Design is all about inspiration, which was in abundance at the recent Milan Design Week. Featuring everything from bio-brick building through to a Vogue Italia office remodel, the annual Italian design event featured the works of hundreds of established and new designers and brands from all over the world. Throughout Salone del Mobile, Eurolace and Fuorisalone week-long agenda of events, presentations and projects, we’ve seen a number of design trends emerge from what is billed as the biggest and most important design show in the world. Here are our picks of the ones to watch:
Collaboration was a key theme of Milan design week, starting with Sonos’ Symfonisk line in partnership with Ikea. The resulting range of bookshelf and table lamps is proudly multifunctional, with speakers doubling as lamps and bookshelves taking on speaker form.
Elsewhere we saw French architect Arthur Mamou-Mani create a 3D printed bioplastic installation for COS. Named Conifera, the structure drew from another key trend of Milan Design Week: sustainability. Fully biodegradable and made from 700 bioplastic blocks, Confiera pulled in crowds to its setting in the courtyard of Palazzo Isimbardi.
CC-Tapis, the Milan-based rug company, is known for its quirky collaborations, and this year was no different. The collection, Spectrum – Killer knots from outer space, featured projects by David/Nicolas, Studiopepe and Maarten De Ceulaer.
Old is new again
Salone del Mobile provided the perfect platform for designers to announce reissued products, including the Pantonova seating system made famous by 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me. Verner Panton’s villainous design was unveiled again at Salone del Mobile, with Danish brand Montana reissuing the distinctive curved design.
In a similar vein, expect to see the reemergence of the 1938 Grasshopper chair, originally designed by Finn Juhl and being reissued by the brand under the same name. Until the reissue, there were just two original chairs made by Juhl in existence, so it’s high time the expressive chair was brought back to life.
Another noteworthy reissue is that of the Turner Bookcase, first produced as the Model 823 in 1963 for Poltrona Frau. Designed by Gianfranco Frattini, the three-level, swivelling structure has been revived to bring beauty back to modern living.
Health and wellbeing take centre stage
We’ve recently seen the emergence of the furniture-as-wellness trend, and Milan showed us that holistic, health-focused design isn’t going anywhere. Google got into the action with its A Space for Being installation, a multi-room showcase exploring neuroaesthetics and how different aesthetic experiences can impact our wellbeing. The installation was developed alongside scientists from John Hopkins University and used various styles of lighting, sounds, textures and scents to stimulate senses and show how good design can impact mental wellbeing.
This was pushed further by Antonio Citterio, who showed his range of home fitness equipment for Technogym. Bike Personal is one of the key products, combining technological features with the refined shapes and forms Citterio is known for.
Meanwhile, Ilse Crawford collaborated with bed brand Hästens on a range of products that can improve sleep. Unveiled at Salone del Mobile, the Being collection features natural hemp and linen fabric, lumbar cushions and a clean aesthetic. The hypoallergenic and breathable qualities of Being ensure the collection is comfortable year-round, with sustainable fabrics nodding to the increasingly eco-conscious state of design.
3D printing goes mainstream
The rise and rise of 3D printing across both conceptual design and practical applications was highlighted at Milan Design Week, where several large-scale 3D printing exhibitions took centre stage. Caracol Studio produced a 3D printed bar overlooking to Porta Nuova District, while COS and Arthur Mamou-Mani’s Conifera installation showcased the potential scale of 3D printing technology, using 700 modular components and spanning 25 metres. On a smaller scale, French designer Patrick Jouin presented a prototype 3D printed foldable chair named TAMU, replicating organic processes with machine algorithms.
Explore a new wave of design trends at New Designers 2019
New Designers 2019 will present all new trends during its two-week programme, featuring 3,000 designers under one roof. Come along and discover the next generation of design talent. Buy your tickets now to secure your place.