Although the offsite events, public installations and artistic spectacles have come to be a big part of Milan Design Week, the raison d’etre of the gathering continues to be the showcasing of furniture. Starting on April 17, international buyers, architects, interior designers and journalists will descend on Milan to take in this year’s crop of the newest and best in global furnishings. Here are eight launches that have Azure especially excited.
Array, Orbit and Vine light fixtures by ANDlight
Award-winning Vancouver lighting manufacturer ANDlight will launch three collections for the first time in Italy at Ventura Future in Milan’s FuturDome (via Paisiello 6), a recently restored palazzo now open to the public. Two of the collections – round-edged Array and pseudo-space-age Orbit – are by Vancouver’s own Lukas Peet, while Vine (above) is the work of Caine Heintzman, whose vertically oriented fixture employs clusters of low-wattage LED lamps “to create a big presence with a small energy draw.”
Distance and Affinity by Antonio Marras for Saba
Italian fashion designer and artist Antonio Marras has teamed up with Amelia Pegorin, CEO of Saba, to re-interpret the furniture brand’s iconic collection of New York couches and lounge chairs, and using some the brilliant textile and stitching combinations that define Marras’ fashion. Flowers, houndstooth, tartan and hunting scenes have been handprinted onto velvet, linen and woollen upholstery. On view at Nonostantemarras, via Cola di Rienzo, 8.
Robotica TM by Ross Lovegrove for Nagami
Part of Spain-based Nagami’s debut series combining computational design with large-scale 3D printing, Ross Lovegrove’s versatile, orange-grey Robotica TM high stool is made of tinted PLA plastic and can serve as seating, a plinth, an objet d’art or even a perch upon which to place food that has just come out of the oven (thanks to the heat-proof silicone inserts in the seat). Other pieces in Nagami’s series have been designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and Daniel Widrig. All will be on display at the company’s pop-up showroom in the Brera Design District.
Nendo for Fritz Hansen
As usual, Japanese superstar Oki Sato of Nendo will be roaming the streets of Milan, keeping an eye on 10 product launches his studio has underway with the likes of Cappellini, Alias, Lasvit and Minotti. At the Fritz Hansen showroom at Piazza san Simpliciano, Sato reveals the NO1 chair, a perfect merging of Danish and Japanese minimalist aesthetic. Even the joinery between the shell and the armrests express a kind of purity, where two barely touch one another.
Cirql collection by Werner Aisslinger for Dedon
Dedon is continuing with its commitment in making beautiful outdoor furniture that is hand woven in the Philippines. From Werner Aisslinger, there is the Cirql – a fresh take on the iconic poolside round-seat chair, this time made of powder-coated aluminum and Dedon fibres that can tolerate even Canadian weather conditions. As its name suggests, the collection – which includes includes a lounge chair, a dining chair and a footstool – is inspired by circles, with a semicircular backrest hugging the edge of the seat. On view at Salvioni, via Durini 3.
Konan Bed by CO3 Design Studio for MY home collection
In keeping with MY home’s less-is-more aesthetic, the Konan bed’s considerable appeal lies largely in its details. Resting atop a soft, rounded base, the headboard is covered with either a quilted knitted fabric or quilted velvet, giving it a three-dimensional depth. A storage compartment makes it as functional as it is stylish. A wide range of colour options, from neutral dove-grey to blue, azure and wisteria, add to its versatility.
Established & Sons’ new collection with Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, Dimitri Bähler, Mauro Pasquinelli and Sebastian Wrong
This is Established & Sons‘ first furniture collection since the return of co-founder Sebastian Wrong, and it features, among other things, lighting, chairs and a sofa that can be flat-packed. Five new pieces make up the collection, and together they show off a new direction for the British company. Back in the early 2000s, Established & Sons built its reputation on wildly elaborate installations hosted during festivals, and in furniture that was more like art objects – and mostly well beyond the price limits of most consumers.
Wrong is now redirecting the brand to something more attainable, yet many of the collaborators remain the same, including Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec and Konstantin Grcic (whose Barbican divan is pictured above). Wrong is also making a point of having pieces available for purchase on the spot. The usual six-month to a year delay is no longer a feasible model he says, with so much competition on the market, consumers are no longer willing to wait.
Cliff Outdoor Collection by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba for Talenti
Featuring braided-rope frames and seatbacks of varying heights, the Palombas’ modular seating for leading outdoor-furniture manufacturer Talenti impressively straddles the line between rustic and chic. “An attention to detail, decoration and textiles” was central to its creation, the designers say, adding that the pieces are meant for “cocooning.” Extra padding enhances comfort.