Sunday, May 6, 2012

Milano’12: Things at the Fairgrounds

There were thousands of exhibitors at the Rho Fairgrounds – no way I could see them all. For somebody as greedy as I am, it could be quite stressful. I made up my mind at the end: next time, I’d better strategize and prioritize, or simply arrive earlier in the day.

From what I saw, it seemed that funny shapes and bright colors were not as omnipresent as last year. But it was still a wide-spread trend, seen in brands from Italy, France, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Dutch brand Leolux presented its new collection with blown up chandelier
Danish brand Softline’s Rio lounge chair by Busk+Hertzog
French brand Roche Bobois’s Sputnik chairs by Sacha Lakic, in good company with that book there
Campeggi launched iPouf lounge/speakers by Emanuele Magini
An earlier product from Campeggi: Airpouf stool/vacuum cleaner by Lorenzo Damiani
Casamania’s new Chariot is a mobile table with exaggerated wheels on the sides, designed by Gamfratesi

Fabio Novembre designed the 36h and 56h chairs for Driade, using an aluminum structure covered with woven plastic. He named the product after the temporal value each of them requires, in honor of the work of the skilled craftsmen who made them. They look odd, but actually they are quite comfortable. I also spotted the interior line of Sicis Mosaics called Sicis Next Art. It was so over-the-top that it made Fabio look tame. I kept wondering if it was responsible for Princess Beatrice’s hat at the royal wedding one year ago.
Driade’s 36h and 56h chairs by Fabio Novembre
Sicis Next Art

Of course it was not just about shapes. Some nice pieces explored the use of different materials, from the classics to the unexpected.
Glas Italia’s Nezu series by Jasper Morrison is made of a new double-faced
acid-etched glass, tempered and thermo-welded together.
Cor-ten furniture at the De Castelli stand
Univers series by Wolf Udo Wagner for Fischer Möbel uses foam-coating similar to Quinze & Milan’s.
Kenneth Cobonpue’s Cabaret series has thick fabric tubes woven over a steel frame.
Emporium’s Cora and Zoe chairs by Roberto Giacomucci are made from partially melted plastic
from recycling process. They look soft but are actually quite hard.
Mogg presented a dresser that looks like a pile of lumber.
Casamania’s Rememberme chairs by Tobias Juretzek are entirely made from old clothes.
Nani Marquina showed her new Chillida collection, which transforms
the Spanish master’s artworks into high quality rugs.

Many well-known brands took the opportunity to launch their new products. Magis, for example, presented the Pila chairs and the Pilo table designed by the Bouroullec brothers. They showed the designers’ consistent attention to form, materiality, and detail. Pila has a thin plywood seat and back supported on an aluminum frame almost invisible underneath, while Pilo features cast aluminum connectors between the legs and the table top. Marcel Wanders added some wicker-backed chairs to his Cyborg series. There were also Clouds and Birds – hanging sculptures made of metal mesh by sculptor Benedetta Mori Ubaldini, whose work was also shown at Spazio Rossana Orlandi.
Pila chairs and Pilo table by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec
Aluminum connector under Pilo
Wicker chairs by Marcel Wanders
Clouds by Benedetta Mori Ubaldini

Moroso showed products including the “Successful Living” collection with Diesel. The Moon chairs by Tokujin Yoshioka were shown again, but this year with a brushed metal texture.
Rock series, Diesel with Moroso
Moon chairs by Tokujin Yoshioka

Vitra presented the Grand Repos by Antonio Citterio. I actually found those hard plastic balloons and soft stuffed cactus very interesting.
Grand Repos by Antonio Citterio

Molteni&C launched the Grado° collection by NY-based Israeli designer Ron Gilad. It showed an intricate play with geometry. In the series of wooden and glass tables, he made use of 45° edges, shaving off the corners and softening the cubic shape. The 35° coffee table and 60° sideboard look like open boxes with very elegant thin metal wire frame.
45° tables by Ron Gilad
35° coffee table and 60° sideboard by Ron Gilad

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