Feb 27, 2015

The SaloneSatellite 2015 reaches adulthood!

1. salonesatellite-2015-planet-lifeIl SaloneSatellite, winner of the Compasso d’Oro for lifetime achievement in 2014, reopens its doors at Fiera Milano, Rho from 14 to 19 April, celebrating its 18th birthday with a program rich in creativity and 5 installations that anticipate the theme of Expo 2015.

The world’s premier showcase for young designers under 35 will be open to the public, with free admission as always, for all six days of the Salone del Mobile.

Entry from Cargo 5 to participate in a great celebration that honors the 18 years of hard work that have given the opportunity to more than 10,000 young designers and more than 270 international design schools. And it is from this extraordinary ‘nursery’ that many of today’s most acclaimed designers were hatched: from Matali Crasset and Patrick Jouin (France) to Harri Koskinen and Ilkka Suppanen (Finland), from Tomoko Azumi (Japan) to Xavier Lust (Belgium), from Sean Yoo and Cory Grosser (USA) to Front and Johan Lindstén (Sweden), from Daniel Rybakken (Norway) to Satyendra Pakhalé (India) to Federico Churba (Argentina), to name just a few.

Planet Life’ is the title of the 18th edition of the SaloneSatellite (Pavilions 22-24), which will prepare the ground for the theme of the World’s Fair, ‘Feed the Planet, Energy for Life’. Which means that the 700 young designers chosen by a Selection Committee composed of key figures in the international design world will have this in mind when they present their projects for the 6th edition of the SaloneSatellite Award competition, created to foster contact between designers under 35 and exhibiting companies, with a special focus on products pertaining to this year’s biennial shows, Euroluce and Workplace3.0/SaloneUfficio.

An international Jury will then award the 3 best projects in the product categories represented at the Salone del Mobile with a cash prize, along with consulting and press office services to ensure maximum visibility to the winning designs.

SaloneSatellite 2015
14 – 19 April 2015
Pavilions 22-24
Free admission from Cargo 5
Fiera Milano, Rho

Feb 26, 2015

iSaloni Milestones. 1979, Giandomenico Belotti for Alias

22. spaghetti-chairSpaghetti Chair. Elasticity incarnate.

A name (where Italian and English cleverly play their reciprocal roles) and a destiny, owed to the invention of extruded PVC tubing (thus ‘spaghetti’) which, wrapped around the frame, becomes both seat and backrest.

Famous and widely imitated around the world, the Spaghetti Chair is a fundamentally rationalist concept, yet with a Pop flavor. Sitting upon it, one is suspended on an elastic surface.

A masterpiece by an architect/designer forgotten by many, as well as the icon of a company whose history and identity are built upon it.

Feb 11, 2015

Salone 2015, future directions

1.-B-favillaThe various meanings of the word ‘future’, along with the concepts it entails, were the main focus of press conference for the 54th edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano.

From the futuristic location on the 35th floor of the Allianz Tower  Isozaki (the tallest in Europe), still under construction (the safety-helmeted worker, assigned to monitor the ‘dangerous’ crowd of journalists, explained rather proudly that the elevator travels at 7 meters per second), to the future of the office spaces which, according to Michele De Lucchi, resides in the composition of the residual voids between office equipment, i.e. in those areas of ‘conjunction’ that are reached by ‘walking’, and where there could emerge a new (and therefore feasibly futuristic) quality. From the future of light, that light which comes to us from a remote, galactic past, and that refracts or reflects on our planet as well as in the ‘Faville’ assembled by Attilio Stocchi in a special black box installed in Piazza San Fedele. To the future of the city of Milan, which, in the words of Mayor Giuliano Pisapia, needs to rediscover and follow the example of the abilities, both scientific and artistic, of Leonardo da Vinci.

2.-B-schizzoLeonardo, celebrated in Milan on the 500th anniversary of his death, thanks in part to the sponsorship of the Salone del Mobile, 500 years after his death, is indeed the eternal emblem of the genius of Italy, where art is not closed off in museums for the benefit of the elite, but rather an urban and territorial reality, a fact of everyday life, as we will see, getting back to the Salone, ‘In Italy’, an immaterial exhibition in the form of an App.

Marco Romanelli

Feb 10, 2015

Salone 2015. Presentation of the 54th edition

0.-B-sala-conferenzaThe Italian press was on hand for the presentation of the 54th edition of the Salone del Mobile, which will be held as always at Fiera Milano, Rho from 14 to 19 April.

