Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 July 2019

Milan Design Week 2019: Five of the coolest new products revealed

Sustainability was a major focus at this year's Italian furniture fair

Hyunjee Jung's piece 'Flattened Object and Space'. Courtesy Hyunjee Jung and The German Design Council
Hyunjee Jung's piece 'Flattened Object and Space'. Courtesy Hyunjee Jung and The German Design Council

Milan Design Week has concluded, the courtyard installations have been packed up, and the hundreds of impressive wares showcased at Salone del Mobile furniture fair safely shipped back to the countries of their respective designers.

While various themes were seen throughout, the strongest focus this year was on the matter on sustainability, ­particularly among ­younger designers, who unveiled their eco-friendly creations.

Here are our top picks from the standout furniture and lighting products exhibited among Rho Fiera’s exhibition halls – all designs we’d happily display in our own homes.

Marni's Moon Walk

Marni's Moon Walk series was exhibited to a celestial backdrop. Courtesy Marni
Marni's Moon Walk series was exhibited to a celestial backdrop. Courtesy Marni

Italian design and fashion house Marni looked to outer space for answers in its latest collection, Marni Moon Walk, which unveiled spaceship-inspired sculptures and totem stools among myriad other works. The pieces were revealed in an exhibition that featured a celestial backdrop; it was a futuristic statement, and yet the brand also shone a light on the skills of Colombian craftspeople. Small sofas, rocking chairs and a number of chaise longues sat front and centre of the new line, while lamps and a series of Formica-clad, wooden and metal coffee tables were also showcased. The best part is that the series supports the Future Brain project, with a portion of profits from the line going to help child patients in the neuro-­oncological ward of a children’s hospital in Rome.

The Ava table

Molteni's Ava table. Courtesy Molteni
Molteni's Ava table. Courtesy Molteni

This table is a collaboration between Italian furniture-­maker Molteni & C and British architecture firm Foster & Partners, the company that’s designing the UAE’s Mobility Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai. It’s a razor-thin table made out of sustainable wood that can be used outside and in. Its delicate nature is deceiving – it’s actually 3.8 metres long, and was inspired by sturdy “aircraft wings and bridges”. It’s functional and champions ­renewability, but it’s also elegant and, thanks to its thinness, light enough to haul about your humble abode.

Ceramic lighting by Sergey Makhno Architects

Sergey Makhno Architects' handmade ceramic lighting. Shutterstock
Sergey Makhno Architects' handmade ceramic lighting. Shutterstock

Ukrainian architecture studio Sergey Makhno Architects revealed its handmade ceramic lighting in Milan. Inspired by old vases, the design exemplifies the trend away from stark, clean, modernist pieces with its rustic feel of times past. The studio complemented themes of heritage and culture with contemporary design solutions in a way that has never felt more relevant.

Sawaya & Moroni new collection

Sawaya & Moroni's KOR upholstered sofa designed by William Sawaya. Sawaya & Moroni
Sawaya & Moroni's KOR upholstered sofa designed by William Sawaya. Sawaya & Moroni

Milanese stalwart Sawaya & Moroni turned design inside out in its second furniture collection, as it examined how structure in design can also have an aesthetic element. The blue-and-leather Kor sofa is the perfect example: a woven leather back support makes it functional while also infusing a sophisticated sense of design into your home decor.

Flattened Object and Space

Made by young designer Hyunjee Jung, a winner of the Ein & Zwanzig Newcomers’ Award, this work, called Flattened Object and Space, sits comfortably somewhere in between art and design. It plays with the visual properties of materials, in terms of texture, surface and colour. The piece also uses leather as a three-­dimensional aspect, creating a rather large and playful collage that’s supposed to hang on your wall.

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Updated: April 18, 2019 03:32 PM

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