This April, the installations at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile fair in Milan, Italy, showcased a marked departure from the minimal and returned to tradition, embracing cultural aesthetics in simple or decorative renditions, celebrating craft and the triumph of human identity over homogenized industry. Linear forms that had been mastered through the strict control of machinery made way for those that bent boundaries. The smooth and the sleek were replaced by the raw and tactile. Asymmetrical form and function, art and craft, mind and machine, the designer and producer, all came together to herald a successful Salone.
Monochromatic mosaic: Edra opened its doors at Via Ciovassino to people expecting the unexpected. Edra has built its irreverent brand image with experimental classics such as the Brasilia table by the Campana brothers, known for the originality of their work.
Zen theory: B and B Italia on Via Durini provided the perfect counterpoint to the playful spunk of Moroso and Edra. A gamut of collaborations gave classics a whole new lease of life. Zaha Hadid’s sofa, Patricia Urquiola’s beds and the prolific work of this year’s favourite, Naoto Fukasawa, whose Japanese aesthetics—visible in the Siena bed for B and B — have also been embraced by Boffi, Driade and Swarovski, to name a few.
Luxe light: A section called Salone Satellite, orchestrated by Marva Griffin, was a treat of great ideas by young and not-so-young designers. Averrati celebrated a decade of Salone Satellite and the work here was truly inspiring. Euroluce showed off the light work of Flos, Artemide and Swarovski, among others.
Utilitarian art: Moooi, a design company just on the right side of quirky, started by Dutch maverick designer Marcel Wanders and business partner Casper Visser, is obviously doing something right. Their show was virtually a pilgrimage for many young designers who ogled at designs like the Non-Random Thought ceiling lamps