2,000 exhibitors, 200,000 square meters, more than 300,000 visitors expected from 160 countries: these are some of the numbers of the most important and international event in the field, which this year, in addition to the annual Salone del Mobile, the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition and the SaloneSatellite, will feature the biennial shows Euroluce and Workplace3.0/SaloneUfficio.

As always, the Salone del Mobile is a showcase for companies to present new products and new technologies, but the tradition of the Salone also includes cultural events and entertainment:

Euroluce will celebrate its 28th edition and the International Year of Light proclaimed by UNESCO with Favilla. To every light a voice: an installation by architect Attilio Stocchi that examines the essence of light and will be located in the center of Milan.

Workplace3.0/SaloneUfficio will complete the exhibition roster, hosting in Pavilions 22-24 The Walk by Michele De Lucchi: a new concept for the spaces where we work, a new vision of the way we work.

Italian know-how and excellence will be the focus of IN ITALY, a multimedia presentation by Four in the Morning curated by architect Dario Curatolo: a film that will become an interactive App with which to explore the histories and products of 64 Italian companies.

Planet Life is the theme, in keeping with Expo 2015, that will be addressed by the 700 young designers of the SaloneSatellite, now in its 18th edition. They will also compete in the 6th SaloneSatellite Award which honors the three best prototypes in each of the product categories.

C.-torreAnd finally, the Salone del Mobile is supporting the exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci, the largest such show about the Renaissance genius ever staged in Italy, sponsored by the City of Milan and realized through the partnership of Palazzo Reale and Skira.

Save the date!
More to come.

Salone del Mobile 2015
14 – 19 April 2015
Milan Fairgrounds, Rho

Jan 23, 2015

iSaloni Milestones. 1998, Alberto Meda and Paolo Rizzatto for Luceplan

21. fortebraccioFortebraccio. A truly adjustable lamp.

An office lamp that, after almost 60 years, has managed to challenge the functional and formal primacy of the L-1 by Jac Jacobsen.

From the functional standpoint, innovative ball joints connecting the arms make it possible to obtain complete rotation on both the vertical and horizontal axes.

From the formal point of view, the project, as indicated by the name, is inspired by medieval armor, specifically the structure of the arm, lending it an image of both strength and agility.

Dec 23, 2014

iSaloni News. From 24 December, the Jewelry Museum in Vicenza

1.-esterno-museo-gioielloFinally a contextual museum! But before telling you about the unusual and extraordinary structuring of the new Jewelry Museum in the city of Vicenza, it’s important to point out the specificity of the context in which it was born. Unlike many other cities in the world where museums have become sterile repetitions of themselves, absurdly comparable to retail chains, Vicenza, home of one of the world’s most important jewelry fairs, proposes a strongly thematic project. And what’s more, it situates it inside the Basilica Palladiana, jewel of the Renaissance and ancient site of jewelers’ workshops.

2. sala-designConceived by Alba Cappellieri, professor at the Politecnico di Milano, and designed by Patricia Urquiola, the museum is housed in the part of the Basilica facing Piazzetta Palladio, occupying 410 m2 and two floors.

2. personaggi-vicenzaAlba Cappellieri proposes a structure as courageous as it is unprecedented: instead of using chronological or typological criteria, she identifies several invariants of jewelry, from its magical-protective value (amulets and talismans) to its symbolic role (crowns, heraldic crests, religious figurations), from functional necessity (buckles, buttons, jeweled weapons) to beauty (considered one of the functions of jewelry), to the new scenarios (where the jewel no longer rests ‘on’ the body, but enters ‘into’ it, making it stronger). Each section has been developed by a scholar of international caliber who has selected jewels that will remain on display for two years, then be replaced by other pieces chosen by other curators (not just historians, but anthropologists, designers, gallerists).

Patricia Urquiola embarked on this critical journey adopting an invariant, i.e. the color of the structures, similar to that of skin (in all the nuances from flesh pink to copper), and certain specificities: if, for example, Power is displayed in tall glass reliquaries, Magic is enclosed in an introverted, almost telluric container; if the Icons are to be discovered by opening windows set into a mysterious cube, the New Scenarios are presented in a large ‘aquarium’.

