Salone del Mobile 2016
As the international design crowd descended upon Milan for the greatest show on Earth – Salone del Mobile, which ran 12–17 April – we undertook our yearly hunt for the finest features of all. From the brimming Rho fairgrounds to unmissable exhibitions, presentations, product launches and installations, we scoured every urban inch to bring you the highlights from the world’s most significant furniture fair
Wallpaper’s Handmade extravaganza returns to Milan for its seventh edition, once again taking over Via San Gregorio’s Arcade. The Hotel Wallpaper* will feature an exhibition of specially commissioned objects, furniture, fashion, food, accessories, services and installations, dedicated to the fine art of hostelry and world travel. The Arcade will also feature an installation of aluminium by Jean Nouvel and Neal Feay, and our friends showcasing their pieces will include American theatre director Robert Wilson, whose chandelier for Italian company Slamp will serve as centerpiece for our Hotel’s ballroom, David Rockwell’s intimate apartment with Stellar Works, and Nude’s new collection of glass pieces. Plus, Austrian lighting specialist Kalmar will join forces with the WallpaperSTORE* for a presentation of key pieces from the Kalmar catalogue, paired with production versions of Wallpaper* Handmade projects.
12–16 April; The Arcade, via San Gregorio 43
’Before Design: Classic’
For its 55th edition, the furniture fair is taking Italian design back to where it began; with the classic. In a cinematic video by film-maker Matteo Garrone, traditional furniture acts as a ’protagonist’ telling the story of historical design’s elaborate grandeur (an anachronism in the age of minimalist modernisn), with pieces included by Rosenthal, Sigma L2, and Dedar, among others. Titled ’Before Design: Classic’ the film is being partnered with an exhibition, inspired by the classical Palladian villa, of different classical room sets. Other highlights at the fair include the biennial EuroCucina, exploring all that is innovative in kitchen design, and the 19th edition of SaloneSatellite, celebrating emerging talent with the theme ’New Materials, New Design’.
12–17 April; Fiera Milano, Rho; www.salonemilano.it
Pictured: a clip from Matteo Garrone’s ’Before Design: Classic’ film
COS x Sou Fujimoto
Marking their fifth year of immersive installations at Salone, fashion brand COS are collaborating with Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto to create ‘Forest of Light’ for 2016. Built around Fujimoto’s connection with the forest-like cityscape of his hometown Tokyo, the experience will involve a room of spotlights creating tall looming structures in an intimate display. Nodding to the clean and clear lines of COS’s signature aesthetic, the interactive experience will react to visitors’ spatial awareness within the theatrical setting of Cinema Arti.
12–17 April; Cinema Arti Via Pietro Mascagni, 8; www.cosstores.com
The Shit Evolution
After kicking up a stink last year, the Museo della Merda is set to bring a fresh load of shit to Salone – by way of items made of recycled cow dung, that is. Conceived by Luca Cipelletti, the Milan-based architect responsible for the renovation of the medieval home of the ’Shit Museum’, the new products will include floor tiles, stools, coffee tables, vases, plates, bowls and, fittingly, even a toilet. It would seem merdacotta is the new terracotta.
12–17 April; Museo della Merda at SIAM, via Santa Marta 18; www.theshitmuseum.org
Photography: Henrik Blomqvist
Tom Dixon x Caesarstone
‘The Restaurant’ is Tom Dixon’s second installation of kitchen concepts with Caesarstone. Following on from ‘Ice’ at IDS Toronto earlier this year, he is bringing all four elements to the table this time. Creating four kitchen concepts – ’Earth’, ’Fire’, ’Water’ and ’Air’ – using Caesarstone’s durable wares, these models will be serving up conceptual food realised by Italian food design studio Arabeschi di Latte. The theatrical kitchens will be interactive, with scientific cooking methods and ingredients, including air whipped meringues and hay box cooked roots and mushrooms.
