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Highlights from Milan’s Salone del Mobile 2011 – Part 1

Fiat 500 seating by Meritalia

Another year, another jam packed design offering from Milan, where the 2011 International Salone del Mobile furniture and design fair was celebrating its 50th year.

With more visitors than ever, the event grows annually and Milan becomes a fusion of colour with many areas of the city offering their own mini-event offshoots.

It takes something in the order of military scale planning to work your way around the various shows and events. Indeed, there are so many, it is just about impossible to see everything during Milan’s design fair, which is a shame as there are always lots of interesting new products on show, and you never really know what may be lying round the next corner. It’s an unmissable show for design addicts!

Here is part one of a two part look at some of the highlights of Milan’s 2011 furniture and design show.

To celebrate Italy’s 150 years of unification, many manufacturer’s produced fun Italian tricolour flag themed items. The pick of which was the Fiat 500 seating by Meritalia

Fiat 500 seating by Meritalia
Fiat 500 seating by Meritalia

and the Livingston table by Tonelli:

Italian tricolour Table by Tonelli
Italian tricolour Table by Tonelli

Magis showed eighteen new products from a stable of star designers which included the Proust chair/throne by Alessandro Mendini,

Proust chair/throne by Alessandro Mendini
Proust chair/throne by Alessandro Mendini

then there was the Venice chair by Konstantin Grcic,

Venice chair by Konstantin Grcic
Venice chair by Konstantin Grcic

a café chair by Jaime Hayon,

Café chair by Jaime Hayon
Café chair by Jaime Hayon

and chairs by Martino Gamper:

Chairs by Martino Gamper
Chairs by Martino Gamper

One of the more striking designs was the stackable Hemp chair by Berlin based architect/designer Werner Aisslinger. His design uses new technology in which natural fibers like hemp are moulded under heat with a special ecological glue resulting in a sustainable composite material.

Hemp chair by Werner Aisslinger
Hemp chair by Werner Aisslinger

Foscarini offered a visual feast of their products at Superstudio through a theatrical display of lamps which were rotated and played with to create an ‘emotional atmosphere of colour and light’.

think in italian logo dark bg 1

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View a brief video of the resulting effect on YouTube:


If you cannot see the video, try click here: Metamorphosis: the emotion of Foscarini at Superstudio Più

In Part Two of the highlights of the 2011 50th Anniversary Edition of Milan’s International Salone del Mobile, there will be more photographs of the work of designers such as Philipe Starck, Tom Dixon, and more – including links to the work of some up and coming designers.

If you want to see more highlights from the 2011 International Salone del Mobile furniture and design fair…

…Part Two is Here!


I would like to thank my spies on the ground in Milan, Jacqui at Designconscious and Ilaria deFilippo for helping me put this article on Il Salone del Mobile together.

About Paolo Feroleto

Paolo Feroleto
Paolo Feroleto

Designer of the Italy Chronicles logo, Paolo Feroleto has a genuine passion for Italian design and all things design in general. A designer of Italian origins, Paolo has over 13 years industry experience obtained from working in mixed discipline design studios in the UK and abroad.

Paolo has worked with a range of clients – from small independent retailers, to large blue chip companies, both in the UK and Europe. His projects have included building corporate identity, designing literature, creating stands for exhibitions, as well as devising graphics for retail outlets and websites. Here are some examples from the interiors section of his portfolio: Four Design – Interiors

Paolo also teaches Graphic Design on a part-time basis and has developed creative workshops for use in education and professional environments.

Currently based in the UK, Paolo like to spend his time travelling as much as possible. You can reach Paolo though his company, Four Design.

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