The street of light, of the shops of historic brands that carry out a lively and often unpredictable design research: FuoriSalone 2021 in Corso Monforte

Light design has changed in recent years. Design has met - and sometimes clashed - with the evolution of light sources and advanced lighting technology. The LED has changed the cards on the table, has relaunched the interpretative possibilities. But this is a “leap” FuoriSalone, in which you can see the results of a reflective planning, on the products and on the historical identities of the brands. After so many chases to dematerialize the lamp object, it is time for something new.

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There is a redefinition of the object, which regains importance and becomes a design statement, as in the new Nile by Rodolfo Dordoni for Foscarini. There is a widespread desire to recover recognizable shapes and question them through the lightness of the design, as in the Koiné collection by Luceplan (the design is by Mandalaki Studio), which hides a new mineral lens behind a reinterpretation of the classic suspension.

And there is Artemide's commitment to building a perfect synthesis of the relationship between light and human beings, passing through a sophistry on the landscape, collective spaces, the natural environment and architecture.

Finally Flos, who faces the dragon of the fifty years of the parenthesis and is confronted with the beautiful story of the icon designed by Pio Manzù and Achille Castiglioni.

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Flos Store and Professional Space, Corso Monforte 9 and 15

Big crowd in front of the Flos store, every day. Because the lighting brand, for this FuoriSalone, has really put the big shots on the line. The great news of the Design Week was in fact the reinterpretation of the iconic Parentesi by Pio Manzù and Achille Castiglioni.

The operation, curated by the design curators Calvi Brambilla, consisted in the introduction of two complementary colors and each one representing the poetics of one of the two creators: blue for Castiglioni ("the color he had chosen to paint the doors of the house ”, Remembers his daughter Giovanna) and signal orange (“ my father used it for all the prototypes of cars he designed for FIAT ”, says Giacomo Manzoni, son of Pio Manzù).

The scenographic touch? The presence of a Fiat 127 (obviously orange) in front of the shop. The very special see-through packaging has also been put back into production, a true classic of design made of molded plastic abandoned for various problems a few years after the original launch of Parentesi.

Also not to be missed is the (more sober but projectually advanced) Oplight by Jasper Morrison, protagonist of the professional showroom, a few street numbers away: a wall lamp that revisits the typology, gives a decisive light and is assembled by interlocking (in view of any repairs and recycling at the end of their life).

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Foscarini, corso Monforte 19

The installation by Ferruccio Laviani, who invites visitors to "showcase themselves", is the setting for presenting two new products. The first is Nile, which marks the return of Rodolfo Dordoni from Foscarini. A table lamp in marble and glass, a powerful statement that restores the centrality of the lamp object. A dynamic balancing act of weights, different materials and geometries for one of those projects which, thanks to the solidity of formal codes, becomes avant-garde.

Alberto and Francesco Meda bring to Foscarini Chiaroscura, a completely different lamp. The brief asked for a luminator, a floor lamp which, in its traditional format conceived by Pietro Chiesa in '33 and then revisited by the Castiglioni brothers, creates an upward one.

The Meda respond with a work that changes the connotations of the typology, centered on the technical design, formal intelligence and graphic simplicity of the line. A triangular extruded aluminum associated with opal plastic elements frame the LEDs and also allow lateral light emission.

The great work that the company has done to update the pieces already in the catalog is also interesting.

New colors, different technical solutions to facilitate the maintenance of the lamps (and therefore their duration), small tricks in the choice of materials and the colors that relaunch the long sellers of the brand. It is not obvious to have the desire and the courage to improve what already seems perfect.

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Artemide, corso Monforte 19

The brand takes advantage of FuoriSalone 2021 to inaugurate the new exhibition space in Pregnana Milanese designed by Mario Cucinella (we talked about it here). In the city, the brand is present at the University with an installation also curated by Mario Cucinella for INTERNI Creative Connections: Il Mondo di Ernesto, dedicated to the founder of Artemide Ernesto Gismondi. The Corso Monforte shop, on the other hand, is the set chosen for its numerous novelties.

BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group is back, with a reworking project of the famous Gople. It is called Slice and it is above all a project that revolves around production measures that limit the waste of material. The shape, the size, the proportions change, but the design root is recognized: the work on a simple and instinctive language. The BIG studio is also the author of Stellar Nebula, a collection of blown glass suspension lamps. And by Vine Light, a task light made of a thin line that wraps around itself and two invisible joints that precisely regulate the direction of the light.

Mario Cucinella designed Kata Metro, an architectural light with which to create luminous structures. The novelty is the integration of color and graphic sign in a typological universe that has so far been much more sober.

Luceplan, corso Monforte 7

Balance and sobriety for Luceplan, starting with the setting up of the shop curated by the CCRZ studio. Two suspensions are featured: Koiné by Mandalaki and Levante by Marco Spatti. Inside, the new Doi family by Meneghello Paolelli Associati, Malamata by Studio Shulab and the Zile collection by Archirivolto.

In addition to these innovations, there are four articulated families of outdoor lamps (Flia by Alessandro Zambelli, Fienile Outdoor by Daniel Rybakken, Nui and Nui mini by Meneghello Paolelli Associati), already launched at the beginning of the year through digital channels and now also at the flagship store: is Luceplan's debut in outdoor lighting.

Overall, the novelties focus on unpredictable solutions and precarious balances, which bring back the theme of amazement and curiosity in the relationship with the luminous object (Doi and Malamata). Then there is the research on original materials and on the harmony between proportions and dimensions (Levante). And the reinterpretation of iconic, recognizable models, in which the usual lighting engineering research is added, more hidden, to the work of formal simplification.

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Cover photo: Parentesi 50, installation by Calvi Brambilla for the 50th anniversary of the iconic lamp by Achille Castiglioni & Pio Manzù in the store in Corso Monforte 9. Ph. Francesco Caredda.