Milan furniture fair 2011
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Photos: Milan furniture fair 2011

Milan furniture fair 2011
The Swedish design studio Front created a gorgeous geometric puzzle across a new chest of drawers and an armoire using oak inlays in four shades. The design, to be produced by Porro, looked angular and yet soft. The play of the wood grain added some complexity, and the offset position of drawer pulls added a sense of irreverence. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Gervasoni named its new collection InOut and declared every table, chair, sofa and chaise to be worthy of living room or deck. The Paola Navone designs do blur the line well, and as staged in the company’s Milan furniture fair booth, a dining table seemed as plausible in a breakfast nook as on the patio. Giant turquoise ceramic slats sit atop an aluminum frame painted white. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
After designers spent years creating outdoor interpretations of indoor furniture, more appear to be moving in the opposite direction, creating interior pieces that feel inspired by backyard living. Although designer Paola Navone’s Sweet dining chairs can be finished with a brown leather seat, Gervasoni exhibited the walnut frames with white PVC cord. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Detail of the chairs designed by Navone for Gervasoni(Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
German manufacturer Zeitraum’s Apu side tables were grouped to form a sort of topographic coffee tables. The white ceramic tops lift off. The wide piece at left, for example, could be brought to the kitchen and used as a platter for entertaining, while the deep piece in the rear could be used as a planter. The oak bases are hollow, providing a bit of hidden storage. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
The Apu side tables are surrounded by Zeitraum’s new Morph lounge chairs, whose oak legs supported a leather-backed seat upholstered in front in a range of warm fabrics. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Casamania showed Loop by Sophie de Vocht, a design student awaiting graduation this spring. De Vocht said she wanted to create a piece with the same kind of tufting technique used in making carpets. Special equipment allowed her to loop material through a lattice-like structure, the knitted stocking-like material gradually becoming looser as it flows toward the feet. The designer said she wanted the piece to sit close to the ground — a nod to the carpet-making technique used to create the chair. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair highlights
The standout at the Moroso booth was Biknit, the “big knit” chair from designer Patricia Urquiola. The exaggerated weave is made of a UV-resistant fabric called Plastitex, set atop a wooden frame. (Moroso)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Many companies showed off refinements to furniture that premiered last year. At the Moroso booth, the Paper Planes chairs that were shown in busy, highly graphic upholstery adorned with miniature crystals in 2010 were back on display, this time in solid colors minus the bling. The lack of decoration left the emphasis purely on the modern high-back silhouette, which is ultimately what makes the chair noteworthy anyway. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
The ecstatic palettes that punctuated 2010 collections have been subdued for 2011. Patricia Urquiola’s Klara chair, shown last year in the Moroso booth with vibrant red armrests and a bright blue seat, was shown this year in a subdued, cranberry-colored backrest and putty seat -- both with comfy, quilted finish. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Kartell usually sparkles at the fair, and this year was no exception. The Italian firm that turned plastic furniture into an art lighted up a huge corner with neon displays showcasing decades of design classics. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
One segment of the Kartell booth simply showcased the array of chairs that have made the firm famous. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
A Joe Colombo piece -- the only all-wood chair that Kartell ever produced – is being brought back in polycarbonate. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Flos dazzled the Milan crowd with a bevy of new pieces by top designers. Among the standouts was Ron Gilad’s La Linea Round, left, and La Linea Delta, right. The fixtures brought a little irreverence to the LED landscape and suggested that individual elements could be grouped in interesting ways. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Designer Rod Gilad’s modern chandelier for Flos, named 2620 LEDs. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
The Net table lamps, designed by Philippe Starck with Eugeni Quitllet for Flos, cleverly incorporated iPad or iPod docks above rows of LEDs. The result: While electronics recharge, they can serve as electronic picture frames or perhaps displays for streaming video. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Foscarini’s standouts included Anisha, LED lamps in O shapes, pictured here in two sizes. When deployed in tandem, the two lamps can form concentric circles. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
The name Vibia might not be familiar to most American audiences, but in Milan the company showcased a stunning array of lighting designs that hinted how LED technology may shape the fixtures of years to come. Pictured here: pendants with barely-there silhouettes. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Also from Vibia: petite Brisa outdoor lights. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
