Life is significantly more beautiful than usual this week in Italy, where Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the yearly design and furniture fair, is kicking off in Milan. Running daily until April 17, the fair, now in its 55th year, is hosting 1,300 attending exhibitors (30 percent of those are foreign) and spotlighting products in categories ranging from bedrooms and dining rooms to hall furniture, children’s furniture, tables and chairs and more. The fair is also running concurrently with the biennial EuroCucina and its collateral exhibition FTK (Technology for the Kitchen) and the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition. Divided into Classic and Design sections, Salone del Mobile is unfolding over a whopping 1.6-million-plus square feet. Navigate that sweet sensory chaos with EAL’s guide to the world’s most renowned design show.
Salone del Mobile
Highlights at the fairgrounds include the Neri & Hu–designed two-level structure at Kvadrat, featuring an upside-down city, a lounge space and flexible cabinets displaying new textile designs by Akira Minagawa, Louise Sigvardt and Tone Barnung, and Konstantin Grcic and Paul Smith, along with the latest Danskina rugs by Hella Jongerius.
Exhibitions are taking place throughout the city. Until April 17: Raumplan (a group of architects, journalists, designers and philosophers) and ACCC are debuting a large exhibition at Cascina Cuccagna, an old barn in the center of Milan (Via Cuccagna 2/4), featuring designers’ and producers’ work. The show includes eponymous exhibits exploring the themes of “Failure,” “Trials,” and “Ventures.” Learn more.
Cascina Cuccagna, a 17th-century farmhouse exhibition space located in the Porta Romana neighborhood of Milan
Eindhoven artists Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk are debuting “Physical,” an exhibit exploring 30 autonomous and handcrafted objects, at a theater space in the Isola District (Via Spalato 11). Learn more.
Meccanic lamp from the “Physical” exhibition
Designer Lee Broom is driving a mobile exhibition from London to Milan, creatively named Salone del Automobile. The moving exhibit will feature the designer's lighting collection and will move from Brera Design District, Spazio Rossana Orlandi, ZonaTortona, San Gregorio Docet, Ventura Lambrate and other locations. Track the van's location.
Daily until April 23, “Open Design,” a special Mac Stopa–designed installation at the Interni Press Office, features interior design based on black-and-white three-dimensionality, with artistic colorful patterns, geometry, furniture and elements from different design disciplines. Located at the University of Milan (Via Festa del Perdono 7). Learn more.
Until April 15, “Digital + Art: 10 Artists Dress Up Ceramics” will present a live performance nightly from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at Ceramica Sant’agostino (Via Crocefisso 27; enter from Via Molino delle Armi).
Open Design exhibit
New collections debuting at the fair include a Donghia furniture and lighting collection inspired by jewels and their settings. Donghia and Rubelli Casa will also be hosting a “White Night” party on April 15, from 7 to 10 p.m., at the Rubelli Group showroom (Via Fatebenefratelli 9).
Halo Club Chair from Donghia
Also launching is Dedar’s new Hermès home fabrics and wallpaper collection, unveiling at the Dedar showroom (Via Fiori Chiari 18). New indoor/outdoor collections, the Puzzle and Mistral tile collections designed for Mutina by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, are debuting as well (Hall 24, Booth E11, F08).
Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby debuting the new Puzzle and Mistral tile collections
The Plust Collection is debuting four new products: the Bold coffee table by Giulio Iacchetti; the Four lamp by Philippe Tabet; and the decorative objects Biggie by Filippo Protasoni and Plust Van by Michele Menescardi (Hall 10, Stand D12). Artemide will introduce the Artemide and Danese Collection at its showrooms (Via Manzoni 12; Corso Monforte 19), and the Danese showroom (Piazza San Nazaro in Brolo 15).
Orla Sofa by Jasper Morrison for Cappellini
Cappellini will be showing its wares at its newly launched location and store concept, Cappellini Point (Bastioni Porta Nuova 9). The brand will introduce an updated version of its popular Orla sofa by Jasper Morrison, as well as an embroidered ash-wood chair by Johan Lindstén that depicts a landscape scene of the four seasons.
Other debuts include Cassina’s collaboration with artist Bertjan Pot on an exclusive jacquard fabric, and Poltrona Frau’s Lloyd bookcase and storage units by Jean-Marie Massaud, in addition to new designs from Philippe Malouin, Karoline Fesser, Studio deFORM, Form Us With Love, Arthur Arbesser and Pauline Deltour, all premiering at Hem. Stop by the Hem showroom for gelato from Milan’s Rigoletto Gelateria (Via Varese 12).
This year's logo, a stylized eye, appears in statue form throughout the city, at Malpensa Airport, Largo Marconi, Via Montenapoleone and the University of Milan.
Kvadrat is delivering its newest textile collection designed by Akira Minagawa in an installation called “Forest Comes Home,” created by the designer in collaboration with Naoto Fukasawa. The new textiles, Crystal Field, Forest Nap, Stick Tree and the curtain Frost Garden, are all characterized by natural patterns, and will be on display in the Kvadrat showroom (Corso Monforte 15).
Tours, screenings and other festivities are on tap this week too: Join a guided tour with Porta Venezia in Design, which brings guests to a selection of showrooms, stores and companies known for new design and art, and also focuses on local Liberty architecture and food and wine. Learn more.
B&B Italia, now celebrating its 50th anniversary, will host special screenings of the documentary B&B Italia: Poetry in the Shape, When Design Meets Industry, hourly until April 17, at its showroom (Via Durini, 14). Learn more.