Milan Furniture Fair 2011 - 1 of 3 - Tortona


I can’t believe the Milan Furniture Fair has come around again once more, time for Gelato, overpriced hotels, lots of walking and most importantly inspirational design. From April the 11th-17th Milan’s population expands to bursting point full of design professionals and design lovers.

The Salone Internazionale del Mobile (the Milan Furniture Fair) is the biggest and in my opinion the most important international fair in the whole design calendar. There is just so much to see and do, from the main Fiera, to Tortona and the hundreds of other event in town. Especially this year where the Salone was celebrating its 50th birthday.

With only 4 days to cram in as much design as possible, I clicked away with my trusty camera to capture as much as possible; also to remind myself what I actually saw after the product blindness set in!

So this year’s blog is from the side of the visitor rather than the exhibitor. To prevent your mind exploding from a photo overload I’ve split the Milan Blog into 3: Tortona, in the City and finally the mammoth i Saloni Fiera (including SaloneSatellite).

I’ve tried to remember as many company names and websites as possible...sorry if I’ve missed you out!


So first stop Trade YL (YL DESIGN), here you can see the Woody Wood rug  and Scarecrow an inflatable lounge mattress.


Dutch Summer Fans, Tortona Milan 2011

I loved the quirky Dutch Summer area, which included a range of designers work from the Netherlands. Dutch Summer works exclusively with sustainable materials such as certified wood and bio-degradable synthetic materials.


A handmade chandelier made with 400 fishing floats!


I was so tempted to buy one of these little chaps, called Woody’s, by Tweetlink. Made from wooden waste material.


Madame Eiffel, made from 324 little Eiffel tower key rings. The designer must have made the day of one of the street sellers of Paris!



These were diamonds cut in such a way that the polished surfaces were minute hearts and arrows, visit the 3820 website for more information and better photos.


A quick  water and pastry stop, then onwards!


Inside the Asian Atmospherics, were these low chairs designed by Jovana Bogdanovic, of Innovo Design. She’s Serbian designer now living and working in Hangzhou, China. Her use of colour, material and proportions really appealed to me.



Dip in Space by French designer Matali Crasset, this experimental and interactive exhibit was curated by Alexandra Midal HEAD (Haute Ecole d'Art et de Design) Geneva's. Visitors were invited to dip the white shapes into the red wax, creating some warped and interesting results!

L1050622L1050623L1050625Traviganti horse using 20,000 Swarovski elements..a bit bling don’t you think?!


One of the main areas in Tortona is Superstudio, there were 3 main areas within. For the third year Superstudio Più is home to the Temporary Museum for New Design.


Svensk Form is organised the Swedish Love Stories exhibition.



Walking into The Temporary Museum of New Design–Superstudio


Canon presents their 'neoreal' exhibition signifying 'a new world of sensibilities'.

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You wander into a dark room, and slowly your eyes adjust you can see thousands of multi-coloured threads stretching across the space.


Canon at Superstudio, Tortona, Milan 2011


Walking from the dark to the light and airy. The Air Vase by Torafu architects, these digitally printed paper thin vases almost floated away.


Kaneka OLED Design 2010 Competition winners. The spaces were illuminated primarily with red and white OLED, the traditional colours for Japanese ceremonial events. Visitors could also sample a glass of cold Saki.


Functionals stand, some minimal but very well considered new designs, I like.



One rather surreal experience was stumbling upon Bohemian Rhapsody on the Lasvit stand. Three chandeliers created by top designers: Fabio Novembre of Italy, Mathieu Lehanneur of France and Japan’s Nendo, a shame the musical din inside made me want to leave before I could appreciate the work!


Tron + Disney + Corian + a large budget = Tron design.


Allot of white, blue and injection moulding. The boys seemed to like the 3D TV…or perhaps they’re looking at the Lycra clad lady!



On the way home was Designjunction, and I couldn’t resist popping in, as Modus were part of the exhibition and they were launching my Drew range Smile along with other design by esteemed designers Monica Förster, PearsonLloyd,  Michael Sodeau and Clåesson Koivisto Rune.


I really wanted a chair from the Race furniture stand, everything from the colours, to the mid-century design. Ernest Race achieved national acclaim during the 1950's.


All the black and white photos are thanks to Modus, they’re from the Icon party. Which was a great evening, I saw busy chatting away and managed to avoid the camera.

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NOUGHTS AND CROSSES by Michael Sodeau.

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In the Milano Design Village, which was comprised of three big hitters: Cassina, Poltrona Frau and Cappellini.



Elmar Playground, kitchens. The bright fresh colours and patterns along with the luxurious design fittings , created a kitchen I would love to cook in!


Mattoncino rug textures, by Vicolopagliacorta, Lego patterns.



Luce Tempo Luogo, by Toshiba, you walk along a white tunnel where the thin strip of light from the ceiling is mirrored by a tiny strip of water in the floor, then walk towards this hidden away beautiful building. Inside is a dark contrast to the white, a room filled with rain!

Check out the photos on Yaltzer, mine don’t do it justice.



And Finally Full Spot watches, I’m not surprised their shop was crammed with Euro wielding customers. A good and fun design, nicely packaged and displayed; if only I had 20 Euros on me!


That’s all for now; next what was happening in the City.