Design critic, editor and author of The Independent Design Guide
, Laura Houseley handpicked the highlights of this year’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile for today’s slideshow. Houseley has been covering the fair, which extends to over 400 locations across Milan and annually lures a who's who of furniture and product design, for 13 years. “The younger, independent designers had a good year,” she says. “Shows like those by ECAL
[The University of Art and Design Lausanne] are a great example of what is achievable in contemporary design and the kind of optimism I wish I saw everywhere.” Houseley details her findings below.
Tip Ton for Vitra by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby
The 100% recyclable Tip Ton is made from polypropylene and can be tilted forward from its normal position and locked stationary at a nine-degree incline. Until now, this forward-slanted sitting position has only been available from sophisticated and expensive office chairs.
Forward, Clothes Hanger by Staffan Holm
Wall hooks or wall installation? Talented Swedish designer Staffan Holm leaves the choice in your hands. The wall furniture is minimal and elegant, just like Holm’s other pieces.
Waft Stool by tanimatsumura
Tokyo designers Takaaki Tani and Kazunori Matsumura are behind tanimatsumura. Their stool is made from a plywood hybrid they invented, an ingenious material comprising thin layers of beech wood and aluminum that allows easy manipulation.
Osso Chair for Mattiazzi by Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec
A celebration of the tactility of wood from the hottest manufacturer around, the chair makes full use of hi-tech digital processes to produce a seamless form.
Waver for Vitra by Konstanin Grcic
Functionality is at the forefront of everything Konstantin Grcic does: inspired by paragliding and windsurfing equipment, the hardworking Waver lounge chair swivels, swings and can be used indoors or out.
Play by Decha Archjananun and Jars by Guillaume Noiseux, both for Baccarat
Students of the Master in Design and Luxury course at ECAL worked under the direction of English designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby to reinterpret Baccarat’s best-known piece, the 170-year-old Harcourt glass. Guillaume Noiseux produced one of the most challenging designs by turning the traditional glass into a storage jar. Decha Archjananun’s interpretation re-envisaged the hand-cut crystal as a series of children’s games.
Icon03 by Jan Plechac
Look familiar? Plechac has taken iconic chairs and realized them in their most basic graphic form, ready for outdoor use. Here, Gerrit Rietveld’s 1917 Red Blue Chair gets the treatment.
Moon Chair and Twilight Installation for Moroso by Tokujin Yoshioka
Over the past few years Yoshioka has stunned audiences with his ethereal installations; this year he gave maximum impact with minimal materials. Twilight enveloped the Moroso showroom in misty, opaque vapor, through which Yoshioka shone beams of light, while visitors sat on his newly launched Moon Chair.
Accordion Cabinet by Elisa Strozyk and Sebastian Neeb
Recent Central St. Martins and University of the Arts Berlin graduates Strozyk and Neeb have produced a wholly fresh structure; the flexible skin of the Accordion Cabinet is made from a unique combination of pleated wood and textile, giving a fluid movement whilst retaining the rigidity of a solid material.
Surface Daylight by Daniel Rybakken
Rybakken’s subtle and poetic works often play with the idea of recreating natural light. Here, Surface Daylight mimics the effect of daylight casually glancing off a wall with its combination of corian and LED lights.