Simon Fallon, Senior Associate at PMDL, brings us his highlights and impressions from this year’s Milan Furniture Fair.
May 8th, 2012
After taking a brief trip to Ireland to visit family, I arrived in Milan with an intention to open my mind and to hopefully see and experience inspiring designs on all levels.
Gladly my hopes were answered if not completely overloaded – from the opening of the glamorous and refined Wallpaper hand made at Brioni and Baccarat cocktail party in the Brera district, to the intimate and youthful Spazio Rossana Orlandi’s esoteric and eccentric collection of either beautifully designed or totally under crafted pieces.
My initial thoughts on this exhibition was that each exhibit seemed to represent its own suppressed political statement (or was I supposed to read it differently?).
It was like traversing an overloaded art gallery reflecting 19th century clutter to 20th century minimal surrealism. My initial thoughts were that chalk with cheese seemed to be the ’plat du jour’.
The use of natural materials such as stone, raw steel, brass, cork and solid timbers was a welcome relief from the ubiquitous moulded plastics that have been proliferated over the past 10 years.
The true delight was to see beautiful craftsmanship in a majority of these pieces in their use of both contemporary technology as well as hand craftsmanship. Both of these combined to exceed what I thought was possible within furniture design.
From the France Design space to the exhibits within Brioni, overall my belief is that its strength was simple ideas mixed with simple materials expressing an honesty and quality that I believe is emotive of the current environmental, political and economic climate.
The honest school of early 20th century designer William Morris is back! Lets hope its stays.
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