Nov 20, 2014

“The Walk”, a major installation by Michele De Lucchi on the theme of the workspace

la-passeggiata-post-blogThe project on the world of the office, the featured event of the next Salone del Mobile, is taking shape.

In a continually and rapidly evolving world, the office is increasingly subject to transformations driven by social, economic and cultural shifts. Workspaces become changeable landscapes, the office of the future sheds conventions and generates innovation.

Thus La Passeggiata, a metaphor of the importance of not sitting still. In the office, movement is more productive than immobility, and the interior and exterior landscapes play a fundamental role in creating the workspace itself. Paradoxically, spaces like the reception foyer, the kitchen, a green corner in an unexpected location, a particularly comfortable conference room are becoming more important, and the route to one’s workstation deserves as much attention as the workstation itself.

quadrifolio-blogThis vision will come to like in an installation divided into four thematic areas – Club, Working Space, Agorà, Laboratories – which reflect the architect’s ideas about office space.

Salone del Mobile 2015
Workplace 3.0/SaloneUfficio
Fiera Milano, Rho
14 – 19 April 2015

Nov 12, 2014

iSaloni Milestones. 1985, Mario Bellini for Vitra

PersonaPersona. A chair inspired by the human body.

We’re accustomed to thinking that the history of design is written by the typologies of furnishings intended for the home, when in reality there are environments where the evolution of the product is much more rapid than in our comparatively immutable dwellings.

The office is certainly one of those places, particularly with regard to the ergonomic aspect of design. And not surprisingly, the chair, in the workspace as in the home, is the litmus test for every innovation.

From the moment that Mario Bellini completed the long design process (1979-1985) required to perfect Persona, the office chair has never been the same.

This typology, which straddles the line between furniture and machinery, is transformed in the hands of Bellini into a ‘habitable’ shell, a prosthesis for body, capable of responding to our every movement.

At the same time, however, Persona rejects the ‘mechanistic’ look and resembles instead the torso of a human body with its rounded edges and the articulation of the backrest.

In short, Bellini domesticated the office.

Nov 10, 2014

Workplace 3.0/SaloneUfficio 2015 – A project by Michele De Lucchi

ufficio-3Architect Michele De Lucchi and his team are at work planning a major exhibition/event for the next edition of the Salone del Mobile.

In Pavilions 22-24, site of the biennial Workplace 3.0 / SaloneUfficio, more than 1,000 square meters will be dedicated to the architect’s vision of the work environment: a well equipped gym for training the mind, a space wherein relationships generate new ideas and new possibilities, an office for imagining a way of life liberated from conventions, an ever diverse space that continuously produces innovation.

ufficio-4The project continues the path laid out in 2013 by architect Jean Nouvel with his ‘Project: Office for Living’.

Once again, the exhibition will be a wellspring of suggestions and inspirations for architects, designers and interior decorators.

Salone del Mobile 2015
Workplace 3.0 / SaloneUfficio

Fiera Milano, Rho
14 – 19 April 2015

Nov 6, 2014

Workplace 3.0/SaloneUfficio 2015 – Designing tomorrow’s spaces today

ufficio-1The new concept of workplace design.

Furniture, lighting, interior partitions, acoustics, communication systems, technologies, dropped ceilings, flooring, wall coverings, climate control, architectural sun screens – these are some of the product categories which, in order to provide designers with new ways of working better, will be exhibited in Pavilions 22-24 at Fiera Milano, Rho, for the upcoming Salone del Mobile, 14-19 April 2015.

ufficio-2The world of work is no longer limited to the office. Technology has profoundly altered the way people work and, consquently, the design of the spaces in which we work.

Workplace 3.0 faces the challenge with a new exhibition proposal.

Salone del Mobile 2015
Workplace 3.0 / SaloneUfficio

Fiera Milano, Rho
14 – 19 April 2015

Nov 5, 2014

SaloneSatellite WorldWide Moscow 2014

by Marco Romanelli

2.-vincitoriVisiting the Russian edition of the SaloneSatellite, the first consideration goes to the incomparable role of the event. While we’re accustomed to the presence of the SaloneSatellite in Milan after 17 years and therefore at risk of underestimating the great importance it still has, in Moscow it only takes a moment to fully understand what it means to be ‘revolutionary’.

The young designers, 44 in this edition, traveled not only from all over Russia but from the Baltic republics, Ukraine and Kazakhstan to share with us the nature and scope of the expectations they invested in their participation in the SaloneSatellite.

