Launch Slideshow

2011 Milan Furniture Fair: Furniture

2011 Milan Furniture Fair: Furniture

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    Noah Kalina

    The Dutch Standard's wooden Moon chair added a little 2001: A Space Odyssey to the burgeoning new Salone neighborhood called Ventura Lambrate. thedutchstandard.com

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    Following up on her lauded wood-veneer textile, Eliza Strozyk (with artist Sebastian Neeb) dressed the Accordion Cabinet in garmentlike wooden knife pleats. elisastrozyk.de

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    At the "Nouvelle Vague" exhibition, Parisian studio A+A Cooren's Yabané dresser featured rounded corners and long, shinglelike, two-direction drawers. aplusacooren.com

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    Hanna Emilie Ernsting's Moody couch for Kkaarrll's wears upholstery several sizes too big for it, inviting users to snuggle up. kkaarrlls.com

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    Marsotto Edizioni's third collection makes marble look featherweight and includes pieces by James Irvine, Alberto Meda, Naoto Fukasawa, Maddalena Casadei, and Joel Berg. marsotto-edizioni.com

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    Noah Kalina

    Like its namesake, the Haiku Sofa by architects Stine Gam of Denmark and Enrico Fratesi of Italy is compact and evocative, if not quite poetry. gamfratesi.com

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    Noah Kalina

    Mechanical engineer-turned-designer Yuya Ushida's XXXX_sofa comprises eight injection-molded recycled PET components, which when snapped together, can also form a table and bench, and a stool that telescopes into itself for easy porting. yuyavsdesign.com, ahrend.com

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    Noah Kalina

    Dutch designer Lambert Kamps continued to develop his felted Fat Furniture series, addressing the West’s increasing obesity, with cartoonish seating and even a big-boned stepladder. lambertkamps.com

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    Noah Kalina

    Designed by Amsterdam-based Daan Mulder, the Form Follows Function sofa was inspired by liquid and organic forms and made from three 1.5mm steel sheets. daanmulder.eu

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    Noah Kalina

    In Ventura Lambrate's Light Space warehouse, Dutch designer Nic Roex demonstrated a new use for the spade with De Batsenkruk, transforming the spade from a work tool into a tool for relaxation. nicroex.com

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    Noah Kalina

    Werner Aisslinger’s Hemp Chair may be the world’s first heat-molded natural fiber monochair and has given the sustainable material new life—in an aesthetically sustainable way. www.aisslinger.de

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    Noah Kalina

    Moustache showed Matali Crasset’s trestle-based Instant chairs and table, Inga Sempé’s puffy pleated Tyvek cloud lights and Bertjan Pot's luminaires inspired by photo equipment. moustache.fr, matalicrasset.com, ingasempe.fr, bertjanpot.nl

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    Noah Kalina

    Pedrali's polyethylene rotational-molded indoor-outdoor Plus seating by Alessandro Busana includes the Plus Air lounger and the Plus Divanetto, whose large drain holes double as handles for easy carrying. www.pedrali.it

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    Noah Kalina

    For softness that never gets slouchy, Allure seating by Pedrali Lab for Pedrali features low-slung seats and tapered legs. www.pedrali.it

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    Noah Kalina

    At the fairgrounds, Morning Dew armchairs by Kati Meyer-Brühl for Brühl recalled a calyx but are available in a rather manmade red-check pattern. bruehl.com

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    Noah Kalina

    Antonio Citterio designed Grand Repos, with two sitting positions, and Panchina, an upholstered bench that serves as a stand-alone seat or matching ottoman for Vitra. www.vitra.com, antoniocitterioandpartners.it

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    Noah Kalina

    With the Jill collection, Alfredo Häberli reexamines the limits of laminated wood-shaping technology, twisting the laminated sheets like a ribbon until they meet in the seat. www.vitra.com, alfredohaberli.com

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    Noah Kalina

    Konstantin Grcic's latest experiment for Vitra, a swivel armchair called Waver, is a visual departure from the Munich-based designer’s past work and takes its cues from windsurfing and paragliding equipment. www.vitra.com, konstantin-grcic.com

