Salone del Mobile, Milan review

Editor Johnny Tucker and London Design Guide author Max Fraser pounded the pavements and piazzas to bring you the best design the city had to offer


12 - 17 April
Review by Johnny Tucker and Max Fraser

A mostly sunny Milan this year meant that designers, buyers, punters and journos were out in force both at the Salone del Mobile and around town, with Bar Basso filling to the brim and beyond every night. In fact, more than 370,000 people visited the main show this time around (nearly 70 per cent of them from outside Italy), and the buzz was evident with the Italian brands seeming particularly bullish after some lean-looking years.

Blueprint editor Johnny Tucker was at Salone and brings you his choice of the show along with his highlights from the rest of Milan. We also had London Design Guide author Max Fraser pounding the design beat for Blueprint this year to suss out the best on offer in every via, corso, piazza and palazzo.

Salone del Mobile

1 - Kartell had a back-to-plastic-basics feel to it after what has felt like a couple of years adrift. Many good products included Alessandro Mendini's fluorescent Roy stool collection. JT

2 (below) - SCP showed refined production models of the six sofas it premiered last year and a new mid-century-feel piece, Orlando by Reiko Kaneko. JT

3 - With a cartoony/Memphis vibe, Konstantin Grcic's Sam Son seat for Magis uses an elastic polymer armrest and seat sitting throne-like on rigid plastic legs. JT

Sam Son seat
Alessandro Mendini's fluorescent Roy stool collection

Salone del Mobile: Sofas

Soft Modular Sofa
4 - Called Soft Modular Sofa, this offering from Vitra, designed by Jasper Morrison, really does what it says on the packet. JT

5 - Driade has bounced back strongly under David Chipperfield's creative direction, and long-time collaborator Philippe Starck has produced Wow, the inspiration for which he describes in his typically left-field way: 'One night I had a dream or, rather, a memory surfaced in my mind. I recall the delightful times when sofas were comfortable, and we shouted "wow" while leaping on them.' JT

Santiago for Tacchini
6 - Claesson Koivisto Rune has designed this generous, friendly sofa as part of a range called Santiago for Tacchini. Love the tubular leg detail. JT

Avio for Knoll
7 - Piero Lissoni's sofa system Avio for Knoll looks light and contract but with that added level of softness. JT

modular sofa Mondrian
8 - The wooden insets are a nice touch in this modular sofa Mondrian by Jean-Marie Massaud for Poliform, as is the leg detail. JT

Belt sofa for Moroso
9 - Like some loosely bound duvets, Patricia Urquiola's Belt sofa for Moroso is beautifully unkempt. JT

Salone del Mobile: Satellite

Satellite is the part of Salone where younger designers can show off their work without having to take a huge stand!

Secret Garden
10 - With an eye on the luxury end of the market Ini Archibong showed a number of very confident and exquisitely detailed pieces in marble, brass and glass (handblown by Murano experts, though not in Venice) as part of a collection called In The Secret Garden. JT

metal and fabric screen Ping
11 - Frank Chou Design Studio had a Special Mention Award at Satellite for this metal and fabric screen Ping. JT

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