Humble, approachable and curious, they explained to the jurors (along with me, Barbara Abele of the Art Academy of Latvia, Riccardo Blumer, Olga Kosyreva, Dima Loginoff – one of the first young designers to participate in 2005 – Lorenza Luti from Kartell, Patrizia Malfatti for Federlegno Arredo Eventi, Marco Sabetta for the Salone del Mobile di Milano, Nicolas Terzani from Terzani, Barbara Villari of Villari and naturally Marva Griffin, curator of the SaloneSatellite) the underlying concepts of their projects. And I must confess that, knowing I could only choose 3 of them for the prize of participating in the Milanese edition of the SaloneSatellite, I felt the full weight of the responsibility.

Before discussing the winners and a few other participants whom I felt were particularly deserving, I think it’s necessary to explain a general concept that concerns not only the Russian orbit, but in a certain sense all those parts of the world that have not yet fully entered the design debate.

The error to avoid, which became clear evaluating the works of the young Russians, is that of trying to align oneself with an ‘international style’ at the expense of expressing one’s own individuality. An individuality that must be nourished by contextual roots. This, then, is my advice: dig into your own land and your own heart to unearth authentic stimuli for your work, don’t try to keep up with others, who in any case will have gotten a head start, on roads already traveled.

Winners and honorable mentions of the 2014 edition

That being said, I would like to present the winners of the Russian edition of the SaloneSatellite and then examine a few other designers who, in my view, demonstrated noteworthy originality.


The first prize went to Santa Celitane, a young designer from Riga, capital of Latvia, who presented a deceptively simple stainless steel bicycle rack.

The second prize was awarded to Anastasiya Koshcheeva of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, for an interesting armchair with a footrest, its seat and back covered in birch veneer instead of leather or fabric.

The third prize was for Viktor Puzur of Kharkiv, Ukraine, who transformed a tube of recycled cardboard into a clothes rack.

Among the other participants, I would like to mention Fedor Katcuba of St. Petersburg who, though adopting an ‘international’ language, proposed a desk on wheels that represents a truly innovative typology. Then Anastasia Arkhipova of Moscow and Daria Pavlova of St. Petersburg who presented two unrelated projects for wooden chairs in which I found a clear and shared ‘Nordic’ inspiration. Lastly, I would mention the work of Andrey Zimnyakov of Penza, Russia, who designed a ceiling mounted panel-lamp capable of integrating aural, visual and olfactory sensations, and that of Vladimir Ivanov of Kemerovo, Russia, for the attention given to small everyday objects: especially interesting is his application of holders for USB drives or pens to simple notebooks through the use of magnets.


SaloneSatellite WorldWide Moscow 2014 – Young designers

Nov 3, 2014
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Workplace 3.0/SaloneUfficio 2015

SaloneUfficio-2015-post-blogWorkplace 3.0, an innovative concept will characterize the 2015 edition of SaloneUfficio.

An event that will simultaneously show the different components that vie for space in today’s workplace design, from turnkey solutions for office complexes to furnishings for individual offices, large and small.  An exhibition area full of proposals and design ideas for understanding and experiencing the work space in a contemporary way, and in the many iterations it has come to assume.

“Technology has changed everything, leaving people free to organize themselves as they wish and allowing us to work anywhere, at home, on the train or even outdoors in a park”.

“Thinking of the work environment as a well equipped gym to train the mind, making it a space wherein relationships generate new ideas and possibilities. The office of the future must imagine a way of life freed from conventions, an ever diverse space that continuously produces innovation”.

With these words Michele De Lucchi summarizes the intentions of Workplace 3.0, for which he himself is creating an exhibition/event that will illustrate how the world of design is changing.

Salone del Mobile 2015
Workplace 3.0 / SaloneUfficio

Fiera Milano, Rho
14 – 19 April 2015

Oct 29, 2014

iSaloni Milestones. 1965, Gae Aulenti for Martinelli Luce

19. pipistrelloPipistrello. A lamp that looks like a palm tree.

It’s called Pipistrello, meaning ‘bat’, but it really looks more like a palm tree. It has been accused of being neo-Liberty, even Art Nouveau, but it’s really just a masterpiece. And like every masterpiece, every element is resolved simultaneously in terms of both aesthetics and function.

The stepped shaft hides a telescopic mechanism; the sectioning of the methacrylate lampshade facilitates the casting process; the widening of the base ensures stability.

It is an object that fully represents its creator, Gae Aulenti. Among the greatest Italian architects of the past century, she has always been able to control volumes with great force, proposing ‘anti-charming’ solutions, which our own timid and obedient era has completely forgotten how to do.

Oct 27, 2014

iSaloni WorldWide, the 10th edition comes to a close

Ten years have already passed since 2004 when the Salone del Mobile di Milano launched iSaloni WorldWide in Moscow with 195 exhibitors.

