Design Week in the heart of Milan, starting from via Durini: a compact journey through the furniture showrooms

One day in advance of the SuperSalone (which opened its doors on 5 September in Rho Fiera), FuoriSalone 2021 started last Saturday in the design showrooms. And, despite the absence of the traditional international crowds that flock to Milan during the pre-Covid Design Week, it cannot be said that the turnout was low. On Saturday morning, at 9:30, small queues had already formed in front of the showrooms in via Durini and surroundings.

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D Studio, via Durini 14

The big news, of course, was the opening of D Studio, the showroom that unites the Design Holding brands (B&B Italia, Maxalto, Azucena, Flos, Louis Poulsen and Arclinea)under one roof, designed by Massimiliano Locatelli with interiors by Piero Lissoni.

A project that tells, in a clear and exemplary way, what happens when a large group that includes historical brands, each with its own identity, creates a system.

The space of D Studio is huge but a background lightness is guaranteed by the numerous open skylights and by the windows that separate the different sections. The journey proceeds from multi-brand settings designed for interiors to zones dedicated to individual brands up to outdoor environments, delightfully set up with expanses of plants (and, in the basement, the sleeping area and the kitchen).

The result is a coherent language, albeit composed of elements in their own right, united by the common denominator of the quality of the product and the sophistication of the design: a perfect narrative for the international market which is the historical target of Made in Italy.

In short, what you breathe in D Studio is the promise of total planning in the name of quality that will certainly be of great appeal to architects from all over the world. Which, shortly, will be able to enjoy other D Studios that Design Holding intends to open shortly in the other design hotspots: New York, Shanghai and Miami.

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Natuzzi: the revolution continues in via Durini 24

Since the arrival of the new Chief Creative Officer, PJ Natuzzi, the Apulian brand has really changed its face. This had already been understood during the presentation of the latest collection and the impression is now renewed with the new 2021 furnishings. And now, entering the showroom in Via Durini, the feeling is one of welcome and lightness, a slow living that is a breath of fresh air. of fresh air at a time when many are rethinking the sense of living in the era of the pandemic.

It is beautiful how Natuzzi, which has always presented itself as a Mediterranean brand but which in the past winked a lot at "international taste", now translates that inspiration with flexible and multi-functional furnishings, capable of canceling the boundaries between in and outdoor, designed with materials that are as sustainable as possible and made with welcoming and inclusive shapes. Collections that interpret the flavors and know-how of the Italian and Apulian tradition in particular with an experimental contemporaneity.

The projects are by Formafantasma, Elena Salmistraro, Sabine Marcelis(all featured), Marco Piva, Massimo Iosa Ghini, Marcel Wanders Studio, Lorenza Bozzoli, Patrick Norguet.

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Archivio UniFor by Ron Gilad for UniFor, Corso Matteotti 14

An impeccable staging by Ron Gilard invents the space to present ArchivioUniFor in its first edition dedicated to Aldo Rossi. An operation on memory, which brings ancient works of which physical evidence remains in the company's archives to current events. Notes, sketches, reflections, colored plates: a precise reconstruction of a project work that has remained pending, which today becomes current thanks to the simple operation of stopping to look back and discover a different meaning to Aldo Rossi's talent.

UniFor puts into production four pieces that cannot be called new, yet they are. And what is striking is the modernity, the persistence of codes that appear eternal in contemporary speed. The Consilio table, the Parigi armchair, the Cartesio bookcase, the Museo chair. Four highly architectural furnishings, which find their place in an installation that continually mentions Aldo Rossi's gaunt and surreal language and his architectural projects.

Bravo Ron Girard in finding the right figure to interpret a space out of everyday reality and close to Rossian poetics. UniFor's bold choice to stop, pause, open drawers with old memories with the curiosity of those who discover their roots and memories only apparently forgotten. Could this be one of the effects of this period of forced immobility? If so, we can begin to count the good things left by the forced stop.

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Out of Ordinary, Cassina, via Durini 16

From the street, Cassina welcomes the visitor with an installation by Laura Tocchet, as a stylist for Vogue's Out of Ordinary project. The pretext was a shooting for the September issue of the fashion magazine, which then became the inspiration for recounting the materials of Cassina's sustainable turning point and the choice to re-edit Soriana, a 1969 collection by Afra and Tobia Scarpa in green.

The collection, in the new version, had already been presented by Cassina in spring, but in the current setting it is immersed in a contemporary context, in which two oversized characters made with the new materials of the collection live in the window of the flagship store in via Larga.

The real news, as far as products are concerned, is Middleweight, the first sofa designed by Michael Anastassiades for Karakter, the Danish brand acquired by Cassina. “The creative process of design cannot be accelerated,” comments Anastassiades. “It is necessary to lengthen the process as much as possible and allow the time necessary for the ideas to mature”. The result is, according to the designer, exactly what he had imagined. An essential piece, a new archetype, which follows the recognizable path of Anastassiades' work. Legible materials and very simple shapes in a project that superimposes Italian formal standards - the chaise longue - on the compactness of Scandinavian proportions.

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The Welcoming Room, Marazzi, via Borgogna 2

The setting by Citterio Viel for Marazzi, The Welcoming Room, is beautiful, which tells of the union of spaces, marked by the increasingly massive and versatile use of ceramics. “We wanted to design a welcoming and convivial home environment, a space that celebrates not the kitchen but cooking, not the living room but being together”.

It is therefore the actions, the ways of living, the real protagonists of this interpretation of the environments that we like because it starts from afar (that is, it takes into account social and technological evolution), and of the diversity between cultures in the continuous and fruitful tension between tradition and modernity.

The collections used, Mystone Travertino in the Navona version, were used in the glossy oval mosaic format, together with the Crogiolo Rice collection in the Natural shade (sizes 5x15, 7.5x20 and 15x15 cm), while Mystone Travertino Silver was chosen for the kitchen top. The play of references is constant, created through the material and the colors, in the name of a warmth that the contemporary home needs more and more.

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The FuoriSalone 2021 of Light: mist to Corso Monforte


Photo cover: ArchivioUniFor dedicated to Aldo Rossi, installation by Ron Gilad; UniFor Showroom, Corso Matteotti 14. Ph. DSL Studio.