Milan Design Week: Friday 15th April

Day Five of Milan Design Week saw the Vogue Living team head out to the massive Rho exhibition complex for the main event – i Saloni. Now in its fiftieth year, the fair features an overwhelming display of over 2,500 exhibitors and includes the furnishings exhibition, Salone Internazionale del Mobile, and the dedicated lighting event, Euroluce.

Moroso at Salone Internazionale del Mobile

Two days after being wowed by the Tokujin Yoshioka designed ‘Twilight’ installation and ‘Moon’ chairs, which were on show at the manufacturer’s showroom in central Milan, the Vogue Living team encountered the rest of Moroso’s 2011 collection at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile.

In  ‘BiKnit’, an indoor chair and chaise lounge by Patricia Urquiola, below, the distinctive stacked V’s of the stocking-stitch knitting technique become a decorative and structural feature. Urquiola’s design scales up the basic knitting pattern, replacing the yarn with a seamless stocking to create a tactile overblown knit surface that appears to have no beginning or end. With its sturdy wooden base, the piece appears to be harder edged evolution of the trend for knit surfaced homewares and furniture that Vogue Living drew attention to in the In Vogue pages of our July/August 2010 issue.

Also showing at the Moroso booth was the ‘Blur’ sofa, below, by New York designer Marc Thorpe. At this stage only a prototype, the minimally-shaped sofa plays with perception of space and scale with its its upholstered surface appearing to lose definition from one arm to the next. The effect is created by the specially printed shaded fabric, which is tinted an extreme shade fluorescent orange at one end before gradually fading and blurring into paler shades of orange and then white.

FLOS at Euroluce 2011

The Italian lighting manufacturer FLOS released a series of new products by designers Piero Lissoni, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, Antonio Citterio, Toan Nguyen, Phillipe Starck and Marcel Wanders. They also used the event to unveil the latest addition to Soft Architecture, a collection of lighting systems designed to integrate seamlessly into interiors that were first revealed at Milan Design Week in 2010.

The new Soft Architecture installation ‘Wall Rupture’, below, was designed by Thierry Dreyfus, an art director, artist and designer known for his sculptural approach to lighting and for devising memorable lighting environments for catwalk events by fashion houses including Dior Homme and Calvin Klein. Dreyfus’ sculptural contribution appears as a fissure within a wall’s surface, releasing a beam of jagged, radiant light produced by concealed LED light sources. The piece involves the tearing effect that Dreyfus first explored in ‘Hommage’, a limited-edition aluminium table released at Art Basel Miami Beach, featuring a dramatic golden crack in its surface.

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s ‘Piani’ table lamp collection for FLOS, below, was an example of elegant and practical design. Available in plastic, oak, wood or basalt stone and small and large versions the lamp features two simple elements – a flat topped light fitting and a flat bottomed base. The base of the shorter version is suitable for use as a tray or receptacle for coins, keys and other odds and ends while the extended base provides a shelf like support for of an array of objects. Meanwhile, the light fitting above provides a triangular beam of light to highlight the items displayed below.

You may also be interested in reading Vogue Living’s highlights from Day One, Day Two, Day Three and Day Four of the Milan Design Fair 2011.


Producers: David Clark and Zoe Jeffrey
Text: Madeleine Hinchy
Photographer: Paul Barbera

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