The senses were fully engaged by various collections from this year’s edition of the Salone del Mobile Milano (Milan Furniture Fair 2019). Of particular interest are the contextual presentations by brands who showcased new or revisited products in creatively imagined environments.
Bang & Olufsen
In Beovision Harmony, a pair of oak and aluminium fronts below the LG top-class 77” OLED screen open up in unison as the unit is turned on, thus revealing the three-channel DSP-based sound center; they close to original neutral position once the TV is turned off or is just playing music.
The Republic of Fritz Hansen and Lightyears have merged into the entity Fritz Hansen, effectively bringing the ranges of furniture, lighting and interior accessories under one cohesive brand. The merger was reflected in the brand’s presentation at the Salone this year.
Piero Lissoni’s Ombra chair, with and without armrests, took center stage at Lema’s Salone presentation this year. The model is made of rigid polypropylene seat and backrest and a black lacquered steel structure. Its minimalist outline showcases the rigorous style of Lissoni, who has been the brand’s art director since 1994.
Against panoramic images of city views, Zanotta presented its collections inspired by urban landscapes. For Rome, a living area is furnished with Echino blown glass coffee tables, with legs inspired by classical Doric columns, a pair of Oliva armchairs by Constance Guisset, and a sculptured Joy bookcase.
Dolce & Gabbana
The traditional Sicilian cart continues to inspire the collaboration between Smeg and Dolce&Gabbana, which to date has seen colourful twists on hand-painted refrigerators, ‘Frigoriferi d’Arte’, and small appliances. At the Salone, the collaboration was highlighted in special exhibition Artistic&Traditional, featuring appliances in highly imaginative, kaleidoscopic settings.
An amalgam of several chair designs from the 1940s and 1950s by Charles & Ray Eames and Eero Saarinen, the Organic Chair by Eames and Saarinen returns in a numbered limited edition. For Winter 2019/2020, it is being released as Organic Chair Sheepskin, with a premium-quality sheepskin cover.
Honey fungus, Armillaria mellea, is the magical inspiration for the new lighting design, Mush-Room, by René Šulc. The mushroom-like lamps are gracefully bent at the stem, their top end covered by a shade for a warm glow. Standing half meter, each ‘mushroom’ is unique. It is available as wall-mounted and table models.
The new Axor thermostat module, created in collaboration with the Stuttgart-based Phoenix Design, offers unprecedented ease in controlling jet types and showerheads. The module panel also includes temperature settings and a holder for the showerhead.
Chi Wing Lo’s suspended wall cabinet, Oli, is made of walnut Canaletto wood available in natural finish, and maple wood in three finishes. Metal profiles in bronze finish support the flap door of bronze tempered crystal glass. The backrest panel is covered in leather, while the lighting is LED.
Amadeus by Roberto Lazzeroni is a rectangular table with a solid walnut Canaletto wood edges (available in three finishes) and an alveolate aluminium top. The legs are made of pewter-finished metal with marble inserts in six options. The marble top and leg inserts match each other
MTM is Carlo Colombo’s set of modular elements with ash wood base and top (underside) available in four finishes. The aluminum structure is brushed bronze in titanium finish; the shelves in ash wood with inserts. LED lighting, turned on by a remote control, is supplied with the product. The elements are available in 4 widths and 4 heights – and 2 depths for the highest element. Elements of the same height can be combined and configured.
Neri&Hu’s Cradle family is a system comprising an armchair, a sofa and a small table. A commonality among the pieces is the appearance of the classic triangular construction that is repeated in all the pieces, as well as the leather strap that is attached to the metal legs and wraps around the frame. The frame is made of molded polyurethane foam set on black lacquered die-cast metal, while the strap is in leather. The small table is supported by the same legs as the seats – black lacquered die-cast metal, which support the top in marble.
A follow up to Formafantasma’s WireRing is the Wireline, which again places the power cable at the center of the design. Flattened to resemble a belt made of rubber and hanging from the ceiling, the power cable holds a ribbed glass extrusion containing an LED light source. The lamp can be installed as a single piece or repeated to obtain elaborate visual compositions. Made of extruded borosilicate, extruded aluminium, opal PPMA, and turned stainless steel, it utilizes 35w LED strips for illumination.
First launched in 1977, Mario Bellini’s CAB chair has been part of the MoMA permanent collection and remains a highly collectible piece. It features a metal skeleton covered in leather stitched together and closed with four zips. New sizes and finishes are launched this year, including an XL version (5cm deeper) and a children’s model. (CAB also comes as an armchair.) Saddle leather in a variety of hues, plus the manually executed ‘faded effect’ are among the latest options. The Cassina logo is branded on the rear of the backrest to guarantee the authenticity of every piece.
The new addition to the Cotone range by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec is a sofa that retains the characteristic extruded aluminum frame, now available in four colors. Deceptively simple, the frame actually supports a complex internal structure, while ample cushions in a variety of leather and fabric upholstery soften the metal frame and give the piece a comfortable seating. Cotone also comes in a modular version with a low backrest, as well as an armchair.
Patricia Urquiola’s Back-Wing chair from last year has been re-imagined as a comfortable armchair. Each piece has large solid wood sections – a nod to Cassina’s woodworking expertise – in choices of six colors. Leather and fabric from the Cassina Collections clothe the piece; while discreet piping provide definition of the form.