Salone Satellite – Young designers showcase, Milan 2017

Salone Satellite 2017. The twentieth year of Marva Griffin Wilshire's wonderful platform for young designers held at the Salone del Mobile fairgrounds in Rho.

Each year 300 stands are erected for design schools, young designers and studios at the rear of halls 22-24 at Salone del Mobile. While its a long march from Hall One of the main entrance to the fairgrounds, its always worth the effort. Here you find a mixture of young established designers who have been continuously innovative in their work over many years such as Dutch designers David Derksen and RENS along with total newcomers. The rules for Salone Satellite are simple: each designer needs to be no more than 30 years of age and each entrant can only exhibit three times. The rest is up to the judges who except or reject entrants on their merit. Salone Satellite was established in 1998 which makes this year quite special and to celebrate the platform had a fabulous new look at the fair and a held a major exhibition of work from the last twenty years at Fabbrica del Vapore entitled Salone Satellite – 20 Years of New Creativity curated by Beppe Finessi.

More than 10,000 designers have participated in Salone Satellite over the previous 19 years, many of whom have gone on to become highly successful such as Matali Crasset and Patrick Jouin (France), Harri Koskinen and Ilkka Suppanen (Finland), Tomoko Azumi and Nendo (Japan), Sean Yoo and Cory Grosser (USA), Front and Johan Lindstén (Sweden), Xavier Lust (Belgium), Daniel Rybakken and Hallgeir Homstvedt (Norway), Satyendra Pakhalé (India), Federico Churba (Argentina), Lorenzo Damiani, Tommaso Nani, Cristina Celestino and Francesca Lanzavecchia (Italy), to name just a few of the brightest stars.
Salone Satellite 2017 - the entire look of the event was more polished than previous years with on trend colours and interesting signage at the entrance. Great displays in the common areas exhibited the work of successful past designers.

Salone Satellite 2017 – the entire look of the event was more polished than previous years with on trend colours and interesting signage at the entrance. Great displays in the common areas exhibited the work of successful past designers.

The long wall of Salone Satellite 2017. The folding signage had a great dimensional quality in combination of plywood and shades of blush – the de rigour colour of the Salone (again). Inside Salone Satellite the 20th anniversary installation showcased many of the designers who have had products put into production over the years – the chair in red below is the ‘Astra’ by Cory Grosser, the pendant lights are ‘Fluid Edition’ by Nao Tamura and Cristina Celestino’s ‘Alice’ table lamps in exotic marbles are shown at the back.

One of the areas exhibiting a selection of products that have gone into production by designers who have participated in Salone Satellite over the last 20 years. Photograph by Craig Wall.

One of the areas exhibiting a selection of products that have gone into production by designers who have participated in Salone Satellite over the last 20 years. Photograph by Craig Wall.

While its true that the stands of certain designers who had exhibited previously stood out immediately, like every year there were some new faces that really raised the bar. Design daily was particularly taken by the lights of Greek designer Chris Basias and the refined minimalism of Japanese studio Daisuke Kitagawa but there were plenty of other great presentations spread across the stands and those that are highlighted in this post are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. What is so nice about Salone Satellite is that you can talk to the designers directly about the whys and hows of their design process. It’s hugely stimulating and grounding at the same time because you immediately realise the amount of effort that goes into designing these prototypes – sometimes years of research has been involved.

The stand of Greek designer Chris Basias was right on trend from a colour and materials point of view but also delivered some interesting and highly original concepts. Photograph by Craig Wall.

The stand of Greek designer Chris Basias was right on trend from a colour and materials point of view but also delivered some interesting and highly original concepts. Photograph by Craig Wall.

Daisuke Kitagawa works under the name of Design for Industry. He started his studio in 2011 having worked for NEC for many years. Now Based in Tokyo Kitagawa is a lecturer at the Kanazawa School of Art and a NEC management partner. He s also a very talented designer of simple furniture and lighting pieces that offer a lovely mix of Japanese minimalism and modernity. At the stand at Salone Satellite this year he displayed the ‘Struct’ stacking chair and ‘Lattice’ cabinet made from felted wool and wood along side the ‘Floe’ glass coffee table and the ‘Trio’ coat stand (barely visible in its white-on-whiteness in the image below) 2017 was the third and last time Kitagawa will be able to present at Salone Satellite. His ‘Trio’ coat stand is also shown in the vertical image below on the left with this ‘Street’ floor and table lamps on the right.

The stand of Daisuke Kitagawa from Japan. The minimal 'Struct' stacking chair in green Kvadrat Divina fabric against the 'Lattice' cabinet with its screen like doors in the same material was absolutely perfect. Photograph by Craig Wall.

The stand of Daisuke Kitagawa from Japan. The minimal ‘Struct’ stacking chair in green Kvadrat Divina fabric against the ‘Lattice’ cabinet with its screen like doors in the same material was absolutely perfect. Photograph by Craig Wall.

Design daily has been a keen follower of Elina Ulvio since seeing her work as a graduate from Aalto University in 2014. She showed at Satellite this year as part of a group of three Finnish designers under the name Luomo. The stand was strikingly minimal and graphic with predominantly black objects against pale blush pink walls. Her group of 10 ‘Lampi’ trays with there black undersides on show rather than the mirrors that exist on the other side were surrounded by lighting designs by Laura Väre (right) and Hanna Särökaari (left)

Loumo Collective's graphic stand featured Elena Ulvio's wonderful 'Lampi' folding trays on the back wall and some new lighting products by Laura Väre and Hanna Särökaari. All three women hail from Finland. Photograph by Craig Wall.

Loumo Collective’s graphic stand featured Elena Ulvio’s wonderful ‘Lampi’ folding trays on the back wall and some new lighting products by Laura Väre and Hanna Särökaari. All three women hail from Finland. Photograph by Craig Wall.