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Design / Retail

Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2016

Some 300,000 people take to Lombardy’s capital each year to peruse the latest products from the 2,000-plus exhibitors at the furniture world’s premier event. Here are our favourite finds from inside the fair.

01 Stine Aas, Ella lamp

It may be small in size – occupying the back part of two adjacent halls – but the Satellite section of the Fiera is by far the most inspiring. Open to designers under the age of 35, it offers a platform for the next big things of the furniture world to showcase their wares. Monocle’s pick of the bunch for 2016 is 27-year-old Norwegian Stine Aas for her simple yet playful prototype designs. These blue stained-porcelain Ella lamps turn on and off when you twist their pointed shades.

02 Vitra, side table

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have lent their Parisian flair to Vitra once again with this wooden iteration of the metal side tables that the brothers designed for the Swiss company in 2004. Strikingly combining a paper-thin top with a heavy-set base, the super-light tables are made from plywood coated in an oak or walnut veneer.

03 Maruni, Jasper Morrison T chair

Acclaimed British designer Jasper Morrison has joined forces with Hiroshima-based Maruni to create a series of playful wooden perches. The chairs come in a range of heights and many feature a refreshing pop of colour such as this maple-wood T barstool with its green powder-coated steel back.

04 Molteni & C, Reticolo shelving unit

This handsome geometric Reticolo shelving unit, dreamed up by Israeli maestro Ron Gilad, is ideal for compact living. The modular system comes with five or 10 shelves made from Italian walnut – Molteni & C’s traditional material of choice – and walnut drawers.

05 DePadova, Firefly lantern

This portable lantern can be charged before being grabbed by its leather straps and carried to the patio. Cleverly designed by Alexander Åhnebrink to be switched on and off by sliding its base on any surface, Firefly can also be dimmed by tilting the whole structure, ensuring a long-lasting glow during equally long summer evenings.

06 Bitossi Ceramiche, Guadeloupe vases

Wonderfully eccentric London-based designer Bethan Laura Wood drew from Bitossi Ceramiche’s iconic language for the vases in this collection. In their lacquered blue-and-green hues these tall vessels nod to the Florentine brand’s masterly Rimini Blu collection. Like it, these vases also feature handsome engraving: Wood looked to the stained-glass windows of the New Basilica of Our Lady of Guadeloupe in Mexico City for inspiration.

07 SCP, Reiko Kaneko Orlando chair

British furniture stalwart SCP showed off ceramicist-by-reputation Reiko Kaneko’s very first chair this year. The steel-framed seat isn’t just generous in its proportions, with a feather-filled cushion and walnut armrests to boot. It’s also got just enough flex to make it an extraordinarily comfortable resting place.

08 &Tradition, Flowerpot lamp

Vernon Panton’s design for the Flowerpot lamp – based on semi-circular spheres nesting within one another – has its roots in the late 1960s. This year Copenhagen-based &Tradition has enlivened its collection with a rainbow of new colours for the feted design, which is available as a desk or pendant lamp.

09 Discipline, Axis shelves

A highlight of hall six was the joyfully colourful Discipline booth, bedecked with the firm’s novel and easy-on-the-eye Axis shelves. Made in beech and aluminium this soft-cornered modular system comes courtesy of Italian outfit Studio Klass.

10 Nikari, Arte Alvar tray

This Arte Alvar tray is a celebration of all things Finnish, designed by master Finnish architect Alvar Aalto for Fiskars-based furniture company Nikari; Aalto was, incidentally, the first customer of Nikari back in 1967. A limited line of 80 pieces was reissued in birch-and-white laminate last autumn to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Artek, yet another Finnish design behemoth.

Writers
Chiara Rimella, Jamie Waters

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