Highlights of the 60th Milan Furniture Fair

Salone del Mobile.Milano, or the Milan Furniture Fair, returns in its 60th iteration. PHOTO: AFP

MILAN (NYTIMES) - Three years after its last full-scale event, Salone del Mobile.Milano, or the Milan Furniture Fair, returns in its 60th iteration.

Over the decades, Salone, which is widely judged to be the world's pre-eminent design fair, has evolved into a platform for about 2,000 international exhibitors and a laboratory for ideas about sustainability in design materials and manufacturing.

This year, the fair includes Design With Nature, a 15,000 sq ft installation offering a "virtuous" vision of the future of home living. SaloneSatellite - a launchpad for young talent, which is returning for its 23rd year - has invited more than 600 participants to reflect on design that fosters "autonomy, comfort, movement, usability, interaction and safety for all" in a show called Designing For Our Future Selves.

Other exhibitions at the fairgrounds in the Milanese suburb of Rho are devoted to offices, kitchens, bathrooms and decorative housewares.

Salone anchors Milan Design Week, with hundreds of concurrent displays of furniture, textiles, tabletop objects and lighting in almost every pocket of the city. The fair and many of the surrounding events continue through June 12. Here are some highlights.

Interpretations of etiquette

One of the four dining vignettes created for the Buccellati exhibition in Milan, Italy. PHOTO: NYTIMES

In 1919, Mario Buccellati, a goldsmith from Ancona, Italy, opened his first boutique, attracting aesthetes such as poet-nationalist Gabriele D'Annunzio. That same year, Piero Portaluppi, a prolific architect best known for the Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan, designed a six-storey modernist office building in a historic part of the city.

Now, that building is Buccellati's headquarters and the site for a show of the jewellery company's tabletop items.

The objects, including four existing silver-service patterns and new porcelain that was designed with Italian brand Ginori 1735, will be arranged in four vignettes created by eminent designers - Dimore Studio, Ashley Hicks, Chahan Minassian and Patricia Urquiola - who are interpreting the theme of etiquette.

The exhibition will be available to view through June 12 at Via Brisa 5. Go to this website.

Illuminating Matisse's art

A floor lamp, part of the Fold collection created by Formafantasma for Maison Matisse. PHOTO: NYTIMES

Maison Matisse, founded in 2019 by Jean-Matthieu Matisse, a great-grandson of French artist Henri Matisse, has collaborated with designers such as Alessandro Mendini, Jaime Hayon, and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec to perpetuate the artist's philosophy.

Now, to celebrate Matisse's paper cut-outs - a late chapter in his career - designers Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, founders of Milan-based studio Formafantasma, have created a collection of limited-edition lights, called Fold, that reinterprets the cut-outs with steel, LED tubes and cut paper.

Although the results are more geometric than Matisse's organic shapes - most feature 90-degree angles, except for a sinuously curved wall light - some, including a red floor lamp, are coated with the artist's rich colours, a departure for the designers.

The show can be seen through June 12 at Studio Nerino, Via Santa Marta 21. Go to this website.

Furniture that celebrates the body

Lara Bohinc with a chair from her Peaches collection. PHOTO: NYTIMES

Slovenia-born designer Lara Bohinc is showing new furniture based on a voluptuous female form at the Alcova exhibition during Milan Design Week. And just in case that inspiration is not obvious from the billowing curves and creases, she is making her mission clear with the collection's name: Peaches.

"I'm lucky I'm not a man," she said by telephone from her home base in London, as she "would have to be very, very careful" about inviting people to sink into the provocative seating. "But because I'm a woman, I can celebrate my own body. It's the difference between objectifying something and celebrating something."

Having worked as a jewellery designer in the fat-shaming fashion industry for many years, she added, she was especially keen to honour a woman's "flesh and folds" and encourage acceptance of the body, "with all its faults".

The pieces can be viewed through June 12 at Casa Delle Suore, Via Simone Saint Bon 1. Go to this website.

Homage to history

The Tefnut low table, from the Temenos Collection by Studiopepe. PHOTO: NYTIMES

Galerie Philia, which deals in contemporary design and art, is presenting the first limited-edition works by Studiopepe, a Milan design agency founded by Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pinto.

Studiopepe's collection, Temenos, will be installed in a former Necchi sewing-machine factory in the Baranzate district outside Milan.

The designers collaborated with the Luigi Pigorini National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography in Rome on research into the ways that an object's function or purpose can be changed by the symbolism attached to it. Among the pieces on display will be sculptural, throne-like chairs in charred wood, tubular concrete lights and a low table made of tiered onyx slabs on what the designers call two "triangular prisms" of charred wood.

The show runs through June 12 at Baranzate Ateliers, Via Milano 251, Baranzate. Go to this website.

Crystallising a classic

The Arco K 2022 limited-edition floor lamp from Flos. PHOTO: NYTIMES

Italian lighting brand Flos was founded in 1962, the same year Arco - the floor lamp designed by brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, and one of the company's most famous products - made its debut.

The exhibition See The Stars Again, created by the studio Calvi Brambilla at the industrial space Fabbrica Orobia in Milan, will show new lights, including Arco K, a limited-edition version of the Castiglionis' celebrated design.

Instead of the original's marble base, this lamp's base will be made of a lead-free crystal used for optical prisms. This material, which reveals the model's inner workings, is cut very precisely to discourage knock-offs.

The exhibition can be viewed till June 24 at Via Orobia 15. Go to this website.

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