Best of Milan 2014: What We Saw and Loved

Ribbons of wallpaper filled an entire store in Zona Tortona. The colour-rich installation was the work of Dutch brand NLXL and Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel of Studio Job.
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In celebration of its 60th anniversary, Kartell featured a gilded display that trumped its products.
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Kartell’s new tableware collection includes pieces by Jean-Marie Massaud, Philippe Starck and this playfully romantic set of plastic plates, bowls and glasses by Patricia Urquiola.
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Spring time in Milan.
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Piero Lissoni with the new outdoor kitchen he designed for Boffi.
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Nacho Carbonell at Rossana Orlandi with one of his clocks, where time is measured in the soap consumed by a squeegee wiper.
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Karim Rashid in the living space he designed at Superstudio Più to showcase his new Sparkle collection of acrylic solid surface material for LG Hausys’s HI-MACS line.
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For the second time, Moooi displayed their furniture in room settings against a backdrop of super-sized images, this year by photographer Massimo Listri depicting stunning interiors.
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The new Colina armchair by Lievore Altherr Molina debuted at Arper.
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Magis’s Me-Too collection now includes retro-styled Archetoys by Floris Hovers. Me want.
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A wrought-iron frame brings a whiff of art nouveau to the Bouroullecs' new table for Magis.
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Nendo’s Oki Sato, still very much the man-of-the-moment, had 20 various collaborations and events going on during Milan Design Week.
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Nendo characteristically reinvents the category with his stool for Emeco.
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Nendo’s Softer Than Steel collection for Desalto has the fluidity of paper.
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Also by Nendo, the new kitchen Ki for Scavolini is based on the concept of a container, used for storage but also extrapolated to become the sink and cooktop.
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Feeding, New Ideas for the City, a series of installations at the Università degli Studi sponsored by Interni magazine, explored themes planned for Expo 2015 in Milan. In the foreground, Windowscape by Atelier Bow Wow.
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Clearly the best place for picture taking was atop the Scale Infinite (infinite stairs/scales) by dRMM.
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Simone Micheli’s iron chairs with integrated LEDs glow in the university’s main courtyard.
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Torafu Architects and Panasonic put on a magnificent display with a house-shaped structure made of sliding doors that were choreographed to open and close in synchronicity with ambient music and LEDs.
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Hella Jongerius reinterprets Alvar Aalto’s 400 and 401 armchairs for Artek.
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Barber Osgerby’s new Mariposa sofa for Vitra sits temptingly in front of a snake carpet.
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Zaha Hadid collaborated once again with Citco to create black marble tables sporting the sinuous curves of rocks rubbed smooth by water.
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Palazzo Clerici was a perfect setting for Islands, a radical kitchen concept by Yael Mer And Shay Alkalay of Raw-Edges that includes a mature lemon tree. The kitchen countertop and base are made out of Caesarstone.
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Everything made by Scholten & Baijings of Amsterdam carries with it a refinement that is unrivalled. Their latest cut-glass collection is a new collaboration with J. Hill's Standard of Ireland.
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Scholten & Baijings also created Solid Patterns, five stunning marble tables for the Italian company Luce di Carrara, also on view at Spazio Rossana Orlandi.
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Also showing at Spazio Rossana Orlandi, Nika Zupanc's glamorous Sé Collection III, consisting of lights and furniture pieces. The series was created for , a British brand that is quickly making a name for itself.
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Home accessories for the modern man, brought to you by Tom Dixon.
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Mårten Claesson, Eero Koivisto and Ola Rune with Astera, their new fixture for Fontana Arte.
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Konstantin Grcic used Cararra marble for this laptop desk with a rotating extension. Made for Marsotto, an Italian company that works exclusively with marble.
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Things were buzzing at Wrong For Hay’s pop-up store in the Brera District, mostly because the merchandise, including these graphic pillows by Nathalie du Pasquier, was available for purchase. The Maya mirror collection is by Doshi Levien.
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These Pinorama wallboards, by French designer Inga Sempe, were also on display at Wrong For Hay's pop-up store in downtown Milan.
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Hella Jongerius was overseeing multiple launches in Milan. At Vitra, her East River Chair was upholstered in multiple textile combinations. The carpet beneath is by Jongerius too, though for manufacturer Danskina.
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Each year, Cappellini anoints a few young designers into its historic canyon and this year the program included Antonio Forteleoni who crafted rustic vessels. Leonard Talarico used his time with Cappellini’s artisans to create a vase with three single-stem flutes.
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Campeggi, always one of the funnest booths at the fair, was full of loveseats that morph into beds, as well as Lorenzo Damiani's clever credenza that houses a stack of four pull-out mattresses.
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Droog worked with graphic designer Irma Boom to create a striped wallpaper that derives from the colours of the Rijksmuseum's collection. Boom was responsible for the rebranding of the museum as part of its reopening in 2013.
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The Cloud by Richard Hutton, made up of 545 layers of Divina textile by Kvadrat. It was one of 22 objects crafted from Kvadrat fabrics by such leading designers as Werner Aisslinger and Lindsey Adelman of New York.
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Shimmer table by Patricia Urquiola for Glas Italia is coated with an iridescence that has a prismatic effect as you move around it. Its legs meet the floor with such lightness that the table’s surface seems to float like a bubble.
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An in-laid coffee table by Yabu Pushelberg was one of many pieces that mix contemporary design with an Asian aesthetic produced for Stellar Works of Shanghai.
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A nice surprise of see Gufram launching so many wildly entertaining, foam-filled products by Marcel Wanders, Ross Lovegrove and Alessandro Mendini, among others. These soft doughnut seats are currently prototypes.
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We’ve admired Studio MW before, but Lucent Mirror showed a new level of aesthetic and engineering capabilities. The mounted shelves are partially covered by a circle of dichroic glass. When pushed to the right, the glass looses its transparency and turns into a mirror.
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At Ventura Lambrate, where young talents fill warehouses with their latest, this collection stood out. Called Diptych, it is a collaboration between Lex Pott and a digital platform called New Window. All the pieces come from one 50-year-old tree in Holland and the softest parts of the tree (the rings) are sandblasted.
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Seen at Ventura Lambrate: this long and winding tabletop by Studio Maks of Rotterdam. Light and elegantly crafted, the 150-metre-long table rests on stick-like legs that are barely discernable.
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Max Lamb of London is first and foremost a materialist, so it was great to see his latest furniture installation made entirely out of Marmoreal, an engineered marble created by Dzek of London that looks a bit like a nougat bar.
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A tree-filled display at the Cassina booth, designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, who brought in mature trees to reflect foliage within suspended mirrored boxes.
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Urbem lights by Christopher Jenner are triple layered and hand blown in China. Their elaborate shapes were inspired by 19th-century Milanese street lighting, and the installation was simply called The Cloud.
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Daniel Libeskind, whose office in Milan is run by his son Lev, was in full force this year, launching 12 new products, including this shard-inspired crystal chandelier, for Lasvit in the Czech Republic.
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Arthur Huang’s Aero-Static Dome uses nine glass boxes, each containing the Nike Kobe 9 Elite sneaker, to tether a massive inflated form. The structure showed off the lightweight, form-fitting strengths of Nike’s Flyknit technology.
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Leon Ransmeier sits among his newly minted chairs for Mattiazzi. We asked the New York designer what makes his ash Chiaro different from the rest. He turned one of them over to reveal simplified joinery that reduces the number of parts most four-legged seats require. Nicely done, Leon.
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Blocks of concrete and stuffed panty hose are at the core of British artist Sarah Lucas’s debut furniture line. Lucas created the utilitarian, and extremely weighty, pieces for London’s Sadie Coles Gallery.
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Memories of being wrapped in a warm blanket during a trip to the Himalayan mountains inspired Doshi Levien to add shearling to the headrest of their new Almora chair for B&B Italia.
Ribbons of wallpaper filled an entire store in Zona Tortona. The colour-rich installation was the work of Dutch brand NLXL and Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel of Studio Job.
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Here are 50 sensational products, events and installations that grabbed our attention last week at the Salone del Mobile – the world’s largest furniture fair – and beyond.