1-moscaToday the scale of the event is totally different: the number of exhibitors has grown to 526, and starting this year there’s a new section, MADE expo WorldWide, with 66 exhibitors in its first edition and the promise to continue to present the Russian public with the finest Italian-made interior and exterior coverings and fixtures.

It is through initiatives like this that the image of Italian design in Russia becomes ever more complete, encompassing every product category, from flooring to door fixtures to the more visible and familiar world of furniture.

Visitors responded with enthusiasm and curiosity to the Italian products on display, crowding the stands, contemplating the latest trends (which this year feature a certain decorativism along with an elegantly universal design language), and participating in large numbers in the Master Classes, a series of special conferences offered by iSaloni to Russian journalists, critics and students.

mosca-2This year’s presenters were three architect/designers: Marco Romanelli, who addressed the theme of ‘Being a designer means being a storyteller’; Riccardo Blumer, who talked about ‘The experience and technology of beauty: nature, artifice, design’; and Mario Cucinella, who discussed ‘Creativity, sensibility, sustainability’. Three very different approaches, yet all characterized by the rejection of homogenization and by the pursuit of absolutely personal paths. As such, the choice of presenters proved to be especially felicitous in that it highlighted the concept of individual originality within an organized system, which is the essence of Italian design.

In conclusion, we can use this same slogan: individual originality within an organized system – to characterize the impact of the presence of Italian manufacturers in Russia.

Oct 16, 2014

From a Satellite to the center of the world

2.-foto-post-blogFor the second consecutive year, some of the young participants in the SaloneSatellite have found themselves catapulted into one of the most central showcases on the planet for the presentation, and sale, of design objects. We’re talking about the coveted Design Supermarket on level -1 of la Rinascente department store in Milan, a large space in constant evolution where the best products from 800 international brands are presented.

If we estimate, as the CEO of la Rinascente Alberto Baldan pointed out during a press conference on Thursday, 9 October, that 4,000,000 of la Rinascente’s nearly 10,000,000 annual visitors (yes, you’re reading it correctly… no extra zeros here!) made their way downstairs to the space dedicated to design, it becomes clear what an opportunity this is for the young designers from the SaloneSatellite.

1.-foto-post-blogThis year there are 7 lucky ones from different countries – France, Ukraine, Italy, Portugal, Japan and Spain. Their pieces represent the best of the latest cultural trend, which prioritizes the themes of self-production and the recovery of traditional artistic craftsmanship.

Hence, among the selected objects we find the works in marble by Uto Balmoral, ceramics by Bosso Fiorito, glass by Arturo Erbsman, porcelain by Mary Volokhova. And then there’s the young Portuguese designer Tania da Cruz, who recounted, with tears in her eyes, how some years ago, in order to pay for her design studies in Italy, she worked at the bar of la Rinascente, dreaming of one day having her own piece on display at the Design Supermarket, which is exactly where she is now!

So here is proof that even in these particularly difficult years for young designers
dreams still can come true.

SaloneSatellite at la Rinascente
October – 25 December 2014
Design Supermarket Milano

Oct 13, 2014

iSaloni WorldWide 2014, ready to celebrate its 10th anniversary

mosca-1The best of the Salone del Mobile di Milano 2014 is about to take the stage in Moscow for the 10th consecutive, from 15 to 18 October at Crocus Expo, occupying an area of 19,145 square meters, featuring 526 exhibitors, 44 young designers at the SaloneSatellite and, for the first time, MADE expo WorldWide, a fair organized by FederlegnoArredo dedicated to interior architecture and siding.

iSaloni WorldWide have become by now a reference point for the furnishing sector in Russia and the countries in its geopolitical orbit. Interest in Made in Italy continues to grow among journalists, professionals in the field and the general public.

This is confirmed both by the number of Russian visitors to Milan, and by the market share our country has reached: in 2013 Russia imported 25% of its furniture from Italy, taking us to the top spot, followed by China and Germany.

This year’s Master Classes, organized in collaboration with ICE, the agency for the promotion abroad and internationalization of Italian businesses, will host three architects moderated by journalist and design critic Olga Kosyreva: Riccardo Blumer, Mario Cucinella and Marco Romanelli.

Among the new features for the 2014 Moscow iSaloni are a website and app entirely in Russian to facilitate the visit to the fair for the local public.

iSaloni WorldWide
Crocus Expo – Moscow
Design and Modern: Pavilions 7 – 8
Classic: Pavilions 10 – 11.
From 15 to 18 October 2014

We look forward to seeing you there!

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