What to catch at Milan Design Week
Phaidon designers are filling 2019's Salone del Mobile with smart answers to today’s design problems
Each spring, the world’s most talented designers jet into to Milan to present their best work at Salone del Mobile, the annual Italian design fair, and its associated events, commonly referred to as Milan Design Week; this year, Phaidon authors and designers are putting in a strong showing.
nendo, the Tokyo-based, multidisciplinary design studio, established by Oki Sato in 2002, is one of the more prolific contributors this year; Sato and co are not only repping the new Phaidon nendo monograph, but also an undulating, indoor, meadow-like installation, called Breeze of Light, made with spindly film-topped flowers, for the Japanese air-conditioning company, Daikin; and a new collection of folding handbags, called Katachi, for the French leather-goods house Longchamp.
The huge US furniture firm Herman Miller has All Together Now, an exhibition that celebrates the various brands within the Herman Miller group; over the past two decades the US firm has acquired quite a few other concerns, and its Milan show is staged to demonstrate the endless possibilities this family of furniture, design, tech, and interior architecture companies now offers.
Barber Osgerby, the London-based bards of the chair, have a new seat design at Milan, this time made for American manufacturer, Emeco. Called On and On, it’s a plastic, stacking, café chair, formed from recycled bottles; this particular plastic polymer doesn’t degrade when it’s reworked, so, the pair say, "it can be used again and again.”
Industrial Facility has used slightly more noble materials for Fronda, its latest project with Italian furniture manufacturer Mattiazzi. This new stool and chair is made from Russian pine, with a pressed steel seat; are both on show at Mattiazzi’s stand, at the Salone, this weekend.
Finally, the NYC not-quite-architecture-not-quite-art practice Snarkitecture has a high-concept installation at the Salone, staged for the Swiss bathroom products manufacturer, Laufen. Entitled Material Message, the show focuses on Laufen’s industrial ceramic production, and uses a staggering 198 tonnes of clay and 701 wash basins to get its message to sink in (if you'll excuse the pun).
Going to Milan? Then don’t forget your Wallpaper* guide; and if you’re not, you can still catch up on all these designers in our store; for Snarkitecture, get this book; for Industrial Facility, get this one; for Barber Osgerby get this title; for Herman Miller, buy this; and for nendo get this excellent new monograph.