Milan Design Week recently ended, the international event that involves the entire city: whether at the trade fair Salone del Mobile in Rho or in the city itself.
There were 2,175 exhibiting brands present, with 600 young designers. Over 262,000 visitors checked in over six days, from 173 countries. Meanwhile, 61% of buyers and industry professionals who attended were from abroad. There was also a strong press presence, with over 3,500 journalists from all over the world.Milan is establishing itself as a meeting point for the furnishing trends of the future, let’s discover them together!
1 Designed for people
The repeated lockdowns brought homes into the foreground and physiologically led to an evolution in design and furnishing to make them more “people-oriented”. Brands and designers got to work on making them more comfortable and practical. The projects – from the most traditional to the most minimalist, from nature-inspired to more architectural ideas – all focused on an eco-friendly approach, respecting materials and the environment.
2 The shapes
There are multiple shapes – ranging from “less is more” to “extra-bold”, from organic to chiselled – but all designed for guaranteed comfort, efficiency and practicality. Undoubtedly, curves have influenced everything in some way: from sofas to rugs, from coffee tables to wall mirrors.
3 The colours
Design is lit up by colours, with hues from the Eighties a new favourite: green, periwinkle blue, sapphire blue and lavender. Among this triumph of colours, the designers dive into nature with abstract natural scenes, immersive landscapes and moonscapes, jungles and flowers. Alongside this brilliant colour palette, there’s also room for soft and natural hues.
Ph: Kartell + Missoni
There remains a constant liaison between design and the fashion world, with luxury brands influencing the furnishing world with their style ideas. For example, Louis Vuitton has created a comprehensive collection of furnishing based on the concept of nomadism; the designer Philippe Starck has designed for Kartell, in partnership with Missoni, the chair with Eleganza Missoni upholstery, which recalls the brand's distinctive style by bringing the woven patterns onto jacquard fabric to finish off the chair.
Sustainability could hardy fail to pop up again and again, and was addressed through the use of recyclable materials, in the re-imagination of works from the past, and in the eco-friendly materials.One event worthy of mention is the exhibition Urban Matter(s), curated by Materially, which concentrated on issues such as responsible use of available resources, active reduction of pollutants already released into the atmosphere, overall reduction in use of materials and the transformation of waste materials/items into precious regenerated resources.
6 Slow design
Local craftsmanship and production methods reconfirm their own value. While the use of industrial machinery is obviously available, companies are now focusing on artisan production to give design items added value. Tactile qualities have also come centre stage: 2022 furnishing wants to be caressed, used in real life and not simply for decorative purposes.
7 Almost archetypal purity
Ph: Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano
One timeless trend comes in the “Less is More” philosophy, which however now acquires a new value: transversal-ness. The designers thus presented tables that can be regulated in height for multiple purposes; re-edited chairs that can become large seats when joined with additional elements; mini ping-pong tables that are also ideal as coffee tables, a small bench or as elements to extend other tables... The extreme minimalism of items means it is easier to add them both in business and domestic areas: for example, sofas and stools have been designed with an industrial/business use in mind, but are also ideal for homes.
8 The classics
Ph: Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano
Some projects are inspired by classic arrangements and seek soft and curvy details such as, for example, the collection of Eliseo chairs by Antonio Citterio for Flexform, which combines soft upholstery and welcoming shapes, or the Arcadia pouf, the result of a collaborative partnership between Gebrüder Thonet and Serena Confalonieri.The design world, after a long and enforced break, is now back, more creative than ever.