Milan Design Week officially wrapped last Sunday. As usual, the fair and the hundreds of off-site venues across the city were sprawling and endlessly thrilling. It also helped that everyone’s mood was uniformly upbeat due to weather that remained a steady 20-degrees and sunny, with wisteria blooming at every corner.

At the fair, such seasoned designers as Hella Jongerius, Konstantin Grcic, Karim Rashid and Patricia Urquiola could all be seen checking in on their various launches and expanded product ranges. The biennial EuroCucina filled two halls with new kitchen systems, some conceptualized by the likes of Oki Sato of Nendo and architect Daniel Libeskind, both new to the realm of kitchen design.

The main motif of Sato’s model for Scavolini, called Ki (Japanese for “container”), is a shelf of white rounded bins that replace the usual cupboard. Urquiola also unveiled her first kitchen system, designed for Boffi and on view at the brand’s downtown showroom.

In previous years, Tom Dixon has headed up an off-site exhibition called Most that invites dozens of talents – both well-known and recent design school grads – to display their work in Zona Tortona. This year, he scaled back to just showing his own collection in a mid-sized booth at the fair.

The newest pieces, a combination of lighting, seating and accessories, maintain that gentleman’s smoking room appeal, rendered in such rich textures as velvet upholstery (on wing back chairs) and solid brass (for candlesticks and paperweights).

Even without Dixon’s presence, the Tortona district was electric with other exhibits, including NLXL’s dynamic display of wallpaper by Studio Job, and the return of Moooi’s Unexpected Welcome, where dozens of living space vignettes were set against Massimo Listri’s massive-scale photographs of stately libraries and cathedral interiors.

Our selection of images from the week presents but a tiny snapshot of all that could be taken in. Don’t miss our in-depth report on the show, to be featured in our July/August issue.

Compiled by Giovanna Dunmall, Catherine Osborne and Nelda Rodger.

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