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Tag Archives: Salone Internazionale del Mobile

This is my last post on the Salone. I am sure many of you had seen enough of my furniture pictures on this blog. Just in case you want to start from the beginning, click here.

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Before I put up pictures of my trip in Kòln, Germany, here are some more stuff that I saw in Milano.

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This room caught my eye especially the chandeliers.

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Designer pieces.

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Molteni & C

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Zaha Hadid’s home at the “Where Architects Live” (Dove vivono gli architetti) exhibition

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Roche Bobois

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Clever wallpaper (including fake fireplace)

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Graphic wallpaper

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Minimal kitchen – so much so that it looks like the bedroom.

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Furniture for a nightclub

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“Kitchen, Soul, Design” (L’Italia che Vive)  360 degree view + surround sound media

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It was an eye-opening, feet-killing, exhaustive day but it was worth it. Ciao.

This is the penultimate blog post on the Salone. The exhibition halls at the Salone that show furniture were divided into 3 sections: design, moderno and classico. The classico section occupied Hall 1 to 4.

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The distinction between the designer and moderno sections were less clear cut, although the latter only occupied Hall 14 and 18. But the classic section was very clearly different.

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One big difference was the lack of crowds. The aisles were quiet that one really feels like being inside a giant warehouse.

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The exhibitors have names that I have never heard of. I guess many of them create custom pieces for private clients and not the mass market.

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These exhibitors do not show their products to the passing public as they hide everything behind paneled walls. Viewable by invitation only ?!

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Looked like the exhibitors in the classic section cater mostly to the oligarchs, sheiks, princelings, and  techbillionaires.

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These exhibitors definitely did not like visitors to take photos. This saleswoman wearing a ball gown was staring to discourage me from photographing their white fake goddess columns.

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It is a whole different world of tastes in Hall 1 to 4 !

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Continuing with my posts on the stuff I saw at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan … here is a mix bag of brands – avant garde (driade), then mainstream modern housewares (Alessi) and plastic furniture (Kartell) …

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driade, founded in Italy in 1968, like to define itself as an aesthetics laboratory. See their web site here (also where I took the above screenshot).



On driade’s website, about its history, it says:

… the multiplicity of languages that make it difficult to identify trends or relationships. A variety of authors, not always easily assessable and not all entirely acceptable, is building this century, which is characterized, in art and design, by pluralism, multiplicity of signs, and “idiolects” – as Roland Barthes called the use of language specific of a single author. 

Compared to some of the modern classics I saw (Vitra, Cassina – see earlier posts here and here), this statement about Driade’s pieces does make some sense.


The last time I was in Milano, I went to their showroom and wrote a blog post – here.


Norma by Borek Sipek.


Apollonia (the lights) also by Borek Sipek.


Alessi – needs no introduction.


They have a store on the main raised pedestrian walkway.


As well as a store selling pots and pans inside one of the exhibition halls.


They were probably one of the very few companies that were not just showing but were actually selling something.


I had no idea that Alessi makes so many different models of watches.


Since I posted about Kartell in Paris (click here), here are a couple of photos of their exhibition space surrounded by bright yellow gold curved walls.


I did not like their space, too cluttered and it barely showed off their products. I honestly do not remember what I saw, especially after I have already been exposed to hundreds of chairs …





Continuing with my posts on the stuff I saw at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan … earlier posts on Poliform, Vitra and Knoll are here, here and here.

I know nothing about this company until the exhibition. And I liked some of their pieces.


Wood is their strong suit. A high level of craftsmanship exercised in the design and manufacture is visible.


The pieces are not exactly modern with all straight lines and right angles. Yet there is something modern about their designs.


The shapes are organic and relies on carpentry to achieve the desired look.


Some minimal decorations are included.



According to their web site here,

Beauty is a stratification of elements that dialogue with one another, but it is also a constant quest for contents and values.


All the pieces projected a non-industrial, warm ambiance. I think their pieces work best in a domestic setting.


Some pieces on display are for the office, however and I definitely can see them in the lobby / reception area of a law office.


Some of the interiors use Asian accessories and accents. Their web site even has an option for Chinese (the others are English and Italian). So they must be attracting quite a bit of business from that country.




Continuing with photos from the Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2014 …

Guess which fashion designers were milking more revenue from its famous brand name by selling furniture ?


Here’s Versace. Well, he left the planet. So why not ?

designers-12Can’t miss the signature panthers.


