized the tradition of antique lacquer, expressing the clear will to go beyond rationalism through the investigation of relationships with the past.
Each piece, a sculpture
Terracotta is a traditional material that in recent times has been the protagonist of many designs, being interpreted in a fresh and innovative way. Table kasane by the Japanese studio Nendo for Gervasoni is an example of how to innovate in the application of this material, which covers the foam structure or MDF in the case of the table top. The table’s nesting and overlapping design of stackable vessels produces sculptural volumes with rhythmic edges that soften with a natural texture to the touch.
Sebastian Herkner is one of those who does not stitch without a thread, a meticulous and rigorous designer who, at the same time, has the ability to make furniture and objects with a free soul. your new lamp plissee of opaline glass takes its inspiration from the paper lanterns of sculptor and designer Isamu Noguchi and could appear as a simple globe of light. The pleating on the surface, which almost looks like fabric, is done by hand in an Italian manufacture, despite the fact that Classicon is a reputable German firm. To give it that special touch, the glass is frosted on the outer and inner surface.
A piece of nature at home
This project was presented last year in Milan and now shows a greater variety of colors and shapes. It is a collaboration between the textile company Kvadrat and the furniture company Moroso. Front Design designers developed the upholstery fabric burn, that recreates natural textures, surfaces and colors that reflect the environment in which it is located. It is the perfect upholstery for the asymmetrical seats with organic shapes and they resemble the stones of the collection. Pebble Rubble that the same designers have thought for Moroso. The result is a domestic landscape that has something of a forest in the middle of nature. The seats, of various sizes and finishes, can be positioned in different compositions, bringing flexibility and change to any interior.