To us, this year’s Milan seemed to be more about designers and less about big manufacturers. There were three particular names which dominated the fair and our conversations. Working with manufacturers like Magis, Flos and Glas Italia and, of course, SCP, designers Konstantin Grcic, Jasper Morrison and the Boroullec brothers have produced stand-out future classics as well as extending previous successful collections.
Glas Italia, Zanotta and Knoll, the three furniture brands that left the biggest impression on us, launched new pieces by contemporary designers as well as revisiting their archives to reinvent iconic designs. Glas Italia showed colourful glass furniture by Patricia Urquiola and designers of the moment, Nendo. Zanotta presented new and older pieces from their collection on arguably the most beautifully curated stand in the fair. Knoll unveiled the new Pilot chair by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby and Bertoia chairs with a new polypropylene seat finish at their OMA-designed exhibition.
With Euroluce as part of the Fair this year, the lighting showing was particularly strong. For the second year running, Michael Anastassiades produced the most talked-about lighting collection in Milan. SCP favourites, Brooklyn-based Roll & Hill, showed additions to their popular ranges Endless, Halo and Agnes, alongside new designs by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio and Karl Zahn.
Off-fair, we visited Fondazione Achille Castiglioni where we took a tour of the studio presented by Castiglioni’s daughter. This precious piece of Italian design history is sadly in danger of being closed or moved away from its current space due to lack of funding. .
We also enjoyed Max Lamb’s exhibition, Exercises in Seating, which displayed 42 of his chair designs chronologically, from pieces designed at the RCA to more recent work.