Not just high-tech robots, exclusive, refined tailor-made details, pieces from the past reinvented (the widespread phenomenon of reissues), were in the spotlight at showrooms, galleries and apartments lent to possible dimensions (and dreams) of living in the Expo city.
The spaces of the majors often became crossroads between forms of excellence (mostly culinary) of a specific territory, and there were also ‘institutional’ updates: furnishings and systems with an experimental (but engineered) spirit, conceived as works of architecture (to live in a fluid, malleable way, between formal and informal comfort), personalized (an expression of a sensory approach based on even strong contrasts of materials and colors).
Not to mention the offerings of many unexpected start-ups. Near the Madonnina, the afternoons of design always have blue skies. Even though they don’t take overt risks. Because today, more than ever, companies and designers know that synergic investment – governed by prudence – in research and innovation, connected to the tradition and the culture, specific linguistic backgrounds and forms of know-how, remains the only way to approach the global challenges of the future, which above all await the new generations.
The installation by the internationally renowned artist Tony Cragg (in the portrait) on the terraces of the Duomo in Milan for Expo 2015: the seven sculptures (in bronze, carbon fiber, marble, fiberglass, stainless steel) marked by ascending movements towards the heavens face off with the pinnacles and centuries of history of the cathedral.
In the Artemide showroom on Via Manzoni, the installation Free Pixel by Carlo Ratti.
In the Artemide showroom on Via Manzoni, the installation Free Pixel by Carlo Ratti: a robot controls 1000 LED pixels on a panel to create always new luminous configurations.
Istituto Marangoni presented, with Cappellini, in the showroom on Via Santa Cecilia, miniature prototypes of lounge seating created by the students of the Masters program in Italian Product Design, including The Hive – A chair for an airport, designed by Maria Aramburu Mulas.
Cosentino Group chose Bianchi Café & Cycles on Via Felice Cavallotti as the location to present Twilight by Monica Förster, a family of table accessories and candle holders for outdoor use, in Dekton®.
The “Cabinet of Curiosities” installation by Piero Lissoni, with styling by Elisa Ossino, transformed the Porro showroom at Via Durini 15 into the ‘refined boutique of a tailor’ to celebrate the brand’s 90th anniversary. Ten boxes by international designers explored the theme of storage and research on materials, two key concepts for the brand. In the foreground, Veiled Box by Front, in wood; background, Inside the Box by Soda Designers, in solid aluminium.
The Ulla seat with armrests (structure in an X of Canaletto walnut, padded seat and back), new product from the collection designed by William Sawaya.
With an added leg and a four-point support, the Sniper Steel table was shown in high and low versions. The dark graphite painted top underlined the monolithic image.
The Sniper Bronze dining table by David Adjaye for the new collection of Sawaya & Moroni, displayed in the showroom on Via Manzoni. Round, with three inclined legs projecting from the center outward, and connected in a sculptural way to the top, the table is made with polished cast bronze.
The Cartoon armchair (with an enveloping chassis in blanched oak or Brazilian chestnut that combines seat, armrests and part of the back), new product from the collection designed by William Sawaya.
In the B&B Italia showroom on Via Durini, Butterfly by Patricia Urquiola, the first textile seating system created specifically for the Outdoor collection, shown together with a family of complements.
The space in Palazzo Gallarati Scotti, home of the new flagship store of Poltrona Frau on Via Manzoni, full of enveloping darkness for ‘Making Masterpieces’: noises, sounds and films evoked tools and hands at work, at Tolentino, the factory and ‘fulcrum of craftsmanship’ of the brand that is over 100 years old.
Molteni&C, a brand celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, in the flagship store on Corso Europa, hosted the Kristal vitrine-wardrobe designed by Dante Bonuccelli, set up for the occasion with the collection by the Greek jewelry designer Bela Louloudaki.
Molteni&C, a brand celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, in the flagship store on Corso Europa, hosted the new Eames Plastic Chairs by Vitra, updated for the height of the seat and the range of colors and materials.
Among the new offerings in the Driade collection, at the new showroom on Via Borgogna, under the artistic direction of David Chipperfield, the Elisa armchair by Enzo Mari and the Zigzag bookcase by Konstantin Grcic (a project from 1996, updated, also in the matericchromatic range).
For Venini, Ando Time, the vase-hourglass designed by the architect Tadao Ando: the composition of two glass volumes, a prism with a triangular base (outside) and a cylinder, with two elements of different colors (inside), connected by a titanium part that lets the sand flow through. The excellence of Venetian glass, blown and crafted by hand by the master glassmakers of Murano, meets with advanced engineering (in the manufacture and refinement of the mold).
Ron Arad seen with some innovative pieces from the Signature Collection (decanter, white-red wine glasses, party gear) designed for the Turkish brand Nude and made by hand in glass.