A selection of the most interesting furnishings to see in the Rho exhibition spaces, including energy-saving lights, (many) outdoor proposals and solutions that suggest new, more fluid ways of experiencing the home

An edition that does not disappoint, despite a few fewer exhibitors (this year there are 2,000 companies present, compared with 2,173 last year).

The Salone del Mobile, until Sunday 23 April at the Milan Rho returns to the 61st edition with all its creative energy and innovative thrust, confirming itself as the most important event in the world for the furniture sector, the place to be to discover new trends and to touch first-hand how the way of designing and living the home evolves.

A courageous Salone del mobile that looks ahead, redesigns spaces and perspectives, and tries to imagine a trade fair model that knows how to adapt to the times, an attractive and unmissable place where, in addition to the (incredible) proposals from companies , it is possible to participate in talk and see exhibitions and very high-profile installations, such as those curated by Beppe Finessi this year for Euroluce (read the interview here).

Just one consideration: the Euroluce exhibitions are many and all beautiful, they deserve more than a hit and run visit, why not extend them beyond the week of the fair?

Returning to the products, it is impossible to see everything, we have tried to draw up a personal top 10, certainly not exhaustive, of the novelties relating to the furniture sector, which will be followed by a more detailed study of the most interesting novelties seen at Euroluce.

Supermax by Antonio Citterio for Flexform (hall 5 - stand E11)

More than a single Flexform product, the entire set-up should be mentioned: a luxuriant exotic garden, flooded with light, where you can take a break on the soft sofas among large specimens of bamboo and schefflera.

Flexform this year presents 'few' new products, a total of 16, 8 for interiors and 8 for exteriors, and we think it's the right balance, because furniture companies should shy away from the typical logic of fashion to present dozens and dozens of new collections every year.

Producing less, and better, focusing on functionality, durability, timeless lines that never go out of fashion, for furnishings to be handed down, always up-to-date.

Maybe this is not true sustainability? An example of the longevity of furniture is one of the Flexform novelties: Supermax, for indoors and outdoors, the evolution of Max, the sofa designed by Antonio Citterio in 1983, an incredibly modern project after forty years.

Brise by Federica Biasi for Gervasoni 1882, pad 5, stand D11

We like Federica Biasi because it is coherent, with a recognizable, feminine, delicate, never banal sign.

Witness Brise, the outdoor seat for Gervasoni 1882, where the special feature is the back strong>, thin but incredibly resistant, which reminiscent of Vienna straw but is in laser-carved wood.

A compact, handy, robust seat to be left out all year round, which embellishes the dining area on the terrace, in the garden or on a patio.

The plus: the exquisite detail of the nautical tape that fixes the elements to the structure, tone-on-tone colour.

Roche Bobois, hall 6, stand C24

A hymn to joy, a breath of fresh air: this is Bombom, the colorful outdoor collection designed by Joana Vasconcelos for Roche Bobois strong>.

After having created the mammoth organic scenography for the Parisian Dior fashion show, the Portuguese visual artist lands in Milan to design at the fair a stand entirely dedicated to the new Bombom collection, which already puts you in a good mood from the name: sofas, carpets and pillows that look like sweets, with fluid and sinuous shapes and greedy nuances that are inspired by the pastel-colored facades of the old houses in Lisbon.

“As a woman and a Portuguese, the savoir-faire and materials of my culture are essential”, says the artist. “The azulejos that cover both the interiors and exteriors of our buildings, or the crochet doilies that are present in all Portuguese furnishings and that cover sofas, tables or televisions.

For me, this collection in collaboration with Roche Bobois represents the perfect alliance between art, design and life”.

Also not to be missed is the showroom in Milan, in via Felice Cavallotti 14, where Joana Vasconcelos has created a majestic Valkyrie of about 45 meters and suspended at a height of 8 meters .

See also: FuoriSalone 2023: the showrooms not to be missed

Railway by Giacomo Moor for Living Divani (hall 7, stand C11)

Carola Bestetti, one of the most refined and acute talent scouts, CEO of the family company Living Divani, recruits >Giacomo Moor, a young Milanese designer-carpenter.

The result of this new collaboration is the Railway container: “It is the result of a research path around industrial semi-finished products that has accompanied me for some time and which has seen Living Divani as the perfect interlocutor both for his integrity of sign and language and for his ability to solve technical complexities", says the designer.

A container that opens and closes without complex mechanisms, but only thanks to the square-section metal tubing which, when rotated 45 degrees, becomes a track for sliding the door.

With an apparently simple gesture, Giacomo Moor teaches us that doing with less is possible.

Line by Alessandro Mendini, a 2015 drawing produced by Porro (hall 7, stand D 15)

Alessandro Mendini is always with us, thanks to the commitment of his daughters Fulvia and Elisa Mendini.

From an accurate research work in the archive of the designer-artist who died in 2019, Porro rediscovers and puts into production for the first time Linea, three containers strong> very colorful, made with a patchwork of inlaid surfaces in cellulose acetate.

“The name Linea was chosen because the composition of the volumes and also of the decorations of these pieces of furniture is based on the crossing of a few precise straight lines, whose play in elevation and in plan it determines all the aesthetics, all the functionality of the product", wrote Alessandro Mendini in 2015.

Two sideboards and a desk, which will be published in a limited series of 50 pieces each, expressions of Porro's craftsmanship, furniture between art and design that tell the need for decoration in contemporary life, eschewing a tout-court minimalism, and at the same time paying homage to a great master.

