Salone del Mobile for 2018 and Milan Design Week is over now for another year and we were once again not disappointed. We found ourselves constantly surrounded by fine arts, contemporary design, stunning architecture and innovative forms of expression and commerce right across the city.
We've always known that Salone would be nothing were it not for the wealth of creativity, inspiration and innovation of the design community. And, to this end, the role that designers play in pushing vital conversations forward should not be underestimated. Exhibiting new products at Salone this year, many designers will find themselves asked to explain their unique perspectives, approaches and opinions on everything from their latest ranges all the way through to how we might be able to win the war on talent. Never has the perspective of the designer been more in vogue. Never has it been more important. And never has it carried quite as much clout as it has in 2018.
What we have noticed in recent years is the changing profile of 'The Designer'. Now that seemingly every sector and major economic mover-and-shaker is looking to bring more design thinking into the problem-solving process, our designers are enjoying a renaissance, placing their expertise at the forefront of mass innovation – and not only within the arena of design.
Initiatives like Salone only serve to reinforce this significance. Throughout the Salone period, designers from across the world congregate and collaborate to help push new cultures of best practice, new forms and modes of innovation, and spark new conversations and journeys for the future of design as a discipline. At all points, this philosophy of betterment – for the industry, for their practice and for the end user – distils down into the most macro of elements: products. A task chair contains an entire world history of innovation. A table speaks to new desires for community and sharing. A lamp seeks to shed light on new planet-friendly ways to create, innovate and make a change for good.
In light of this incredible transformation to design and the place that designers hold in the popular consciousness, we caught up with the P4 family of brands to find out exactly what they are all looking forward to, what their designers have kept themselves busy with, and where they believe the future of design as a discipline is heading.
At Salone for 2018, Maxdesign showcased the Max collection designed by Christoph Jenni. We recently caught up with Jenni to find out more about his work with Maxdesign on the new Max collection. Read all about his take on the collection's new shapes, forms, materials and colours, here.
Our friends at Maxdesign had remained pretty tight-lipped about Max before Salone, and they have certainly created a lot of anticipation surrounding this latest addition to the range. We don't want to spill the secrets just yet, so keep your eyes peeled for our in-depth interview with Maxdesign over the coming days for all the latest information, insights and inspiration surrounding Max!
Located handily in HALL 10, STAND D16, the team at Maxdesign shared their latest innovations with countless visitors and took many through their backstory and the brand's unique approach to product development.
Maxdesign's showcase for 2018 – 'DIRECTIONS: Mapping the Product's Journey' – delves deep into Maxdesign's strategic design thinking, the studio's philosophy and approach to contemporary design and the culture of collaboration the brand seeks to engender in working with the best talents in contemporary A+D.
A definite stand-out, Max by Christoph Jenni is an incredibly versatile piece. Using a consistent design language, while offering a wide range of variations to the chair – legs, finishes and sizes – Jenni's Max allows you to create the perfect chair. Most notably of all, however, is the sustainable approach taken through its development, which includes two types of eco-friendly materials in its construction.
For the 57th anniversary of Salone, True Design brought the spirit of fun, surprise and joy to Milan. After collaborating with the multidisciplinary design studio E-GGS, True Design exhibited the expanded Not collection designed by Gaia Giotti, Giona Scarselli, Christina Razzanelli and Marco Popolo.
Also in collaboration with Favaretto & Partners, True Design launched the new SHO Sofa and CLOUD Coffee Table – two designs characterised by inspired material choices, elegant linework and strong, sensuous forms. Read about the collaboration with E-GGS here.
In addition to launches for True Design's PATCH partitions (designed by Defne Koz), STONES (by Baldanzi&Novelli), a modular bookshelf ETHRIO (by Mario Tessarollo), and the family of tables and stools called TOD (by Parisotto+Formenton), True Design celebrated the latest addition to the brand's celebrated WING table system. Also by Parisotti+Formenton, WING's new system of containers and altered aspect ratio is more strategically targetted to the working environment to alleviate problems surrounding cable management, integrated technology and agile working behaviours. Read more about the design journey of the WING table, here.
The Swedish brand returned to Milan for Salone 2018 with a jam-packed itinerary of launches, installations and even a film series! HEMMA: Stories of Home is presented by Bla Station in collaboration with Swedish Design Moves in the Fuorisalone. Working with a lineup of big Swedish design names, HEMMA seeks to look forward to the future while still trying to improve the lifestyles of the individual and community by drawing increased attention to the balance of functionality and aesthetics in spaces and furnishings. In their own words, "Thanks to the initiative set up by the Swedish government in 2017 called Swedish Design Moves, Sweden has been steadily moving towards the global diffusion of its lifestyle and vision of spaces relating to sociality."
Setting some time aside to immerse yourself in the rich design history of Sweden was a must. And just when you thought you've had enough Swedish design, there was ofcourse Bla Station's stand at Salone to be inspired by the latest product launches including the LUCKY lounge. According to Luka Stepan, the designer behind LUCKY, "We felt that LUCKY could work in a more casual environment, not only next to a dining table. We have upgraded LUCKY thoroughly with a fully padded seat, contoured backrest and a more laidback geometry." Simplified, generous and oh-so-Scandi-chic, LUCKY is sure to leave an indelible impression on the world's design hunters on the ground at Salone.
Bla Station also showcased the latest additions to the multi-award-winning BOB. Now embracing additional modules and a new table system, BOB continues to set the standard for modularity for interior environments. As one of the standout designs of 2016-2017, these latest additions to BOB continue to make this product one of the most exciting products in P4's portfolio for many years. Read all about BOB's incredible journey, here.
Releasing three new designs – the MOUSSE Lounge, CHIPS and NUBE – Chairs&More returned to Milan this year to popular acclaim. Seeking to bring more distinction and influence between sectors, all three of the brand's new designs look into the shifting landscapes of the commercial and hospitality sectors, and the ways in which even the residential space is changing the culture of contract design.
Following its knockout release at Salone last year, Tommaso Caldera and Chairs&More return in 2018 with the latest iteration of MOUSSE: the MOUSSE lounge. As an armchair carrying all the aesthetic cues of its forebear, the MOUSSE lounge develops the initial design resolution anew with a more generous, embracing design specifically targeted to the evolving dynamism of the commercial and hospitality sector worldwide. Read our interview with Tommaso Caldera on the new MOUSSE lounge, here.
Arising from the collaboration with Roberto Paoli of Babah, NUBE is a seating collection of chairs and stools all bearing the characteristic quadrant of cushion-esque elements forming its shell. With either a metal sled or wooden base, NUBE's soft, elegant lines express comfort and aesthetics in one harmonious design resolution.
Developed with Studio Pastina, CHIPS arises from this inaugural collaboration between the two brands. As a collection of padded seats with fabric upholstery and an array of base options, the CHIPS collection makes a bold, confident statement about the place comfort ought to play in our day-to-day lives – whether that be at work, at a restaurant, or even at home.