The Finnish Design Shop team checked out the new products at the largest design event in Europe, the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in Milan. The current trends included classical materials and the clean lines of the Bauhaus school that turns 100 this year. View our favorites from Milan!
The Linear Wood furniture by Muuto replicates the familiar design language of the outdoor furniture series unveiled earlier this year, but its material is massive oak and oak veneer. The tables and benches designed by Thomas Bentzen bring a simplistic Nordic style to homes as well as public spaces.
A wall lamp for the popular Ambit series by TAF Studio is another new product from Muuto. The hand-painted aluminum shade turns by 60 degrees and the arm by 120 degrees, making Ambit suitable for many different uses.
At the fair, Louis Poulsen introduced new lamps by the Danish architect Vilhelm Lauritzen (1894–1984). In the VL Ring Crown pendant lamp, designed in the 1940’s, the rounded opal glass shade has been combined with a brass frame. The elegant lamp is available in four different sizes and also as a wall lamp.
The new features in the YUH lamp series, designed by GamFratesi for Louis Poulsen, are the brass frame and the black and white marble feet of the floor and table lamps. “The first YUH lamps were simplistic with a limited color palette. The new version brings a warm atmosphere to interior design, and each stone base is unique,” say Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi.
At the Milan fair, Vitra introduced a large color update to the chairs designed by Charles and Ray Eames.
The colors and upholstery of Vitra’s Eames chairs will be updated in early June. Three new colors were introduced for the Fiberglass Chairs designed by Charles & Ray Eames that became available in February. Of the current colors of the plastic chairs, four will remain and ten entirely new shades will complement the collection.
Vitra’s stand was one of the most popular at the fair, and their room-like interior designs included familiar classics as well as new products. Hella Jongerius’ playful and extremely comfortable Vinder couch made a particular impression on the Finnish Design Shop team.
Artek was part of Vitra’s section with the new Atelier wooden chair designed by TAF Studio whose lightness, stackability and durability were highlighted. Artek’s other novelties were on display at the inspiring FIN/JPN exhibition in downtown Milan. We’ll return to that in the second part of our Milan Design Week report.
This year is the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus school, and Bauhaus and modernism were some of the main trends at the Milan fair. The style was clearly visible at the ClassiCon stand that displayed things such as the lamps and furniture by Eileen Gray (1878–1976) from Ireland.
Nikari’s section with its light shades and wooden surfaces stood out positively in Milan. New products by the brand included the upholstered Akademia chairs by Wesley Walters and Salla Luhtasela as well as the multi-purpose Osa furniture by Alfredo Häberli that are suitable not only for shelves, but also for seats and side tables.
The forgotten American designer Paul McCobb was once again a hot name in Milan. Furniture and lamps by McCobb, who passed away in 1969, were part of the collections of several manufacturers.
The Danish design brand Karakter has expanded its collection. We were impressed by the new Hang Around coatrack by Canadians Derek McLeod and Joy Charbonneau and by the streamlined 1950’s console table by Paul McCobb (1917–1969), which has re-entered production.
Daniel Rybakken’s Fienile table lamp contains clear references to architecture. Fienile is Italian for a barn; the name of the lamp refers to the farm where the Norwegian designer’s grandfather grew up. The lamp with an aluminum frame is dimmable and available in four colors.
The popular Atollo lamp designed in 1977 by the Italian Vico Magistretti (1920–2006) was displayed at Oluce’s section as a stylish bronze version. Depending on the lighting, the surface of the lamp looks almost black, but up close, the metallic brown color comes out in a sophisticated way.
Cecilie Manz has designed simple and streamlined Post chairs and a table for Fredericia. The name of the collection comes from a post office that currently serves as Fredericia’s showroom in Copenhagen. The bent plywood seat and round wooden legs give character to an otherwise minimalist design.
Gebrüder Thonet Vienna
Gebrüder Thonet Vienna, which manufactures classic furniture by Michael Thonet (1796–1871), has updated rattan furniture to also suit modern interiors. The new Mos bench by GamFratesi features trendy rattan weave sides. This seat is suitable for the entry hall or the bedroom, and it was one of the favorites of the Finnish Design Shop team.
The special version of String Pocket was launched in Milan to celebrate the brand’s 70th anniversary.
String already introduced its new products for the spring in February in Stockholm, but they had saved the special version of String Pocket that was launched to celebrate their 70th anniversary for Milan. Its side panels are powder-painted stainless steel, and they have been processed to the same shade as the edges of the shelves made of Optiwhite glass. Of this shelf designed by Mats Theselius, only 2019 copies will be manufactured, and it will be available from Finnish Design Shop in the fall.
The Swedish Articles and the Finnish carpet designer Kristiina Lassus who lives in Italy participated in the fair through a joint stand. On display were Lassus’ impressive, hand-woven rugs and new products from Articles, such as the Softcolumn table designed by Björn Dahlström whose legs have been covered with pleated cloth.
Astep’s new Nox lamp utilizes innovative wireless induction charging technology.
The lamps by Danish Astep are manufactured in Italy. The dimmable and portable Nox lamp designed by Alfredo Häberli that utilizes innovative wireless induction charging technology made an impression on us. The firm Nox provides 15 hours of illumination with a single charge and is also suitable for outdoor use.
The highlights of the lush stand of Italian Magis included the Linnut light sculptures by Oiva Toikka. The new material of Toikka’s bird characters, rotation-moulded polycarbonate, gives the light sculptures an exciting surface that strongly resembles blown glass. Wireless lamps implemented together with Iittala are a fun addition to the terrace as well as the children’s room. Eero Aarnio’s Puppy dogs were also introduced in five new colors.
At the Satellite section for young designers, one of the things we liked was Ilja Huber’s clever Baschnya lamp whose three parts also act as independent light fixtures. In January, Huber won the Pure Talents Contest 2019 at the imm cologne fair with his lamp made of blown glass and anodized aluminum.
Some of the featured products will become part of Finnish Design Shop’s selection during this year. In the second part of our Milan Design Week report, we will take a look at the new products displayed at the city center and the most interesting exhibitions.
Text: Mikko Vaija Images: Manufacturers