Tevere by Raffaello Galiotto for Nardi (hall 10, stand E27)

Nardi carries on the Regeneration industrial program for the production of used plastic outdoor furniture.

Among the novelties of this commitment is Tevere, the new extendable table for outdoors designed by Raffaello Galiotto, art director of the Vicenza-based company, with an aluminum base and slatted top in regenerated plastic which is in turn 100% recyclable.

A project that required a long development to obtain a robust, resistant regenerated plastic top that is not afraid of bumps and scratches, resistant to atmospheric agents, and which integrates harmoniously with nature, thanks to the earth color and texture deliberately rough.

The first Molteni&C outdoor collection (hall 4, stand A3)

Molteni&C makes its debut in the outdoors and does so with a massive approach, with a collection coordinated by the creative director Vincent Van Duysen, with signatures from Foster + Partner to Ron Gilad, from Gio Ponti to Luca Meda.

“As in the 2022 indoor collection, also in the new outdoor proposal I have pursued an idea of soft well-being, of organic playfulness in an architectural vision of furniture”, says Van Duysen.

“I was inspired by modernism to recall the idea of permeability and transparency between internal and external spaces and that intimate connection with light and the nature".

The first outdoor collection by Moteni&C is in turn made up of three collections: Landmark collection, a tribute to the Palinfrasca sofa by Luca Meda from 1994, now with a backrest intertwined with bands in natural teak or polyurethane eva, the result of a complex workmanship of high cabinetry that recalls that of baskets; the Timeout collection by Vincent Van Duysen, with refined outdoor elements inspired by the soft forms of modernist architecture; and the Heritage collection, with a re-edition of the chaise longue D.150.5 and the armchair 154.2 by Gio Ponti. For an author outdoor.

The first outdoor collection (and the novelties for indoor) by Poliform (hall 5, stand A3)

Among the great outdoor debuts there is also that of Poliform, which presents Mad Out, the extension of the Mad by Marcel Wanders.

“With a focus on craftsmanship, I wanted to create a range of outdoor furniture that is not only stylish but also durable and functional,” says the designer. “Each piece has been carefully designed and crafted using high quality materials to ensure longevity, making them perfect for use in all weather conditions.

The extension of the Mad collection ensures that the outdoor collection integrates seamlessly with the existing indoor range.

The structure translates into an handcrafted weaving technique for an effect of transparency and light, which makes these pieces suitable for outdoor use, while maintaining the style of the archetype of a classic indoor armchair”.

Available in three colors (cream, brick and brown) and combinable with tables made of lava stone, the Mad Out collection consists of a 3-seater sofa, armchair and small tables.

The outdoor collection can be seen in the charming cloister of San Simpliciano, in the city.

At the fair, on the other hand, the company presents its proposal for interiors, where the movable walls to separate, but not too much, the rooms of the house stand out, to give life to boxes' in 'boxes', solutions for flexible interiors that adapt to the needs of daily life, with rototranslating doors that do not need a track on the ground, which offer freedom of movement and ease of installation, never seen before.

Lago (hall 4, stand F8)

Even if it is not a piece of furniture, the multi-year stand Good House of Lago deserves mention, created for the first time last year, and which will be reused several times, a totally recyclable structure that guarantees the avoidance of up to 87 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, created in collaboration with Henoto and Spinlife, Spinoff of the University of Padua.

Read also: A reusable stand at a fair: is it possible?

According to data from Professor Manzardo of the University of Padua, if all the stands in the world were built with this approach, it would be possible to avoid up to 239,982 tons of CO2 equivalent in the atmosphere, which is equivalent to the consumption of 192,293 average Italian families.

Furthermore, on the occasion of Design Week 2023, Lago is launching Never stop leading the change, an invitation addressed to customers, professionals, operators in the supply chain to approach sustainability with empathy, cooperation and firmness.

"With Never Stop Leading The Change we want to renew the urgency of being protagonists of change by concretely taking charge of the issue of sustainability under many aspects", says Daniele Lago, ceo & ; head of design of the family business.

“The Salone del Mobile must be a pretext and an additional demonstration for the entire furniture sector that this objective can and must be achieved. For some time now, Lago has placed the challenges of our times among the cardinal points of its journey, a real moral duty as a community of people and as a company.

This year we are giving a new form to our commitment with the Lago Sustainability Circle, a corporate hub to channel those efforts and resources that have already seen investments of almost three million euros and which involve a quarter of all the personal Lago, a true multi-engine train in this too”.

Don't miss the sustainability talk on Wednesday 19 April in Casa Lago at 6.30pm, moderated by journalist and curator Laura Traldi, Ruggero Rollini, science communicator, author of Superquark+ and Omar DiFelice, ultracycling champion, who will contribute to the Lago Sustainability Circle providing an unusual point of view on climate change.

Jubilé by Fernando and Humberto Campana for Edra (hall 2, stand E15)

“We don't have a notebook, we don't start from drawing, but we always start with manual skills, with the idea of playing.

The material is always a challenge, a passion, to create hybrids and estrangement”, says Humberto Campana, who for Edra strong> designed the sculptural Jubilé mirror with his brother Fernando, before his death in November 2022.

A large floor or wall mirror made up of 25 shapes of irregular mirrors.

A work of high artistic value, created by hand grinding the 149 sides of the shapes, all different in shape and size.

“Each work is a celebration of life”, continues Humberto Campana, “I don't really think about the space it will inhabit, because it doesn't matter where it ends up, this is the main message it will bring with it. Jubilé is a special project, as the name indicates, it is in fact our way of celebrating twenty-five years of collaboration with Edra".