12–17 April; La Rotonda della Besana, Via Enrico Besana, 12; www.caesarstone.com/milan2016/press
Pictured: ’Fire’ kitchen, using Caesarstone’s coastal grey, raven and vanilla noir
25 years of Grcic for ClassiCon
Silver is a traditional gift for a 25th anniversary, but German furniture makers ClassiCon and long-time collaborator (and Wallpaper’s 2015 joint Designer of the Year) Konstantin Grcic aren’t ones to stand on ceremony. Instead, the ’Black Edition’ will chart the ‘greatest hits’ of their fruitful collaboration, rendered shiny and new in a deep, dark black scheme. Splashes of colour will come by way of Iranian artist Shirana Shahbazi’s photographs.
12–17 April; Spotti Milano, Viale Piave 27; www.classicon.com
Lasvit at Palazzo Serbelloni
The Czech Republic-based glass manufacturer is used to lighting up proceedings, but this year Lasvit will be taking up residence in the Palazzo Serbelloni, once home to Napoleon himself. The Bohemian crystal chandeliers created for him have been restored to their original splendour; showcased alongside them, the modern work of André Fu, Moritz Waldemeyer, Daniel Libeskind, the Campana Brothers and Arik Levy will shine bright. Fu’s ’TAC/TILE’ collection promises to be a real eye-opener.
12–17 April; Palazzo Serbelloni, Corso Venezia 16; www.lasvit.com
Pictured: André Fu’s ’TAC/TILE’. Courtesy of Lasvit
Nilufar celebrates Brazilian design
The latest in a long line of tributes to Brazilian design comes in the guise of Milan’s great Nilufar Gallery. Celebrating the work of six greats from 1940–1970, the exhibition will feature the furniture of José Zanine Caldas, Martin Eisler, Oscar Niemeyer, Sergio Rodrigues, Joaquim Tenreiro and Jorge Zalszupin. The via della Spiga outpost will also inaugurate its own atelier of contemporary rugs, with special pieces designed by textile greats Jorge Lizarazo and Haynes Robinson.
12–17 April; Nilufar Gallery, via della Spiga 32; www.nilufar.com
Photography: Mattia Iotti
Seletti’s ’Design Pride’
Known for bringing their vibrant party to the show, this year whimsical Italian brand Seletti is travelling across town with their design joy in a parade called ’Design Pride’, part of 5vie art + design. Journeying on floats across the city, the vibrant ‘carnival of design’ will include otherworldly transporting systems by Gufram, Pepsi’s new collaboration with Fabio Novembre (playing with emojis and classic designed chairs), and Toiletpaper’s jungle themed float. The festivities will end at Piazza Affairi with a party organised by Disaronno, celebrating the launch of their limited edition printed jar, designed by Studio Job.
13 April; starting at Piazzale Cadorna. Party at Piazza degli Affari, 20123 from 9pm; www.seletti.it
Nendo’s ’Manga’ chairs
Last year, Oki Sato presented an enormously impressive year showcase of his work. For 2016, the Japanese designer is yet again showing his ability to straddle quantity and quality with an installation of 50 chairs, inspired by Manga comics, created for Friedman Benda Gallery in New York. In similarly grid-like structures to Manga narratives, Nendo has formed these abstract steel pieces, all reflective and whimsical alterations of the original line-work frame.
12–17 April; Piazza S. Simpliciano, 7, 20100; www.nendo.jp
Photography: Kenichi Sonehara
Atelier Swarovski Home
Swarovski’s sparkling new branch, Atelier Swarovski Home, falls under the Atelier Swarovski aegis, an enterprise launched in 2007 to create fashion accessories with international designers. Featuring the likes of Daniel Libeskind, Ron Arad, Raw Edges and Tord Boontje, Atelier Swarovski Home’s inaugural collection includes centrepieces, entertaining and home office objects crafted from crystal combined with mixed materials such as marble, metals and resins.
12–17 April; via Cusani 5; www.atelierswarovski.com
Pictured: ’Orbit’ collection of practical tableware by Tord Boontje
Nike presents ’The Nature of Motion’
Known for shaping the future of sport and athletics, Nike has teamed up with 10 talented designers - Martino Gamper, Lindsey Adelman and Clara von Zweigbergk among them - for ’endless explorations of movement’. The resulting collaborations will explore ’natural motion’ through conceptual and practical installations including Adelman’s plant-inspired lights, Gamper’s rhythmic drums and Max Lamb’s brutalist blocks. Nike technology – like flykit textiles – will abound in perfect synergy with the diverse projects.
