‘La sfumatura di un’esperienza reale’ was the topic of conversation over a morning coffee in Milan recently with Mr Claudio Luti (president of Salone del Mobile and Kartell boss) and Wallpaper’s newly appointed Milan editor Marco Sammicheli. The phrase roughly translates as ‘the nuance of a real experience’ – as in the emotional and physical effect of seeing design first hand, rather than superficially through a screen.
We discussed the importance of Salone, and of making the effort to physically engage with design, to experience it fully. The fair’s creativity and energy are positively buzzing, and its growing visitor numbers (almost half a million are reported to have made the effort last year) affirm its position in the global design community.
In this special May issue we are previewing our selection of projects definitely worth seeing and experiencing in person. Olafur Eliasson and Louis Poulsen unveil their ‘OE Quasi’ light, three years in the making (and gracing our newsstand cover); Dzek, of Marmoreal fame, teams up with Formafantasma to create a truly tectonic material; COS connects with a tech-savvy rising star, French architect Arthur Mamou-Mani; Jonathan Anderson and Spanish craft champion Loewe make beautiful basketry; and Barber & Osgerby get busy with Emeco to rethink stackability. And that’s just a small taster of our exclusive Milan reveals.
We then go deeper with our Italian immersion, taking an architectural tour of Ivrea, literally the town that type built (Olivetti typewriters to be precise). Legendary photographer Massimo Vitali takes us on an adventure with outdoor furniture in a quarry in Tuscany, we serve up a Space story inspired by the Eternal City, and Wallpaper* entertaining director Melina Keays treats us to molto gelato.
Finally, we invited Il Maestro Ennio Morricone to compile a love-themed soundtrack to our Wallpaper* Handmade X exhibition in Milan (9-13 April at Salone dei Tessuti, via San Gregorio 29), to mark his 90th birthday last year and upcoming farewell concerts. You can listen to the playlist at wlpr.co/wallpaperhandmadex, but just like good design, to be fully appreciated some things need to be experienced in person… Enjoy the issue!