The Fold lights, designed by Arik Levy for Vibia, embodied several trends spotted in Milan: energy efficiency (with its use of LEDs), a folded-paper motif that echoes origami-like designs in furniture and accessories, and a modular approach that assumes consumers may want to use their own creativity in deciding how to arrange lots of little pieces into a larger whole. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Magis unveiled new concepts from some of the biggest names in design. Among them: the Cyborg chair from Marcel Wanders, whose variations included a mash-up of artificial and natural. (Magis)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Architect Zaha Hadid created the Wave modular wall system for Magis that achieved different effects depending on the way in which the pieces were arranged, creating free-flowing lines or abrupt transitions, open voids and enclosed spaces. (Magis)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Konstantin Grcic offered a playful twist on the workshop stool, with the solid beech legs and seat operated by what manufacturer Magis said was a self-lubricating plastic. (Magis)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Arco took its design for pivoting drawers to create the new Pivot desk, a space-saving work surface with nesting storage compartments that pull down for access. (Arco)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Ceccotti Collezioni’s Omaggio desk features a stack of four drawer boxes that pivot, so they can be accessed from different angles; a single storage cubby lies on the opposite side. The wooden top rail angles away from the work surface, heightening the effect of a floating glass top. (Ceccotti Collezioni)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Top view of Ceccotti Collezioni’s new Omaggio desk. (Ceccotti Collezioni)
Milan furniture fair 2011
The latest from celebrated Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana is called Grinza. The chairs, to be produced by Edra, are covered in upholstery that has been bunched up to an extreme -- a rumpled look that is bound to torture the tidy minimalist. (Edra)
Milan furniture fair 2011
New from Ligne Roset: the GamFratesi-designed Rewrite desk, which enshrouds you in a soft, cloud-white privacy dome. (Ligne Roset)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Pattern practically disappeared at the 2011 Milan furniture fair, where solid colors reigned. In solid white, Ligne Roset’s new Ploum sofa by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec does indeed feel like you’re sitting on a cloud. In solid red, the piece has a completely different effect, like a piece of Pop art. (Ligne Roset)
Milan furniture fair 2011
In the vast exhibit halls of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the booths sometimes are more interesting than the furniture. Veraschin’s installation included metal-framed room dividers woven with rope. The design separated spaces while preserving an open plan, and it cast interesting shadows to boot. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Enrico Bosa and Isabella Lovero, who design under the name En & Is, showed MegaPhone at the Salone Satellite area for emerging designers at the Milan furniture fair. As the name implies, the ceramic piece is an old-school, unplugged music amplifier for an iPhone or iPod. “It’s a digital Gramophone,” Bosa said, smiling as a Ferdinando Buscaglione tune crackled with a days-gone-by tone. Bosa said the piece, which includes a walnut base, will sell for 250 euros, about $360. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Also in the Salone Satellite area for emerging designers: Elisabeth Warkus’ clever LED lantern that operates off a manual wind-up mechanism instead of a plug. She said a minute of winding would illuminate the lamp for about 20 minutes. Though the fixture is portable, its handle fits nicely on a solid oak lantern stand that in itself looked interesting. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Also in the Salone Satellite area for emerging designers: Raphael Charles’ concept for a flexible coffee table composed of wooded cylinders. Each cylinder has a magnetized covering, so it will stick to other cylinders and ultimately form a flat, usable surface. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
In the Salone Satellite area for emerging designers, Szymon Nawoj demonstrates the Coffee bench that he designed with Karolina Tylka. The bench’s sculpted pieces can be flipped to form side armrests or a center table — a place to set down your coffee. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
In the Salone Satellite showcase of emerging designers at the Milan furniture fair, Jan Plechac showed his Icon collection of outdoor furniture based on classic indoor designs. Plechac said his goal was to make the pieces instantly recognizable and yet create as much contrast to the original as possible. Icon02, pictured here, is a riff on a Josef Hoffmann creation. (Kristina Hrabetova)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Plechac’s Icon03 plays off Gerrit Rietveld’s famed chair. (Kristina Hrabetova)
Milan furniture fair 2011
At the Salone Satellite area for young designers at the Milan furniture fair, a group of French students exhibited environments for animals, including multiple hen houses. The Poultree was created by Morgane Bertho and Claire Hansen. (L’Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Also among the French students’ designs: the Penthouse for chickens by Manon Dupouy and Tiphaine Lorant, who created enclosed platforms that rose to a high roost, accessible to an egg collector who can lift off the roof. (L’Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique)
Milan furniture fair 2011
If one piece of plumbing artwork wasn’t enough, design week visitors to La Triennale di Milano were treated to “Indian Mood,” a totem created by Terri Pecora and Nuala Goodman as a tribute to the Memphis group of Italian modernists. (Kresser Gunter Fotografia)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Among the exhibitions at La Triennale di Milano, the design museum of Milan: “The Fountain of Atlantis,” an installation by Giulio Iacchetti using sinks, toilets, bidets and urinals by Ceramica Globo(Craig Nakano)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Do you need to wipe the table clean when the table is made of soap? The Austrian design firm Pudelskern touted its Tabula Rasa during Milan design week, saying the surface acted like an amber-hued canvas for ideas to be written or sketched on. (Kresser Gunter Fotografia)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Close-up of the Pudelskern’s Tabula Rasa (Kresser Gunter Fotografia)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Salone Internazionale del Mobile, better known as the Milan furniture fair, is the main event but certainly not the only attraction during design week in this Italian city. Designers and manufacturers present their latest offerings in installations and events held across town. Here, a group of Swedish designers presented their work in one part of the Temporary Museum for New Design, staged every year in the fashionable Zona Tortona neighborhood. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