3.-sala-futuroIn today’s Italy that is experiencing a difficult period in its history, the Jewelry Museum represents an illuminating example of synergy between public institutions – the Municipality of Vicenza – and private interests - Fiera di Vicenza (the vision of general director Corrado Facco has been invaluable) – between critics (in addition to Cappellieri, Stefano Papi, Graziella Folchini Grassetto, Maura Picciau, Bianca Capello) and architects (in addition to Urquiola, Andrea Donadello, Pietro Savio and yours truly), between Italian companies (particularly Molteni for the display units and Flos for the lighting). In short, in keeping with a no longer delayable principle, between culture and economics!

By Marco Romanelli

Dec 17, 2014

iSaloni News. Recommended books

Four books (plus a bookmark) to keep us company all year long. Real books, on paper.
Special books, selected for you, the special readers of this blog.


Michele De Lucchi, Gli attributi dell’architetto
, Corraini editore, Mantua, 2014

It is often said… that to be a good architect one needs certain attributes, but no one ever says which’. Attributes? Like a long gray curly beard? We find out only after having consulted the 1,200 entries, starting with abbacchiato, meaning ‘dejected’ (‘architects are often so, designers too…’) and branzino (‘that which seems to have been made by Andrea Branzi…’); from invertebrato (‘an architect without attributes’) to regular (‘neither bold nor light’).

Tullio Pericoli, Attraverso l’albero, una piccola storia dell’arte, Adelphi, Milan, 2012

Have trees been useful to painting? Tullio Pericoli is certain of it, and so he retraces and redraws them for us: the trees of Paolo Uccello, slender as swords, the trees of Bosch, which don’t exist, the trees of Cezanne, which cast shadows even though they’re painted, the trees of Gauguin, where the serpent dwells, the gilded trees of Klimt.

Judith Schalansky, Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Not Visited and Never Will, Particular Books, London, 2010

Perhaps because she grew up in the shadow of the Berlin Wall, Judith dreamed of traveling. Far away. But ‘far away’ is different for each of us (Iceland, for example, is far away, but don’t tell that to an Icelander!). Search this book for your own faraway island, even if you’ll never go!

Saul Steinberg, Architecture by Line, 1954, Nieves, Zurich, 2014

For the first time collected in a single volume, the four long, EXTREMELY LONG drawings produced by Steinberg for the Triennale di Milano in 1954: dozens of white pages that follow a line that draws buildings and cities as it goes, populated by children and animals and pyramids and ships and even an ice-skating Santa Claus, who naturally leaves a line on the ice. Follow it, so you’ll know how to respond if anyone ever asks you ‘who is the greatest illustrator in the world?’

Laudani&Romanelli (with Andrea Basile), Pagine, Corraini editore, Mantua, 2014

A bookmark is a useless object! Much better to just fold the corner of the page where you’ve left off. That is, unless the bookmark contains TWENTY tabs to indicate… ‘the page that made me cry’, ‘the page that reminded me of you’, ‘the page I have to read to my kids’, ‘the page to be forgotten’.

1. segnalibriBy Marco Romanelli

Nov 28, 2014

Salone 2015. New features of the 54th edition

1. londraThe Salone del Mobile 2015, which will take place in Milan from 14 to 19 April has already premiered in Brussels, London and Hamburg with a cycle of conferences for more than 90 journalists from the most prestigious European periodicals.

Roberto Snaidero, President of the Salone del Mobile and Federlegno Arredo Eventi, Giovanni De Ponti, CEO of Federlegno Arredo Eventi, Marco Predari, President of Assufficio, Stefano Bordone, President of Assoluce, Vittorio Livi, Vice President of Assarredo illustrate the new features of the 54th edition, which looks like it’s already sold out.

2. amburgoA new name for the SaloneUfficio, which will be called Workplace3.0.

Two major eventi scheduled for the pavilions of Fiera Milano, Rho.

The Walk: a project dedicated to new concepts of the workplace and new design demands, by Michele De Lucchi

In Italy: A video installation, a story, five apartments, five cities, 80 Italian companies, an app.

Conferences with three guest designers: Xavier Lust, Nigel Coates and Sebastian Herkner shared their experiences collaborating with Italian manufacturers, moderated by journalists Aude de la Conté, Nick Vinson and Robert Volhard.

Salone del Mobile 2015
Fiera Milano, Rho
14 – 19 April 2015

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
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.

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