In mid-April, a record number of attendees (434,509 in 6 days—an increase of 26 percent compared to the previous year) flocked to Milan, Italy for the 57th annual Salone Internationale del Mobile. The international event regularly attracts visitors from 188 countries to what has become the cornerstone of Milan’s Design Week.
With thousands of exhibits and events taking place across the city, it would be impossible to try to see it all, so interiors+sources compiled a handful of the designs to pay attention to this year.
1. Fantini’s AK/25
Debuted last year, Fantini’s AK/25—designed by the late Paik Sun Kim—has an expected release date of February 2019. The stunning faucet collection features a flat swivel head (the top right faucet is shown closed) and matching handle. It will be available in two colors.
In a showroom full of show-stoppers, such as Michael Anastassiades’ AA/27 collection debuted this year for Fantini and Boffi’s collaborative series About Water, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Displayed along the perimeter of the Fantini Salone booth, the AK/25 collection drew eyes.
As with most of Fantini’s designs, the allure is in the entire story and use of the product. Its look, while beautiful in its form, is accentuated by the faucet’s movement. It may not be ideal for all situations, but would happily live in a hospitality setting as the trend of being conscientious about space continues—giving users the impression that even when it comes to the bathroom sink, having room is a priority.
2. Giuggiola by Calia Italia
As discussed in “The Latest Trends from Salone 2018” design is seeing an emphasis in scale, including chunky weaves that echo the DIY fad of oversized knits.
Calia Italia translated this aesthetic into its newly-released Giuggiola. Although designed for the home, it can be appreciated in low-traffic areas like offices or high-end hospitality spaces, fitting into the Maker Movement philosophy.
3. Nikari: SKANDINAVIA SEPARAT, XL DECEMBER LOUNGE, and XL DECEMBER OTTOMAN
Located in Fiskars Village, Finland, Nikari showcased the best of Nordic and Scandinavian design in Salone’s Hall 16. The SKANDINAVIA SEPARAT wall divider, designed by Cecilie Manz, and XL DECEMBER lounge and ottoman by designers Jasper Morrison and Wataru Kumano (all three pictured in European ash) displayed the upcoming trend of gravitating towards lighter-toned woods and leathers.
Introduced this year at Salone, the SKANDINAVIA SEPARAT divider (available in ash and Northern pine) provides users with a low-key, easily-moveable screen to help delineate zones in a traditional way. While partitions are common, particularly in open-office environments, the SKANDINAVIA SEPARAT edits the design of the ever-more-advanced dividers back down to its traditional aesthetics.
Similarly, the use of light wood for the XL DECEMBER products reintroduces traditional materials into comfortable seating that doesn’t detract from its environment. Available in either ash or oak, as well as a canvas option, the XL DECEMBER lounge and ottoman follows the Modernist creed that the function of the object be edited to its true intentions, allowing form to be brought out from its use.
Welcome from the President of Salone del Mobile
A who’s-who of design’s elite were on display in the CoEdition Paris space, including Patricia Urquiola, Luca Nichetto, Michael Anastassiades (who also showed new collections with FLOS and Fantini), Shin Azumi, and Alain Moatti amongst others. The display shown mixed Anastassiades’ T-Square shelf with A+A Cooren’s lightweight Shika Desk and Azumi’s LouLou stacking chair.
5. Artifort + Tej Chauhan_Moby
The quirky Moby by Tej Chauhan was on display in Artifort’s stand. The ottoman-stool hybrid takes into consideration the ways in which we live and work. Although it would be incorrect to state this is a post-formal seating era, products like Moby allow the user to sit and move in ways that feel natural.
The highlight: a slot in the surface provides not only a hold to easily move the block, but also a space to stash things like magazines or files for temporary safe-keeping.
How to Avoid Salone FOMO
Made of neoprene yarn that is hand-knotted and crocheted in Italy, Neo’s fun and funky baskets and poufs invited interaction with Salone attendees. Utilizing different crochet patterns and neoprene diameters, the baskets hold shape while providing a bit of flexibility.
One product that stole the show: a massive pouf created with the same crocheted patterning and neoprene yarn as the baskets that are able to comfortably hold four adults. Perfect for waiting spaces or shaded outdoor lounge spots.
7. Paravan by Arper
Previewed at Salone for the first time, Paravan, designed by Lievore Altherr for Arper, does what other petition systems do not with built-in cubbies. Paravan is easy to assemble and will be available in a variety of colors in monotone or with a different color on each side to create individual zoning areas. You’ll want to keep an eye out for its launch, expected around Orgatec.
The Paravan system, previewed in Arper’s showroom, includes storage to room dividers.
Interview with Hlynur V Atlason: Salone del Mobile
8. D.859.1 by Molteni&C
Designed in 1958 by Gio Ponti for the auditorium in the Time & Life Building, Molteni&C is releasing the D.859.1 from the project’s original plan. Summoning the image of a bridge or the concept of aerodynamics into the viewer’s mind, the impressive 11.8’ surface sits on satin brass feet.
Available to mirror the original design in natural ash, the D.859.1 is also available in a black stain and in two smaller versions.
Stranded in Paris: Travel Tips for Attendees in Limbo