Visual Inventory: Milan Furniture Fair

Apr 21, 2014

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EQ3’s Creative Director, Thom Fougere, is back to share culture recommendations and findings that are currently inspiring him. His Visual Inventory posts focus on a theme and how he’s seeing it used across different industries (ie. design, film, music, online, photography, etc.).

 

This month’s theme is:

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Milan’s Salone del Mobile is the biggest annual furniture event in the world. This year’s fair was a good one. Agreeable weather allowed for convenient trips around the city to the various off-site shows and to outdoor get-togethers at various open air courtyards, cafes, and galleries. Below, I’ve selected a few highlights to share from this year’s show. It is by no means a definitive guide, but rather some selections and observations of the things I saw during my short stay.

 

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I spent my first day at the Salone. Mattiazzi released a series of new chairs by the Bouroullecs amongst a few others.

 

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One of my favourite Japanese architects, Sou Fujimoto, designed a beautiful reflective forest installation for the Cassina booth.

 

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Vitra re-released a few archived designs by Alexander Girard. A lot of playful patterns and colours. The moon platter (shown in the background) and the triangular side tables were a few of my favourites.

 

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Arper product seemed secondary to their well-designed and colourful booth.

 

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Nanimarquina presented a nice new collection of rugs. This black and white patterned rug caught my eye. It’s vastly different from the selection of new designs they were showing at their booth this year.

 

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Most of my time, as it is with most who visit Milan, was spent walking all over the city to the various off-site shows. On day two I met a friend at the tucked away Project B Gallery which ended up being one of my favourites. Max Lamb created an installation for Dzek of a new marmoreal architectural surface made of resin-cast terrazzo.

 

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Right beside the Dzek installation, Faye Toogood exhibited her new curvilinear furniture set, Assemblage 4 collection, made mostly of raw fiberglass.

 

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A lot of the offsite venues give people the opportunity to venture away from the general public spaces of Milan, and into back alleys, courtyards, apartments, and tucked away showrooms that are often hard to access outside of the furniture fair. This is one courtyard that lead to the JP Home showroom that was quite striking.

 

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Hay made their presence known this year at the show, presenting their new collection in collaboration with Sabastien Wrong: Wrong for Hay, a Mini Market with hundreds of small goods available to purchase, new pieces for the Hay product line, and a packed party on Wednesday night.

 

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Nendo always manages to present their ideas in a dramatic fashion at the Milan Furniture Fair. This year they collaborated with COS on a small clothing line, and exhibited new product in a dark below-grade showroom.

 

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If there was one surprising trend that made an appearance almost everywhere, it was the return of Memphis – thirty three years after the Memphis group made their splash in Milan. If anything, much like the original movement, the Memphis look took over most decorative or graphical applications.

 

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Having never visited the showroom / gallery / cafe / patio Spazio Rossana Orlandi, it was an unexpected treat to come across.

 

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Walk the Line – a collaboration between Luca Nichetto and Toronto’s Mjolk presented the Sucabaruca coffee set, as well as the new Cheburashka tableware. A really beautiful collection.

 

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Berlin-based, long time EQ3 collaborators, 45 Kilo were part of a group exhibition called Desiderabilia, a well presented and interesting show.

 

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Also in the Lambrate area, Jamie Haydon presented some new work. I’m generally not the biggest fan of his work, but I thought one of his new light designs was a nice take on a modern-like chandelier.

 

Image Source: All photographs credited to Thom Fougere

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