I had the pleasure to attend this year’s Salone del Mobile, the design industry’s most significant international show, and related design week events in Milan. The crowds were large: Salone del Mobile reports that this year’s event drew 372,151 total attendees, with approximately 67 percent of those visiting from outside of Italy.
This year, the number of brand new product introductions was noticeably lower, making it more challenging for journalists and designers to find the gem of a new launch. Many companies offered reintroductions of classic furnishings or showed off modest tweaks to recent products: Think new color or new component or new variation on a product that was initially launched a year or two ago. All interesting to see, of course, but the level of “newness” or innovation in offerings was noticeably tamped down a bit.
I did find some interesting new pieces, though. Here are a few pictures that I took of a few visual highlights of Salone del Mobile. Look for full coverage in our May issue of Contract magazine, reaching readers in late May. Also, if you have not already done so, please follow contractmag on instagram, where you will see these and other images from Milan as well as other design-related photos from Contract editors posted on a regular basis.
What was prevalent in furnishings at Salone in 2016? Colors were often rich hues such as forest green, deep blue, wine, and mustard. In furniture, natural materials such as marble, terrazzo, and stone composites were often combined with metal, wood, and fabric. Bold prints and strong geometrics were seen, and oversized, organic silhouettes continue to be popular, with soft, rounded forms.
Crowd entering an entrance to Salone del Mobile.
The Knoll stand was designed by Rem Koolhaas’s firm OMA, with real marble flooring and inspiration based on Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion.
Pendants lights by Tom Dixon.
Pendant lights by Tom Dixon.
Pendant lights called Curve by Tom Dixon.
The Italian furniture company De Padova is now producing the LL04 lounge chair that was designed by Maarten Van Severen in 2004. It’s a simple layer of leather over a metal frame.
For Cassina, Dutch artist Bertjan Pot has designed a textile in a jacquard pattern for the Utrecht armchair, originally designed by Gerrit Reitveld. Cassina will manufacture a limited edition of only 90 chairs.
For American company Emeco, Sam Hecht and Kim Colin of Industrial Facility collaborated to design a set of multi-use furniture pieces named Run. The collection includes a shelving unit, a bench and a table with plank-like surfaces available in aluminium or three types of wood.
This chair is part of the Sushi Collection by Edward Van Vliet for Moroso.
The crowd at an evening reception for Herman Miller in Milan.
The Helix chair designed by Favaretto & Partners for B-LINE.
Kartell celebrated its design stars with large-scale images of them. Here is Patricia Urquiola looming over the entrance to a portion of the Kartell stand.
This is the chair BIKE by Monica Forster for Offecct. Forster says, “This chair is inspired by the bicycle ad sporting worlds but above all my ambition was to emphasize the superior handcraft.”
The Bouroullec brothers designed this rug (seen hanging on a wood wall) called Lattice for Nanimarquina.
Swedish company Swedese presented the Konnekt Island by Roger Persson. Konnekt Island consists of 9 Konnekt liked together to make a meeting island.