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    Noah Kalina

    The stackable Tip Ton chair by Brits Edward Barber & Jay Ogersby for Vitra, though not a rocker of great amplitude, can be tipped forward by gently shifting one’s weight, movement that is believed to increase the flow of oxygen through the body. www.vitra.com, www.barberosgerby.com

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    Noah Kalina

    A rotational molded chair, Ravioli was created by London-based, Israeli-born Ron Arad for Magis. www.magisdesign.it, www.ronarad.com

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    Noah Kalina

    Brikolör, a four-man Swedish studio emphasizing self-produced, supremely well-crafted legacy furniture, built Bägar, a modular, tricolor glass shelving system, in cheerful shades of pink or tony, transparent grays. www.brikolor.com

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    Noah Kalina

    In the Baroque 17th-century Palazzo Durini, Nilufar Gallery furnished the heavily frescoed interior with work by Patricia Urquiola: spindle back chairs, boxy desks and wall "drawings" made by running one's hands over a sequined fabric by Jakob Schlaepfer. patriciaurquiola.com, www.nilufar.com

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    Noah Kalina

    Work by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola was all over the Milan map this year, including the comfy-chic Husk easy chair for B&B Italia. bebitalia.it, patriciaurquiola.com

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    Dilmos Gallery's best show in years showcased, among other things, the PlaidBench Collection, for which London-based Raw Edges Design Studio deconstructed and recomposed the archetypal public bench. raw-edges.com, www.dilmos.com

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    At the "Nouvelle Vague" show, Pool’s prototype Souviens Toi Que Tu Vas Mourir (Remember That You Will Die) reinterprets the ubiquitous monobloc garden chair as a symbol of vanity and mortality. poolhouse.eu

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    Noah Kalina

    A vanity table from the M-Collection designed by van Eijk and Miriam van der Lubbe of Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe for the renovation of the Muziekgebouw concert hall in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. www.ons-adres.nl

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    Noah Kalina

    A loveseat that is a part of the M-Collection furniture series developed by Niels van Eijk and Miriam van der Lubbe of Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe during the redesign of the Muziekgebouw concert hall in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. www.ons-adres.nl

Marble, Modernized
The apotheosis of the recent trend for making light (literally) of marble, Marsotto Edizioni’s third collection turned the Renaissance’s choice material on its head, making it look featherweight, tissue-thin and clean of line. Marsotto art director James Irvine produced improbably slender café tables by Alberto Meda, the cartoonish Poodle end table by Naoto Fukasawa and a slightly cantilevering, sharp-edged umbrella stand by the young Maddalena Casadei. Joel Berg’s cylindrical Luma floor lamps feature heavy stone “shades” that nonetheless glow like (marbled) rice paper. (See slide show.) marsotto-edizioni.com

In Perspective
Though co-founder Alisdhair Willis had moved on to new pastures and the old-school La Pelota space was given over to a dispiriting Hermès exhibition, Established & Sons’ creative director, Sebastian Wrong, remained firmly in place for his seventh collection. In it, for a second year in a row, Wrong included textiles, blankets, and carpets with, in particular, fantastical takes on the modern tapestry by Klaus Haapaniemi and Mia Wallenius. But it is with a piece that recalls the simplest gestures of early collections—his perspective-skewing Perspective shelving—that Wrong was at his strongest, using distortion as a way to see objects more clearly. establishedandsons.com

Structural
Works by Patricia Urquiola appeared at seemingly every turn this year. For B&B Italia, the Milan-based, Spanish-born designer produced the quilted, Bucky Fuller–esque Husk armchair (see slide show). Equally striking is her chaise lounge for Moroso, called Big Knit, which consists of a chunky wooden chassis strung with an industrial-scale stocking stitch made from “yarns” as wide as an arm. The stitch, vastly enlarged, serves as both surface and structure and gives new meaning to the term “cable knit.” bebitalia.it, moroso.it

(Don’t Stop) Knocking it Off
How Ligne Roset got license to produce Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s overstuffed, deeply tufted Ploum sofa—which so closely resembles their 2010 Quilt sofa and pouf for Established & Sons—is beyond us. We’re just glad they did. ligneroset.com, bouroullec.com

