Nature and natural resources protection increasingly often topic of discussion

(June 2013) Milan was once again the world capital of product design for one week in April not only on the fairground site but spread over a number of venues across the city. The occasion was the annual I Saloni (Salone Internazionale del Mobile) which took place from April 9th to 14th this time in tandem with the biannual special fairs for lighting (Euroluce) and office design (Salone Ufficio).

The city center was also the venue for the Milan Design Week, in which Fuori Salone (freely translated: outdoor fair) held in the district of Brera and Tortona Design Week on site of the defunct factory of the same name took place.

Some facts and figures regarding the I Salone Trade Fair: the 35th international edition (nationally the fair celebrates 52 years) welcomed 2725 exhibitors and 324,000 visitors from 160 countries. It covered an area of 530,000 m² (net area: 204,850 m²).

The Trade Fair Organization no-longer speaks of trends in its press release. The new buzz-word is „evolutionary direction“ in design and its cornerstones are:

*revival of retro styles – a comfort to consumers in times of financial uncertainty

*„democratizing of design“ making designer products available for restricted budgets

*valence of products

*and, as a result thereof, „technical complexity“ in production.

I Saloni 2014, 08. – 13. April

Fuori Salone

Tortona Design Week

We could not help but notice that nature and the protection of natural resources were ever-present topics of interest. Designers Capellini & Licheri brought the matter to a head with their „Next Art”-collection emulating flowers and leaves.

Cappellini & Licheri


Reclamation of material was a main theme as well: wood specialist Riva 1920 commissioned famous designers for their collection „Briccole” in ancient wooden pontoons from Venice’s Lagoon.

Boreholes reminiscent of pests obtain an original shabby-chick charm.

„Kauri”-collection, also by Riva 1920, shows table tops made of tree trunks some 50,000 years old which were submerged in New Zealand’s swamplands.

And last but not least „Nalj”: where remnants of wood are worked to jewelry.

Riva 1920

„Nalj” (Italian)

Let us briefly turn to some presentations in the city center: Franchi Umberto Marmi Company shows „SenSai” in the inner court of the University of Milan – concept by Archizero.

This BBQ-set comprising four blocks of black Zebrino marble comes with a table made of Bardiglio marble. White Calacatta marble was used for the basin and other elements.

Franchi Umberto Marmi

In the gallery of the university’s inner court, students presented their works. Carmelo Zocco designed a bicycle stand dubbed „Mici“ in the shape of cats. The aluminum prototypes were realized by Studio Immagine d’Ambiente Company.

Carmelo Zocco (Mail)

Carmelo Zocco (Mail)

Studio Immagine d’Ambiente (Mail)

Stefano D’armento gave his movable cubes the name of „Eco-Benches Binario“. Casei Eco-System Company had produced them.

Stefano D’armento (Mail)

Casei Eco-System

Last but not least a gallery in the design district of Brera was the venue chosen by Marsotto Edizioni to present „Just Black”, their collection of household products in Nero Marquina black marble.

Marsotto Edizioni

Photos: Companies