Selections reflects on the highlights of this year’s edition of the Salone del Mobile

This year’s edition of the Salone del Mobile in Milan was glorious thanks to the beautiful weather and, most of all, to the concentrated creativity that took over the city along with the unseasonable sunshine. Selections recaps a list of the not-to-be-missed projects that together confirmed that Milan remains the international capital of design.

Famous Scandinavian company Artek’s booth was a feat in itself. Conceived by Berlin-based architects Kuehn Malvezzi, it boasted an impressive, intense blue frame. Meanwhile, Wait and See’s colourful store, overseen by smart designer Uberta Zambeletti, showed unique narrative designs by studio Casalinghe di Tokyo. The designers focus on contemporary objects with a specific emphasis on kitchen and dining accessories, presented along with Trame Italiane, a limited-edition collection of poetic hand-embroidered tablecloths based on Italo Calvino’s Italian Folktales, illustrated by Arianna Vairo.

Gufram organised an outstanding installation at 10 Corso Como to celebrate its historical and contemporary pieces, entitled Gufram: 50 Years Against the Tide — the perfect title for the company, which is today led by Charley Vezza.

Critic and writer Marco Sammicheli curated Milano Galleria for Tim, featuring experimentations by four young designers, Ilaria Bianchi, Sovrappensiero, Philippe Tabet and Antonio Aricò.
At the Nilufar Depot, visitors were treated to 1500 square metres of unique design in the luxurious warehouse unveiled last year by Nina Yashar, who simultaneously presented work at her gallery in Via Della Spiga, where an exhibition entitled Brazilian Design featured objects by Jorge Lizarazo and Haynes Robinson.

Dimore Gallery held a presentation in Via Solferino featuring his new pieces, some of them produced by notorious Tuscany-based ceramic laboratory Bitossi.

Makers and Bakers, the project curated by Ambra Medda for Airbnb, welcomed visitors in a warm atmosphere at the Marta Restaurant, right on the corner of Rossana Orlandi’s space, which was filled with many other surprises.

The Shit Museum, created by talented Milanese architect Luca Cipelletti, presented a collection for the house made of the “material” for his exhibition, entitled The Shit Evolution. Along with an attractively conceived installation, there were several works of art, including Roberto Coda Zabetta’s pink painting, the only one in this colour, which is coveted by collectors worldwide. The exhibition deservedly won the Milan Design Award for the best show in town.

Paola C. exhibited Suggestioni, a narrative path which explores new works by Aldo Cibic and his nephew Matteo, while Andrea Branzi and Kenya Hara presented a gigantic show at the Triennale called Neo Preistoria — 100 Verbs.

Fabrica, the communication research centre of the Benetton Group, along with Sam Baron, told a legendary story about a boat found in the abyss for Beyond — The Veuve Clicquot Journey by Fabrica, an unconventional project presented in an atmospheric venue at the Milan Central Station Royal Suite to mark the 200th anniversary of the French brand, which revolutionised the “méthode champenoise” with the forerunner of today’s riddling table, where the bottles are tilted and turned to obtain a clear, pure wine.

Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk unveiled the installation Phisical, while at Casa Vitra the focus was on playing with colours and textiles. Vitra Color & Material Library had on display a colour machine and also set up a pop-up store nearby.

Jerszey Seymour and his collective of students from the Dirty Art Department took over the Macao space and transformed it into an enjoyable hostel, where it was also possible to stay for low prices during the fair. A fun new possibility!

One of the most impressive and alluring collections at the holy week of design was the ceramic collection by Japanese firm Arita, which invited renowned designers worldwide to rethink their approach to ceramic and produce something in this material.

And, last but not least, after 10 years of residing strictly within the confines of countless computer screens, the Greek blog, founded by the passionate Costas Voyatzis, made its first foray into the physical realm, presenting 10 by Yatzer, a pop-up shop hosted at Spazio Pontaccio, in the Brera district. From computer to real 3D!

A version of this article appeared in print in Selections, The Creative Issue #36, pages 122-125.