Frugal
Paris-based Moustache introduced designs that riff on European furniture classics: François Azambourg’s Petite Gigue, a three-legged oak chair, and Matali Crasset’s Instant line (see slide show), consisting of a plywood trestle table and matching seats. The tabletop is made of pieces leftover from the process of cutting the base. Waste not, want not. moustache.fr, azambourg.fr, matalicrasset.com

Smokin’
Hemp, that most ugly and clichéd of green materials, has been given new life in an aesthetically sustainable way. Werner Aisslinger’s Hemp Chair (see slide show) may be the world’s first natural-fiber monochair. Its cannabis fibers were molded under heat, using an eco-friendly adhesive, into a natural composite that looks great unfinished, and has the strength to cantilever in a swank, coolly laid-back curve. aisslinger.de

In the Mood
Announcing what we hope to be the last salvo in the Snuggie vs. Slanket war! For the exuberantly named label, Kkaarrll’s, Hanna Emilie Ernsting has created the Moody couch (see slide show). Moody’s upholstery is several meters too big for it, inviting users to snuggle up and in. There’s enough throw blanket for two, as long as one of you is a large piece of living room furniture. kkaarrlls.com, hannaernsting.com

Modular
Mechanical-engineer-turned-designer Yuya Ushida’s XXXX series for Ahrend is made up of eight injection-molded recycled PET components, including rings, joints, and four different lengths of stick. When snapped together, the elements create a deep honeycomb pattern that can be formed into a sofa, stool, table, and other configurations (see slide show). The stool can even be collapsed like a telescope for easy portage or storage. yuyavsdesign.com, ahrend.com

Finicky
Last year, the four-man Swedish studio Brikolör paid for a fair booth in which the designers displayed nothing because, at the eleventh hour, they were unsatisfied with the quality of their prototypes. This year, the booth was crowded with finely crafted pieces such as the arched, modular, tricolor glass shelving, Bågar, which resembles a Roman aqueduct but comes in cheerful shades of pink and in tawny, transparent grays. (See slide show.) brikolor.com

Brick House
To mark the 30th anniversary of Ettore Sottsass’ Memphis Movement, Milan’s Post Design Galleria commissioned English artist Richard Woods (co-author of the comic book-looking Wrong Woods furniture series for Established & Sons) to follow up on his red-brick bean bag of 2008 with the Red Brick collection. Woods hand-painted 16 pieces of limited-edition wooden furniture to resemble faux brick, including items such as a trestle table, a dolly-cum-coffee table, a retaining wall-like end table complete with wicker lamp, a leaning post topped with a single bare bulb and even a fireplace with a ventilation fan in the hearth instead of kindling. richardwoodsstudio.com, www.memphis-milano.it

Flowing
The stackable Tip Ton chair, designed by British design darlings Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby for Vitra, resembles a sled with long runners and a diminutive backrest. (See slide show.) Though not a rocking chair with great amplitude, the polypropylene Tip Ton can be set into motion with a gentle shift of one’s weight. Because movement increases the flow of oxygen through the body, office workers or anyone who sits for extended periods will benefit from a little tipple now and then. www.vitra.com, barberosgerby.com

Benchmarks
Further developing its Plaid Bench project of last fall, London-based Raw-Edges Design Studio has recently designed an entire PlaidBench Collection, including coffee tables, for Milan gallery Dilmos Milano. Shay Alkalay and Yael Mer deconstructed the ubiquitous public bench and recomposed its elements by slotting colored wooden varicolored slats into each other horizontally to create the seat or tabletop and vertically to form multiple, even extraneous, legs. raw-edges.com, www.dilmos.com

Changeling
The rudimentary, metal-fastened wooden frame of Minale-Maeda’s Wanna-be Wardrobe for Droog can be clad in various fabrics. Users even have the option to buy a few “garments” for their fashionista closet and change them out at a whim. But what to do when the closet that contains your clothes is a clothes-horse too? droog.com, minale-maeda.com

Back to Basics
Washington, D.C.–based Jonah Takagi’s New Basics collection features tables of surpassing (visual) simplicity that pack flat for shipping. Topped with recycled HPL-finished honeycomb, the table legs are made from FSC-certified ash with laser-cut and powdercoated steel hardware that gives the pieces a cleanly trussed look. ateliertakagi.com