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.

Nov 10, 2014

Workplace3.0/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 Workplace3.0/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

Fiera Milano, Rho
14 – 19 April 2015

Nov 6, 2014

Workplace3.0/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.

Workplace3.0 faces the challenge with a new exhibition proposal.

Salone del Mobile 2015

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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Workplace3.0/SaloneUfficio 2015

SaloneUfficio-2015-post-blogWorkplace3.0, 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

Fiera Milano, Rho
14 – 19 April 2015



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