Salone del Mobile, Milano is one of the greatest design exhibition for already designers and aspiring designers. The most popular design exhibition that every design lover looks forward to, attracts almost more than 30,000 eager design lovers to the streets of Milan. Hoping to learn, get inspired and obviously make some business deals. Eagerly waiting to be the first ones to see the look of the new launches from more than 2,500 of the most iconic international brands. We decided to look out for some particular brands from the many creative firms that were exhibiting.
I visited Salone Del Mobile, Milano with my school Studium Architecturae - Florence Design School, I did not only visit the main exhibition but on the way I saw a magnificently amazing structure by Santiago Calatrava.
Visiting Salone Del Mobile Milano is a very similar excitement as to visiting Disneyland but for Furniture. This was the second time in a row I was visiting the furniture fair but there was a great contrast in my experience. The first time I was there, I was an immature interior designer who wanted to see everything possible and I did, I saw most of the pavilions, collected as many catalogues I could, thinking I would take it back with me, go through it in peace at home and get inspired but I was wrong. I wasn’t as excited about going through the catalogues as I should’ve been when I was actually at the exhibition. This year, I got an opportunity to go along with my school where I am doing a course in Master of Interior and furniture design, as a part of thedrawing workshop and the excitement of seeing the Furnitureland again grew even more.Reason being, I would act more like a matured designer and I would learn much more about the present design, approach and materials through the help of my professors.
The aim of the design workshop wasn’t to see as many stalls/pavilions you could but see few of the best exhibitors and try learning their style and approach towards furniture design and their details that put together an amazing showcase for the furniture. Since there are so many amazing exhibitors, we decided to see a few brands. We saw more or less 14 stalls. I would like highlight few of the stands and what I learnt from them.
Some of the Most Interesting Brands
The first stand that we saw was CECCOTTI and the way I was starstruck was unimaginable.
CECCOTTI- best in handmade furniture
Ceccotti is a famous Italian furniture brand known for manufacturing handmade furniture in solid wood with organic curves.
Going more into the detail of Furniture design , they use the simple joinery- the dove tail joinery but it is only a function and not an aesthetic approach for them- meaning all the joinery are concealed.
The finishing material- since the pieces are made out of solid wood, the finishing material was always varnish in varieties of glossy, matte, opaque.
The layout of the stand was also very interesting and had a vibe similar to a retro style with herringbone tiles of blue in it’s hue. At the end of the space was a very interesting bookshelf with circular shelves and mirror to give an illusion of a bigger space. Every furniture piece was given an importance through a magnifying lens with stand to see the furniture in more detail, this was a very interesting installation for the interaction of visitors with the furniture. The layout of the stand was in the composition of a grid with different height of the podiums pretending to be a monumental showcase.
The material of the podium played a very important role as it was the only medium that wasunderlying the furniture pieces and the material they used-black marble was doing the perfect justice.
The second stand that we saw was more or less similar to Ceccotti was Giorgetti.
Georgetti is also a famous Italian furniture brand known for the mix of materials with neat design and technical details used as aesthetics. Their furniture pieces this year looked more inspired by the Japanese design. Their pieces had a mix of materials with marble, leather ,wood and veneer but with a neat and simple design. They also tried to make handles of the cabinet as one element with the furniture rather than showing it as a different element.
BAXTER- all about leather
The next stand which I admire the most is BAXTER.
Baxter is vastly known for the use of their upholstery- leather. Baxter has some amazingly designed furniture pieces by one of their collaborators - Draga but according to me what adds to the design is the selection of materials. They had sofas and chairs with the most exquisite leather I have seen, one it being cashmere leather.
The quality of the leather they use is what underlines and gives the importance to their furniture pieces. There were a few furniture pieces that weren’t extra ordinary or something new for the present design world but the use of material is what made the product stand out even more.
Most of the coffee tables, book stands and bar stands were a combination of steel, glass and plywood with laminate/veneer, steel being the constant. They have also used a lot of marble from different regions of Italy as a table top for their dining tables. Baxter is known for leather and they use best of the quality to add more grace to their furniture.
The next stall the we saw, I was more impressed by the use of colour as their main way of communicating their design.
CC TAPIS- pastel world
We visited CC Tapis- an Italian company born in France, designed in Milan and produced in Nepal. CC tapis produces hand woven rugs from Nepal selecting the best Himalayan wool and producing it in an eco friendly way is what makes this brand more unique than their creative designs.
CC tapis has rug designs that more geometrical in nature and uses more than 2 colours together. The selections of the colour and using them inside a form with a perfect balance is what I noticed the best about them.The use of pastel colours was given importance in the collection this year.The on going trend for colours is using the perfect coloicolour scheme and Pastels are making their way in every designers mind.
SUMMING UP with few of the STRONGEST & WEAK POINTS
To sum up the weak and strong points about design and about my experience in the Furniture Fair, I've learnt a lot about the present design trend, present materials and different approach towards design through various brands.
I don’t find myself at a position where I can point out the weak points about the design I saw but I will put down the strong points I noticed throughout the exhibition.
A good design has to have the perfect proportion and the presence of an iconic language. We saw a stall called- NIKARI that had both the factors in their design. Their furniture was designed with the perfect combination of proportion and every furniture had an identity of itself.
A material has a lot of power than a designer can think of. A material can add grace or take away grace from your design. Selection of the best material for your product is the important thing even before thinking about putting it into production. We saw a few furniture pieces that weren’t extra ordinary or something new for the present design world but the use of material is what made the product stand out. Most used materials in this year Furniture Fair were steel, glass, marble, wood, leather. Finishes- brass and rose gold are a lot more in trend that expected.
Just like material, this year I realised colour equally plays an important role in design. The use of colours in forms and using it with proper colour scheme is what I noticed all over the exhibit this year. The on going trend for colours is using the perfect colour scheme and Pastels are making their way in every designers mind.
One of the most important thing of all I learnt is that- Good design is not everything, it needs to be executed in the proper manner. Through the exhibition we noticed few of the furniture pieces which were brilliantly designed but the way they were executed just killed the charm of the design. Execution is the most important thing in Design.
I am glad to have visited Salone Del Mobile, Milano with Florence Design school because it made me look at the Furniture Fair in a very different approach and taught me a lot about the present furniture design.