The Koi chair from the London-based firm Innermost was one of the pleasant surprises at Designjunction, a showcase of mostly British firms in Milan’s Zona Tortona neighborhood. Koi is something of a beautiful illusion: What at first looks to be stainless steel turns out to be thick wrought iron -- dozens of arcs welded by hand in a fish-scale pattern. Designer Jarrod Lim worked for two years in Patricia Urquiola’s studio before starting out on his own. He said the inspiration for Koi was the humble wrought iron gate design that was ubiquitous in Singapore, where he now lives. Those handcrafted iron pieces are being supplanted by machine-made aluminum gates, Lim said, so his intent is to revive the material, the design and the craft by translating the fish-scale pattern into outdoor furniture. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
The French studio Enko Creatio premiered its sculptural Islet tower, which looked like it would be quite at home among a stand of saguaro. The solid oak column contained the shower head, tub filler and hand basin faucet; the company said the oak had been finished to withstand exposure to water. (Enko)
Milan furniture fair 2011
The Knotty Bubbles chandelier designed by Lindsey Adams Adelman for Roll & Hill(Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
A closer look of the Knotty Bubbles chandelier(Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
The little Capello lamp from Molo Design is rooted in a classic: The marble base is actually a remnant from the production of Achille Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni’s classic 1962 Arco floor lamp, a dramatic arc of steel that sits in a marble-block base. When the block is cored to fit the steel light pole, the resulting marble cylinders had previously been tossed away. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
To mark Milan design week and to raise money for Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief, Molo Design created a special edition of its lighted Hobo handbag. A ring of LEDs illuminates the bag, which glows like rice paper and has a rising sun painted with red acrylic ink. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Spazio Rossana Orlandi, the most celebrated design store in Milan, gets crowded as design fans make their annual pilgrimage. This year about four dozen designers’ work is represented in Orlandi’s three-floor maze of gallery space and the courtyard. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
The Story vases at Spazio Rossana Orlandi in Milan are a project of the nonprofit Editions in Craft, the Swedish design studio Front and the Siyazama collective of South African women working in traditional bead craft. The designers of Front interviewed five Siyazama women, edited their personal stories and drew a template for how the letters could be laid out. The artisans then affixed the beads around a mold. After the beads were set, the mold was removed and glass was blown into the void, serving as a new backing to the beads and occasionally bulging through the lettering, creating an object that feels -- and is -- fully hand-crafted. Six vases were made as part of the collaboration, and each is priced at 1,440 euros, about $2,100, with the bulk of each sale going to the artisan who crafted it. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Chests of drawers made from old suitcases are the works of Hannah Plumb and James Russell, who work under the name Jamesplumb and were part of the Milan design week exhibition at Spazio Rossana Orlandi(Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Visitors to Milan’s Ventura Lambrate design exhibitions in the Lambrate neighborhood snap away at a showcase of student work from Kunsthochschule Kassel in Germany. Ventura Lambrate has emerged as a place where companies have begun scouting for young talent. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Lambert Kamps’ Fat Furniture collection is part of an exhibition called Designersblock, staged inside an old factory building in Milan’s Lambrate district. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
In Ventura Lambrate, one of the independent showcases held in conjunction with the Milan furniture fair, Emilie Pallard’s Domestic Disguises mohair blanket drew its share of attention. Pallard wasn’t present when we were by, but Particles, the gallery representing the artist, says the piece is about seeing the world from a different perspective and exploring “the gray area between being there and not being there.” (Erik and Petra Hesmerg)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Fabian Von Spreckelsen, a German student at the Academy of Fine Art Maastricht in the Netherlands, reclines on what looks like sculpture but is actually a giant rocking horse. Quarter-inch-thick sheets of steel are wrapped in leather requiring about 5,000 stitches to create the silhouette, Von Spreckelsen said. When mounted, the piece actually does rock in a realistic riding fashion. The designer, part of a student exhibit in Milan’s Lambrate design district, said a representative from Louis Vuitton already has expressed interest in the piece. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
The Ventura Lambrate is an emerging design even in Milan’s Lambrate neighborhood. Students and other emerging designers can showcase their work, often in abandoned factories. Pictured here: the Axechair by Floris Schoonderbeek, who designed the seats so that the top of an ax handle peeks through at each corner, just as it does atop its namesake tool. (Franco Forci / For The Times)
Milan furniture fair 2011
Leonie Aretz, a design student at Kunsthochschule Kassel in Germany, conceived a table anchored by a limestone base that weighs 42 kilos. The ash stick sits in an angled well inside the stone, allowing the aluminum table to pivot and move without moving the base.

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Article: Standouts and trends at the Milan furniture fair 2011

 (Franco Forci / For The Times)
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