12–17 April; via Orobia 15; www.nike.com/milano
M/M (Paris) at Plusdesign
Milanese gallery Plusdesign has been at the forefront of the city’s design conversations. Earlier this year, they displayed Kram/Weisshaar’s Picó Blitz, a novel reinvention of the Colombian Pico sound system. Gallery owners Luca Martinazzoli and Andrea Caputo are now ready to stage a utopian living situation by M/M (Paris), featuring furniture from the French duo’s previous works as well as a new creation that combines the studio’s rigorous research methods with a new wit.
12 April–15 May; via Ventura 6; www.plusdesigngallery.it
Paul Smith x Gufram
Our favourite prickly coat rack, Gufram’s iconic ’Cactus’ is getting a psychedelic reimagining courtesy of Paul Smith. As part of the Italian brand’s 50th anniversary the irreverent piece enters a new, 1970s-inspired dimension (pictured) for a limited edition of 196. Groovy celebrations are sure to ensue.
In my Mind(CRAFT)
Curated once again by Danish-Italian design duo GamFratesi, MINDCRAFT will showcase the latest in Danish craft and design under the theme of ’In My Mind’. Featuring the works of 16 different participants, the exhibition will range from Cecilie Manz’s refined furniture to Rosa Tolnov Clausen’s textile designs, by way of Ole Jensen’s primal pottery (pictured) and Øivind Alexander Slaatto’s sane hourglasses. The breadth and quality of projects promise to be equally impressive.
12–17 April; Circolo Filologico Milanese, via Clerici 10; www.mindcraftexhibition.com
Photography: Tualah Jarno
’Rooms: Novel Living Concepts’
One of the many exhibitions on show at the Triennale Design Museum, ’Rooms: Novel Living Concepts’ explores 11 different styles in 11 diverse spaces, realised by 11 modern Italian architects. Curated by Beppe Finessi, the installation begins with a historical and chronological survey of Italian interior architecture, stumbling upon the likes of Gio Ponti and Carlo Scarpa. After this, visitors experience a temporal shift, arriving at bespoke room sets including Alessandro Mendini’s prison-like view of constricted isolation and Umberto Riva’s solo minimalist living space, titled ’Proposition for a Bolt Hole’.
2 April–12 September; Viale Emilio Alemagna, 6; www.triennale.org
Pictured: Duilio Forte’s conceived room titled ’Ursus’
’The Kiss’ at Tory Burch
For the second year on the trot, Tory Burch’s via della Spiga flagship will host a striking installation co-commissioned by Wallpaper*. Inspired by the American lifestyle brand’s ’Spongeware’ collection, design duo Tim Simpson and Sarah van Gameren of London’s studio Glithero will dress the windows of the boutique with sponge kisses (or, rather, a mechanism that will gently compress pieces of sponge against the glass).
12–17 April; via della Spiga 7; www.toryburch.com
Lensvelt’s ’Boring Collection’
In what is surely the furniture design equivalent of fashion’s normcore, Dutch brand Lensvelt and Amsterdam architecture studio Space Encounters will unveil ’The Boring Collection’. Looking to dull office equipment and its most archetypal forms, the collection aims to restore the balance between work and play. Not beautiful, not minimal; just inconspicuous, functional and basic.
12–17 April; Ventura Lambrate, via Privata Oslavia 1; www.lensvelt.nl
Pictured left: ’Boring Memphis’. Right: ’Boring Chair’
Hem’s Ice Cream Socials
It is a truth rarely acknowledged, but life – and design – are better with ice cream. To that end, Hem are hosting Ice Cream Socials inspired by Max Lamb’s new ‘Last Stool Splatter’. Serving up four custom gelato flavours by Gelateria Rigoletto (one to match each stool style), the socials will be hosted by different Hem collaborators, including Philippe Malouin, Karoline Fesser and Studio DeFORM.
