Milan Review 2019

Trends and a few thoughts By Rock Galpin

This year saw many new continuing and growing trends immerge, the emphasis appeared to be on immersive and the quality of experiences. Many more and exciting interactive sensor installations were seen than ever before, arguably due to Euroluce, such as by the likes of Humanspace, Lexus, Nendo and Samsung where discovery and intrigue, or levels of control and surprise played centre stage.

Humanscale :interactive installation
Humanscale: Interactive installation
COS and Mamou-Mani installation
COS and Mamou-Mani installation
COS and Mamou-Mani installation
COS and Mamou-Mani installation

Google presented a multi-room exploration of neuroaesthetics demonstrating how aesthetics could be scientifically proved to aid well-being and health.

Another growing and morphing trend that many more companies this year were getting to grips with is narrative composition in the way that products were being presented. Less a lifestyle made of a collection of related own brand products but more a carefully curated lifestyle narrative taking us one step closer to a beautifully harmonious and ‘real’ home experience. The sense of blending and inter-connectivity between objects in the physical world appears to become even more sensitively and artistically connected as the digital world has for a while. We are fast approaching a material world, which automatically senses our environment and us and physically reacts on a whole new level, as we experience now in more advanced car design. A good example of this was the new Puma concept trainer seen in Milan where a bio-organism is embedded into the underside of the top skin of the trainers, which when worn and the foot sweats encourages the bio-organisms to develop and eat away the top skin that consequently vents the trainers where ‘you’ personally perspire.

Puma - bio edible trainers that self ventilate
Puma – bio edible trainers that self ventilate
Pezo von Ellrichshausen, Echo at Palazzo Litta –inside
Rossana Orlandi- Product Designer
Rossana Orlandi- Product Designer - Milan Design Week
Rossana Orlandi- Product Designer
In the Mood for Wood - Window at Kartell
In the Mood for Wood – Window at Kartell
ton
Ton
Delta Light brand new showroom opened in Tortona, Milan
Delta Light brand new showroom opened in Tortona, Milan

Also to note was the continued retro revival, with the geometry of the 1930’s, circles, lines, soft rectilinear forms, from simple geometry using mono curves to the use of just a few primary colours from the Bauhaus and to an extent Memphis styles with geometric lined patterns and monotones. Bold 80’s compositions whilst on the other hand, bold floral prints and textiles are also creeping in, such as seen at Moroso, for example. 

Schoenbuch - Bauhaus, memphis 30'd modern
Schoenbuch – Bauhaus, memphis 30’d modern
Moroso- Narrative Compositions
Moroso- Narrative Compositions
Zanotta - Narrative Compositions
Zanotta – Narrative Compositions
Narrative Installation at Kartell
Kartell -Narrative Compositions
Vitra - Narrative Compositions
Vitra -Narrative Compositions
Vitra - Narrative Compositions
Vitra -Narrative Compositions
Vitra - Narrative Compositions
Vitra -Narrative Compositions
Buddy by Busetti Garuti Redaelli for Pedrali
Buddy by Busetti Garuti Redaelli for Pedrali
Jaime Hayon for Fritz Hansen
Jaime Hayon for Fritz Hansen
Erwan Bouroullec for Flos
Erwan Bouroullec for Flos
Michael Anastassiades for Flos
Michael Anastassiades for Flos
Layer, Cove– Allermuir
Layer, Cove for Allermuir
Gebrüder Thonet Vienna- Bold colours
Gebrüder Thonet Vienna- Bold colours

The 30’s styles exhibited tending to now be more refined and sophisticated mixing acid citrus colours with brushed, brass and bronze finishes producing a very clean and powerful impact. Whilst the playful Super Domestic style, as I call it, stemming I believe originally from Scandinavian influences with a certain woody craft mixed with eclectic industrial remains to push indulgent comfort to extremes with boucle fabrics, soft velvets, and oversized pumped forms juxtaposed alongside the continued appreciation for heavily veined marble and metallic thin framed furniture. 

Monica Armani for KFF
Monica Armani for KFF
chair- Enea
Chair for Enea
Patrick Jouin, Hera for Pedrali
Patrick Jouin, Hera for Pedrali
privacy booth
Privacy booth for IOC
Stefan Diez for Magis - old and new technologies
Stefan Diez for Magis – old and new technologies
Stefan Diez for Magis - old and new technologies
Stefan Diez for Magis – old and new technologies
Stefan Diez for Magis - old and new technologies
Stefan Diez for Magis – old and new technologies

It is a little surprising that sustainability was not more readily and obviously apparently addressed in the design on display this year, although Rossana Orlandi presented the RO Plastics Prize awarded from 30 short listed design entries all made from recycled plastic. 

Words, images and thoughts By Rock Galpin

Rock Galpin
Rock Galpin

Continuing with our series in asking influential architects and designers to select their favourite finds at the major design shows; once again we asked Rock Galpin- Creative Director/Founder of Rock Galpin Design Studio to report back to us on Milan Design Week 2019


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