DCA visits the Milan Design Show 2022
Published on: 14th June 2022
3 days, 59,654 steps and some incredible exhibitions later, Milan certainly did not disappoint. Here are our highlights from the show:
Salone De Mobile
Where earthy tones dominated the last Salone Del Mobile in 2019, this year we saw more pastels colours and softer tones increase in popularity, next to saturated eye-popping primary hues - a sign of optimism perhaps?
Vertical slatted features were everywhere at the event; on cabinets, walls, shower dividers, lights, sinks - if we could summarise Salone in a single sentence, we would describe it as the show of slats.
In the bathroom, we saw designers focus on simple forms with overt touch points. Often designers took this opportunity to introduce a playful, fun feel to these features.
In contrast, within the kitchen where space is at a premium there was a focus on cleaner lines, simplicity and minimalist living. Technology was hidden from view, often only revealed when in use. Visual interest was provided mostly by materials and finish; a further expansion of the use of ceramics and brushed metal.
As hybrid working is becoming the norm, designers are exploring how workspaces can be made more emotionally and physically comfortable, with a focus on soft furnishings, warm lighting, adaptive furniture and neutral tones.
The general softening extended into other areas as well; With the use of fabric and textiles becoming increasingly pervasive across all areas of design, now its expansion onto larger hard surfaces, like tables and walls, was notable. Milan’s showrooms displayed a wide range of wall coverings and tapestries, which exploited opportunities provided by advances in tufting, high frequency welding, weaving and embroidery on one hand, and manual craft on the other side. Moooi’s textured fabric wall coverings were a highlight example.
Outside of the fairgrounds, as usual, the emphasis was on immersive experiences, evocative design and storytelling.
Moooi x LG x IDEO
Moooi and IDEO presented Piro, a robotic scent diffuser that can move and dance in an immersive theatrical experience that captivated us. Suddenly awakening, Piro begins to move, explore, learn and communicate. Piro’s design and choreography challenged the cold, impersonal reputation of technology and robotics, and showed us how human-machine interaction can be warm and empathic, even moving to the point of eyes welling up.
Stratasys, in collaboration with seven studios, showcased their striking collection of 3D printed clothing, which seamlessly blended soft and hard materials.
We could not help but imagine the exciting opportunities the technology could create for both aesthetic and tactile design.
This beautiful area and venue in Milan was full of equally spectacular displays, from the Danish House to Vaarnii. Atelier oï and WonderGlass demonstrated beautiful light installations with an appearance of water. Citroën also exhibited a micro city car in collaboration with Les Ami de Ro, with a different art style represented on each vehicle, providing a fun and almost characterful display.
Tom Dixon celebrated twenty years of design at the Palazzo Serbelloni this year in an exhibition aptly named ‘Twenty.’ Here we saw a beautiful juxtaposition between the 18th century Italian architecture of the exhibition space, and the contemporary designs on display. Beyond showcasing some of the brand's most popular work from the last twenty years, we were given a unique insight into how the brand is continuously improving its approach to sustainability.
A Wrap Up
To wrap up, We were glad to be back, and we were not the only ones. The excitement was felt across town, the regained opportunity of cross-fertilisation, engagement and interaction with the physical that simply can’t get across through a computer screen.
We’re looking forward to next year’s edition.