12–15 April; Accapiu (H+), via Varese 12, 20121; www.hem.com
Pictured: ’Last Stool Splatter’ by Max Lamb
Following explorations of the work of Maarten Baas in 2014 and Max Lamb in 2015, curator Federica Sala’s spotlight now shines on Israeli design studio Raw Edges for this year’s edition of contemporary design research at 5vie art + design. Delving into the duo’s dynamics with pattern that have graced collections for Established & Sons to Golran, this exhibit particularly investigates the herringbone pattern that decorates the floors of various Stella McCartney showrooms. The installation will act as a performance, starting with the production materials they use for their experimentation with colouring woods to how the unending pattern is formed.
12-17 April; Via Zecca Vecchia 3. www.5vie.it
A project in development for two years, the 2016/ Arita concept is now ready to reveal. In an ongoing collaboration between The Netherlands and Japan’s porcelain sector, creative directors Teruhiro Yanagihara and Scholten & Baijings have bought together 16 designers to work at ten Arita potteries, developing over 300 new ceramic pieces. Bringing the historical, 400-year-old skills of Arita production into the contemporary world, the invited designers include Big-Game, Stefan Diez and Tomás Alonso.
12–17 April; Via delle Erbe 2; www.2016arita.com
Pictured: A sneak peak of the project on show last year at Rossana Orlandi. Photography: Takumi Ota
’No Sex’ by Atelier Biagetti
Atelier Biagetti’s ’No Sex’ is already making waves on the socialsphere, no doubt thanks to the huge success that was last year’s ’Body Building’ collection. Teaming up with curator Maria Cristina Didero once more, this year’s iterations will continue in Alberto Biagetti and Laura Baldassari’s tradition of elevating the apparently mundane through the use of precious materials and exquisite craftsmanship. Their tongue-in-cheek furniture will this year revolve around the clinic-cum-retreat theme. For an added dose of fun, the Milanese studio will start the party early (10 April) together with vintage destination La Double J and their maximalist ’Wunderwall’, jewels from Anna Piaggi’s private collection and a selection of WallpaperSTORE* wonders thrown in for good measure.
L’Arabesque meets Borchgrave
Vintage clothing and furniture expert Chichi Meroni is teaming up with Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave to host a meeting of art, fashion and design. The ultimate celebration of art nouveau, the exhibition, hosted at Meroni’s L’Arabesque, will feature new furniture and art pieces by de Borchgrave along with a series of deco pieces unearthed by Merino. Expect colour, glasswork and glamour.
12–17 April; L’Arabesque Design Gallery, Largo Augusto 10; www.larabesque.net
Pictured: art nouveau ’Gallé’ cameo glass vase decorated with lotus flowers (from Chichi Meroni’s collection) on bronze table created by Isabelle de Borchgrave
Italian designer Stefano Giovannoni is turning his industrial design expertise into a new venture, gathering a group of international designers to present Qeeboo, his debut brand of furniture. Offering pieces made of plastic at an affordable price, Giovannoni has worked with a Hong Kong-based investor to unveil 25 injection-molded pieces by a diverse roster of creative minds, that best exemplify the designer-turned-entrepreneur’s eclectic design energy. The pieces include seating, tables and lamps designed by names such as Andrea Branzi, Nika Zupanc and Giovannoni himself.
11–17 April; via Stendhal 35; www.qeeboo.com
Pictured clockwise from bottom left: ’K’ chair by Stefano Giovannoni. ’Pupa’ chair by Andrea Branzi. ’Ribbon’ chair by Nika Zupanc. ’Loops’ chair by Front. ’BB’ chair by Marcel Wanders. Photography: Leonardo Scotti
The grand dame of design’s cabinet of curiosities once again presents a vastly eclectic collection of new designs. From Patricia Urquiola’s first collaboration with Danish brand Georg Jensen (inspired by the lines of Sigvard Bernadotte’s work for the company in the 1930s), to brass experts Ghidini Bosco’s new brand, Ghidini 1961 (with designs by the like of Nika Zupanc, Richard Hutten and the Campana Brothers). Danish furniture editor Karakter presents a series of re-editions of shelving units designed by Italian architect Achille Castiglioni between the 1950s and 1990s.
12–17 April; via Matteo Bandello 14/16; www.rossanaorlandi.com
Pictured: Achille Castiglioni’s corner shelf system