Fendi. They have separate entrances for architects (on the left), Club Prestige (!) members (in the middle) and (mere) visitors (see the signs below the Fendi sign). The doorman-velvet rope phenomenon lives on …


Bentley managed to attract a crowd outside its door with a convertible, and they were doing the doorman thing too … look at him dancing …


Ungaro was there with proper wall treatment up front  (… unlike Bentley’s white walls )


Diesel has a large pavilion …


… and a pop/age reference ?


Missoni was there looking so Brazilian …


… and so very casual


These two rooms are by Blumarine. There was hardly any design in the furniture, except textile design.


A Chinese gentleman was showing great interest in this set of communist red-big flower print sofa.

designers-18Last but not least, Pierre Cardin was evidently still around.


No. I did not see Casa Armani in the Salone. Well, they have a whole building in downtown Milano. See the post on Manzoni 31 from our last trip.

Lots more photos to come …


Continuing with my posts on the stuff I saw at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan …


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Knoll’s exhibition space is right next to Vitra’s space (see previous post here). These two companies have a lot in common – from their business scope to their historical origins. Knoll was founded in 1938 in New York City.


According to Knoll’s site:

Our founders, Hans and Florence Knoll, embraced the creative genius at the Bauhaus School and the Cranbrook Academy of Art to create new types of furniture and environments for the workplace. Their approach, where craftsmanship joined with technology through the use of design, anchors our perspective and shapes the values we endeavor to live by today.


It was at Cranbrook that Eero Saarinen met Charles Eames. The two young men, both committed to the exploration of potential new materials and processes, quickly became great friends, pushing each other creatively while collaborating on several projects. The most notable outcome of their partnership was the groundbreaking collection of molded plywood chairs for the MoMA-sponsored 1940 Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition. Their collection was awarded first prize in all categories.


Saarinen’s Pedestal Collection debuted in 1958. I like this kind of tables where there are few things underneath the table for you to kick or bump your knee – an annoying problem frequently encountered by tall people (like me).


David Adjaye’s Washington Collection


04 Counter by OMA and Knoll


Cassina was founded in 1927 in the region of Brianza, Italy (same region as Poliform, see earlier post here).


Cassina’s space was created by architect Sou Fujimoto – named Floating Forest. He created the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London’s Kensington Gardens in 2013.


According to Cassina’s web site:

On entering Cassina’s stand at the Salone del Mobile in Rho Fiera, a sense of wellbeing immediately overcomes the visitor creating an intrinsic balance between man, nature, comfort and the home.


Numerous mirrors suspended from above reflect and multiply this natural forest setting to infinity, creating volume and at the same time space, with endless possibilities. 


While the effect was dramatic and fun, it was also quite confusing. With so many people milling about, I was too busy trying to watch where I was going rather than admiring the furniture.


Cassina’s 2014 Collection boasts new designs by Jaime Hayon, Piero Lissoni, Luca Nichetto, Patrick Norguet and Jean Nouvel.

knoll-cassini-11Cassina is also releasing re-editions from Le Corbusier (LC1, LC2, LC3 or LC4?), Pierre Jeanneret, Charlotte Perriand and Marcel Breuer. Cassina is the worldwide exclusive licensee of Le Corbusier’s designs.


Cassina is part of the Poltrona Frau group which also owns Capellini and has its original luxury leather collection.


Scattered around Cassina’s Floating Forest are these cute “sculpture” of model car pileups.


Fun stuff !  More to come …



Continuing with my posts on the stuff I saw at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan …  Vitra had a large white, airy space, built with translucent boxes/bricks.


According to Wikipedia and Vitra’s own site:   Vitra is a Swiss family-owned furniture company founded in 1950’s and dedicated to improving the quality of homes, offices and public spaces through the power of design. They first started with the licensed production in Europe of Eames designs originally owned by Herman Miller.


In 1967 the company introduced the Panton Chair by Verner Panton – the first cantilever chair out of plastic.  Now the Vitra home collection includes classic furniture design pieces by Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Verner Panton, Alexander Girard and Jean Prouvé.


Charles and Ray Eames are an American husband and wife team of architects/modern furniture designers Their story is well documented so I will not repeat here. These are the Eames’ Aluminum Chairs EA in 28 new colors.


We are using Eames Plastic Side Chair DSR in white. To see more of the Eames collection by Vitra, go here.


Eames home bird overlooking people in meetings.


Girard (b0rn 1907 in NYC) is widely known for his contributions in the field of American textile design, particularly through his work for Herman Miller (1952 to 1975), where he created fabrics for the designs of George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames.


