Milan Furniture Fair 2010 -special report
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Salone Internazionale del Mobile –Milan 2010

Despite the difficulties to get to Milan and come back because of the Ash cloud over Europe, our Design Guru, Jenny Voyce, made it back to the UK with a special report for us on the Milan Fair! Thank you Jenny! Jenny reports on emerging design trends, her blog is an interesting and informative resource for lovers of design - visit her blog HERE


The Salone Internazionale del Mobile held in Milan is arguably the biggest design event in the calendar. With the main fair being held at Fiera Milan Rho there are literally hundreds of other sites across the city showing new innovations in lighting, furniture and all other aspects of interior design.

This year recession has focused minds as well as budgets, and many designers have been thinking of new ways in which design should be sold and bringing their work direct to the public. When it’s not possible to go to the showrooms they have been thinking of ways to bring the work to you.

Established & Son used Milan to launch collaboration with, the virtual boutique for fashion and design. Presenting four new items (Dip, Soft Grid, Plan, Butt) in a remarkable 3D installation, the viewer was able to explore the items in detail through touch screen displays.

Other new products launched included a beautiful range of storage boxes by Scholten & Baijings.

Based on traditional wooden travel cases made with new production techniques the boxes are made of oak wood veneer with fluorescent orange, blue or pink interiors.

The hand drawn printed illustrations tell tales of environmental issues; heavy subject matter but beautifully presented.

Richard Woods
has transferred his stylised hyper real illustration to create the Wood Rug. Wooden panels of printed wooded flooring make up the hand woven rug below. 


The new piece was shown alongside his previous work, Wrong Woods Cabinet and Shade Mirror to the left..
The Estd collection along with other pieces by Established & Son is now available at although unfortunately not in the super 3D version as yet!

Another innovate way of selling design came from Maarten Baas. With his pieces usually costing thousands, blurring the line between collectible art and design, he offered his latest work for only 99 cents as a downloadable App for the iphone.

The Analog Digital Clock was originally created as a gallery piece which explored different methods of telling time. It appears to be just a digital time piece but as you look closer a shadowy figure appears behind to paint out time.  It’s an inventive work and a creative way of capturing a design and technology market. It’s currently available via the Itunes store.

­Tom Dixon
launched his new Industry range at Superstudio Piu and created a miniature factory within the show -complete with targets for the workers to achieve! Interior Designers from Tom’s London office had been drafted in to demonstrate how easy it is to create one of the new products on offer, the Etch Lights.

Specially designed to be easily produced on any continent, and flat packed for own assembly the light has less energy spent on delivering the product to the user.

Also launched at Milan was the Void light (pictured right), an innovative double spun wall reflects and softens the light from the concealed halogen bulb.

The stand shown in Milan was cleverly designed as a road show and will be travelling across Europe throughout the year. If you’d like to see the exhibition visit  

The next stop is Paris and the show will be swinging by London for the Design Festival in September.  

Demonstrating new technology and new material is what we expect from major events such as this but we’ve also see the way in which designers have adapted to the new economic climate by using unwanted items and remaking them into a something beautiful.


Droog Design took on board the effect of the recession with their presentation Saved by Droog.

Over the year they bought various items from companies that had gone into liquidation and invited designers including Maison Martin Margiela and Studio Makkink & Bey to create something new from something unwanted.
Droog saved
The limited edition pieces were then offered for sale during the fair, with prices ranging from 25Euros for a handkerchief to nearly 5000 Euros for a table. See below right. 

For more of the stories behind Droog’s Saved project visit


Continuing with the theme of old into new Moroso presented a collection of old carpets with a new twist in their Milan showroom.

Carpet Reloaded is a limited-edition collection of carpets from the 20th century reinterpreted in a new and unexpected way. Traditionally woven carpets have been treated to a combination of contemporary restyling and ancient manufacturing skills.

The carpets have been unwoven and rewoven by skilful weavers then bleached and re-dyed using natural monochrome pigments.

The way in which the dye takes to the carpet is unknown and unexpected as nobody knows the original material that was used.

It could be cotton, wool, angora, mohair, or black goat hair, have all reacted differently. The rugs were shown alongside Patricia Urquiola’s Bohemia range and are available through Moroso’s UK showroom


In the main fair where Moroso also had a stand Tokujin Yoshioka’s Memory Chair was a world away from tradition.

Made from a special fabric with recycled aluminum the chair retains the shape of the sitter and can be pulled out to accommodate the next.

It’s an interesting prototype but not available to buy as yet.

Away from the Fair, Spazio Rossana Orlandi is like an oasis amongst the industrial presentations despite being housed in a former tie factory. In small intimate rooms work was presented by a number of designers. Piet Hein Eek continued his recycling theme with a chandelier created from vintage glass lamp shades.


He also introduced a coffee set he has created for Douwe Egberts, using traditional delft blue but mixing up the images he has created a contemporary scene. For more information on his work and the new concept showroom workspace opening this year during Dutch Design Week visit
Also shown in the garden space at Spazio Rossanna Orlandi were Frederique Morrel’s fantastical Passe-Murailles. These life size trophy sculptures are hand made from found vintage tapestry. His range also includes poufs, trays and cushions; all are unique and come with a “rebirth” certificate. Frederiques work can be found at Liberty in London, for other stockists and more of his work visit


But perhaps what became the biggest talking point at Milan this year was inevitably “the volcano”  and the question on everyone Iips “How are you getting home?” I have to be very thankful for the team at Dezeen for giving me a lift to Lille and on to a Eurostar and then finally home. 


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