David Harrison has shared some early impressions of the Milan Furniture Fair.
After an exhausting week of looking at design day and night I couldn’t quite bring myself to sort through the thousands of images and hundreds of press kits to create a Salone round up just yet.
Here are a selection of moments – design and non design – experienced during the week of Salone instead. Images are by Design daily so you’ll have to accept they are a bit rougher than normal.
The Dutch also took over an impressive palazzo, this time Palazzo Turati in via Merivigli in the 5vie district of central Milan. Flooding the courtyard space with 1500 tulip plants and some colourful ‘Setch’ outdoor furniture by Bo Reudler for JSPR, the building from 1876 became an uplifting colourful experience. Upstairs in the palazzo designers and brands showed the diversity of Dutch design with furniture ceramics glass and jewellery while visitors donned clean room booties to protect the building’s ancient parquetry.
Palazzo Turati – via Meravigli, 7.
Right near the Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition in via San Gregorio 39, is a huge vintage shop called L’eclettico. The shops founder Claudio Loria was actually the founder of the San Gregorio district and over the last few years has developed his cavernous shop from being a jumble of weird and wonderful 20th century vintage pieces to something approaching a vintage design gallery. Its not quite at the Nilufar level but it has a pleasing randomness to its selection of objects. Here you might find a bizarre piece of taxidermy beside original Pierre Cardin lounge chairs or battered wrought iron garden furniture next to a piece of 70’s Italian design.
Nilufar Depot is at Viale Vincenzo Lancetti, 34. The closet metro is Maciachini on the MM3 (yellow) line.
The Dutch brand Moooi have been presenting their collection within the context of oversized photography for a good few years now (some may say one year too many) They certainly know how to create drama but this year’s show lacked the arty weirdness of previous years when photographers Erwin Olaf, Massimo Listri and Rahi Rezvani were featured and as other brands have copied the method their show Unexpected Welcome in Via Savona 56 has lost its jaw dropping qualities. For those who haven’t experienced it first-hand before, it remains a lesson in how furniture presentations should be styled and how introducing a sense of scale brings an added layer of visual excitement. While I couldn’t say that the centre piece of chesterfield sofas turned on their ends to create tall armchairs (a Marcel Wanders folly) thrilled me much, the new light ‘NR2’ by Bertjan Pot did, as did the fringed ‘Amami’ sofa by Italian designer Lorenza Bozzoli. A couple of the new rugs were also visually arresting, I just miss the textural qualities of handmade rugs but I guess that’s not what these graphic rugs are all about.
Nendo (Oki Sato) seems to have a never ending supply of good ideas. Anyone who has an interest in simple witty designs will most likely already be a Nendo fan. His favoured technique is the mass installation where objects are repeated with slight variants or with no variants at all. This year he installed 50 ‘Manga’ chairs in a former monastery in the heart of the Brera district (Facoltà Teologica dell’Italia Settentrionale). While the chairs are all made entirely from just chromed steel the 50 different designs reflect different parts of the surrounding architecture and environment arches, clouds, people………The result is a quiet contemplative space of white pebbles and the fragmented reflections of the building and sky.
Danish brand Hay showed in a 2000 sq metre vintage futsal court in via Palermo. While Rolf Hay was particularly proud of the Bouroullec’s new flat-pack sofa, he also ensured that the French design studio’s ‘Palissade’ outdoor collection featured large in the courtyard both on the ground for visitors to sit on and on the walls to show the designs wonderful lines. Doshi Levien, Iskos Berlin Stefan Diez, Scholten & Baijings and Shane Schneck also showed new products. I captured this great moment with what has to be the best dressed and most co-ordinated baby on the planet. The child’s mother and father were also in super chic matching outfits but declined to be photographed.
While the exterior of the houses presents almost a box with a v-shaped roof, on close inspection you discover that the houses are full of beautifully considered details and wonderful proportions. Simple yes but highly resolved. I can’t think of a better place for an artist to have a retreat. The scenery from Comacina Island is breathtaking and the only other buildings on the island are a disused monastery and a restaurant. Design daily will do a full post on Lingeri’s Comacina houses in the near future.
Stay tuned for next weeks post where Design daily will bring you all the product highlights of Salone del Mobile 2016 and other events from Milan Design Week’s fuorisalone.
This article was originally published on Design Daily – watch this space for more updates.