Girard created numerous textile patterns and products reflecting his love of festive colours, patterns and textures. He favoured abstract and geometric forms in a variety of different colour constellations, typically featuring a cheerful palette.


In 1963, he created a collection of 22 brightly painted, semi-abstract and sculptural wooden dolls for his own Santa Fe home. Working from the originals, the Vitra Design Museum has reissued some models of Girard’s figures.


Vitra also produces the works of designers such as Antonio Citterio, Jasper Morrison, Alberto Meda, Maarten van Severen, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Hella Jongerius and Barber Osgerby.

Jasper Morrison, English (born 1959) advocates “New Simplicity”, a more modest and also more serious approach to design.


Wooden table by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby + Eames aluminum chairs.


This year, they are relaunching the Landi Chair, designed in 1938 by Hans Coray (see silver chairs below).


Nice show, happy living.


Click here to see Vitra’s own spiel of their exhibition at the Salone.


After several attempts to go to the annual Salone Internazionale del Mobile (International Furniture Show) in Milan, I finally made it this year. Sue was traveling with her parents on a trip in Asia so she did not come with me. The event started on April 8 and ended on April 13. The last two days, Saturday and Sunday, are open to the general public. On other days, it is strictly for the trade only.


On the Saturday, I left Lausanne on the 06:17 train and arrived Milano at about 09:30. The train made a special stop at Rho Fiera, the station that serves the fairground where the show is held. It saved me probably an hour or more since I did not have to go to Milano Centrale and change to either a metro or a suburban train.


So I arrived soon after the show opened its doors. General admission was 30 euro. With online pre-registration, it took me very little time to buy a ticket.


The Fiera Milano fairground is one of the largest in the world, according to Wikipedia. Located in the west of Milano, near Rho, it was opened in 2005 with an investment of €755 million.


The complex includes eight pavilions for a total of 3,710,000 sq ft of covered exhibition space and 650,000 sq ft of outdoor space. Forget the numbers, it felt bigger than an airport  The web site of the Fiera Rho exhibition center is here.


This area is going to be the site of Expo 2015 – see graphics in photo above. I was hoping to see the one in Shanghai in 2012 but missed it. Given Milano’s proximity, I would definitely come to see it next year.

A central double-level corridor runs east-west in the middle of the fairground with pavilions/exhibition halls lining each of the sides. The top level has an automatic walkway like those that ferry passengers between airport terminals.


This is a map of the fairground.

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Built in record time to plans by Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas, the Rho complex is an avant-garde glass and steel structure.


The glass and steel structure is composed of vortices and wavy surfaces.


There were restaurants, cafes and small shops located in the spaces between the exhibition halls and the central walkway.


Unfortunately, the quality of food in the sit-down restaurants looked no better than shopping mall fast food. I ended up eating a kebab on the lawn outside under the spring sunshine.


One of the exhibition hall is shaped like a UFO circa 1960’s due to its metallic skin and legs. It was the site for Design in Puglia during the Salone.


Underneath the giant creature is a small pool.


From a distance, it looks like the undulating roof above the central walkway has swallowed a small building.


I will take you inside some of these exhibition halls in the next few posts.

In the mean time, take a look at the designer-graphics posters for past Salone which I posted here after I canceled my last attempt to see the Salone.

The Salone Internazionale del Mobile (Milan International Furniture Exhibition) was open to the public this weekend. We planned a whirlwind one-day visit with our friend Z – who bought us rail tickets and even arranged to meet people for lunch in Milan.

When we were at the train station this morning, we discovered that the Italian railway workers decided to call a 24-hour strike. Strike (Grève in French), our luck! Although the Swiss rail (SBB) was running normally, we were warned of delays.  In fact, we think there is a risk that we will be stranded there with no hotel (all were booked because of the Exhibition).  So we did the hard thing, we canceled – disappointed but managed to get our money back. Sigh. We will try again next year.

Every year the Exhibition organizer  – Cosmit designs a poster (manifesto) for the event. Here are some of my favorites.

The Exhibition first started on September 24, 1961 and ran for a whole week.

Judging by the name on the poster in 1966, in the early years the exhibition is not yet international.

Psychedelic 60’s.

In the 70’s.


Celebrating 20 years of success and becoming international.

In the 80’s. By the way, what is it that is shown in the poster?

In the 90’s.


In the new millenium, and moving to the then new location at the fairgrounds at Rho.

Also started using the new logo (sometime in the 2000’s).

This year’s poster is rather unimaginative.

Many more manifestos are downloadable from Cosmit’s press area.