Last week wrapped up the 2017 edition of Milan Design week, the annual event where the world meets in Italy to see the latest designs, trends and technology for furniture design. This event ultimately influences the furniture, accessories, and textiles that make their way into interiors around the globe. Beyond just furniture prototypes, the event encompasses an impressive number of interactive art exhibits, new designer introductions at Salone de Mobile, and we can’t forget – the parties!
We’ve rounded up our favorites from it all. Read on to see our picks!
Milan Design Week: “New Spring” Installation
Studio Swine‘s installation, “New Spring”, for clothing label COS‘ spring collection. This tree-like structure produces pale bubbles that burst into white mist.
From COS: Designed to use minimal resources, the installation presents ephemeral materials in a strange new context; delicate mist-filled ‘blossoms’ that disappear on contact with skin, but can be held by visitors wearing special gloves. Producing these blossoms is the installation’s bold centerpiece, a tree-like sculpture that references the ornate chandeliers of Milanese palazzos.
From Studio Swine: “Inspired by the famous cherry blossom festival in Japan, the
installation is designed to create a special moment that brings
people together. A fleeting shared experience that evokes a sense
of the changing seasons.”
Milan Design Week: “Athena” furniture collection
From the Salone del Mobile satellite exhibitions, Olivia Lee’s techonology-based “Athena” furniture collection was a stand out. This collection of home furnishings were thoughtfully designed with advancing technology in mind. A “selfie-approved” vanity that has a ring light focal point. Within the ring light, users can place a mirror or mobile device to take the perfect self portraits. The collection also includes textural rugs designed to guide users of virtual reality devices. The different layers and textures of the rug let the users know they are in safety and not in danger of running into walls or other furniture.
“What I wanted to do was approach the idea of a smart home differently and to try to address the new rituals and the new normals of the digital lifestyle, but through a very analog way,” Lee says of her collection. “So all the furniture doesn’t require any electronics. It’s purely a revision and an evolution of familiar archetypes to keep up with our digital needs.”
We also loved the multi-purpose seat cushions that double as sound proofing wall buffers when hung on their chic rose-gold wire frame, and the sleek and shiny tray tables designed to go from using on the floor, to sofa to bed for multiple uses. Read more on the collection here.
Milan Design Week: “Senses of the Future” Light Installation
A science fiction-inspired light installation, SF Senses of the Future by Tokujin Yoshioka and LG won the Milano Design Award 2017 for best installation at Milan design week.
Wall of the Sun is made up of different dynamic lighting elements – all showcasing LG‘s OLED lighting technologies, which create illumination across an entire surface.
The floor area is taken up by 17 glowing chairs, arranged in a large grid. The chairs are made from thick, dual-sided OLED panels and display a variety of light and color effects, ranging from bright waves to colorful stripes.
The project marks LG’s first appearance at Milan design week, coinciding with the brand’s 70th anniversary.
“LG’s design philosophy is to push the boundaries of innovation while simultaneously empathising and identifying with the needs of individuals,” said Noh Chang-ho, head of corporate design at LG Electronics.
“This exhibition collaboration was a unique opportunity to see a different interpretation of LG’s pursuit of innovation for a better life.”
Milan Design Week: The Pocket Chair
Swedish furniture manufacturer, Blå Station, teamed up with Spanish furniture designers, Stone Designs, to present their modern take on the armchair. The Pocket chair has an extra compartment to store personal belongings to help keep restaurants, bars and hotel lobbies free of clutter.
The idea for the chair came about when Stone Designs founders Eva Prego and Cutu Mazuelos stayed at a busy ski resort. Guests’ ski gear piled up on tables and in the lobby creating clutter and unsightly disarray. The design duo was inspired to corral the mess and create furniture that would reclaim public space.
Pocket’s scoop-shaped shell is supported by four slender steel legs. The chair has ample room for the sitter, and beneath the cushioned seat lies a built-in storage area for personal belongings, coats, bags or laptops. The furniture is intended mainly for public environments – such as lobbies, waiting rooms and restaurants – where people need somewhere to store their valuables. Its high back encompasses the sitter, offering some extra privacy from their surroundings. The Pocket chair comes in fabric or leather editions, and in a range of colors including bright orange, pink, blue and green.
Could this be the chair of the near future? Perhaps we’ll be seeing these pop up in US airports, restaurants and hotel lobbies!
Milan Design Week: Maximalism Rules over Minimalism
London-based design brand Sé created a pseudo-apartment full of rich colors and varying textures at Rossana Orlandi’s Milan showroom. This apartment was one of many displays showcasing the overall trend towards maximalism, the trend of using vibrant colors, luxurious textures and bold patterns. Design has a “more is better” approach and embraces an eclectic mixture of styles.
We are already noticing the trickle-down effect of the maximalism trends within the furniture and fashion industry – keep your eyes open for these new styles!
Sé installed the four-room display apartment at Spazio Rossana Orlandi, the gallery & design shop located within a former tie factory in the Magenta neighborhood of Milan.
The apartment consisted of a lounge, dining room, dressing room and salon, each with a stone-vaulted ceiling and dark wooden flooring and accented with warm colors and gold features.
Click here to read a full review of this exhibit by Dezeen.
Milan Design Week: Natuzzi Italia “United for Harmony” Party
We wrap up our recap proudly with the Natuzzi Italia “United for Harmony” celebration that took place at the gorgeous Milan showroom. Natuzzi Italia is our newest brand at Hold It Contemporary Home, and our new studio space dedicated to this incredible line will be unveiled on Friday, April 22nd.
The Natuzzi Italia event is among the most anticipated of Milan Design Week. Natuzzi Italia celebrates the foundation of the Harmony Club with “United for Harmony”, the Cocktail party held for harmony and beauty lovers. The event, hosted in the Natuzzi Italia flagship store in via Durini in Milan, was a full immersion in the world of Natuzzi Italia and in Puglia, homeland and inspiring muse of the brand.
Featuring live musical performances by Tristano and Derrick May, an exclusive food experience by the luxury resort Borgo Egnazia and the luxurious cocktails created by Belvedere Vodka, this event was a lively affair dedicated to old and new members of the Harmony Club. The new Natuzzi Italia 2018 collection, introduced at the Salone del Mobile, greeted guests at the two-story showroom.
The courtyard of the historical Palazzo Caproni was the perfect backdrop for a dialogue between technology and history never seen before. Natuzzi Italia’s vision of harmony was projected on the walls of the courtyard using the 3D mapping technology – an open-air show that accompanied the artists’ performances.
“United for Harmony” marks the beginning of a new project launched on the occasion of the Salone del Mobile: the foundation of the Harmony Club. A movement that brings together those who believe in Beauty, in joie de vivre, in respect for others and the environment. The ideal place for sharing experiences and opportunities. A wave of harmony that will continue over the following months with the official launch of the Harmony Club in the world’s biggest design capitals and the subsequent kick-off of the affiliation program.
You can see more photos from the event with the hashtag, #unitedforharmony, on Instagram.