Top exhibits from FuoriSalone: Milan 2016

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Some of the best designs and concepts from this year's FuoriSalone(Credit: Edoardo Campanale/Gizmag)

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The FuoriSalone program during this year's Milan Design Week saw hundreds of independent designers and architects inhabit local shops, buildings and public spaces in and around central Milan. Currently, the FuoriSalone is one of the most popular and sort after events during Milan Design Week and has expanded into diverse themes such as automotive, technology, architecture, art, fashion and food. Here's a look at some of the best designs and concepts from this year's event.

We finally got to take a look at Toyota's Setsuna concept car, which is a two-seater vehicle that has been beautifully constructed out of Japanese wooden materials. The concept car was made using 86 handmade panels, including Japanese cedar for the exterior panels, Japanese birch for the frame panels and a combination of Japanese zelkova and castor aralia for the seats.

"While we used wood as the main material, we also poured lots of time and passion into the car itself with our colleagues, creating a prototype and evaluating it so that the car would offer basic performance in the form of driving feel and comfort," says Kenji Tsuji, the engineer responsible for Setsuna's concept car. "By displaying Setsuna, which was created with these hopes in mind, and receiving a wide range of opinions, we believe that we can further improve this concept."

Sections of the wooden car were joined together using traditional Japanese carpentry techniques such as "okuriari," which allows the panels to be fitted without nails, and "kusabi," a mortise and tenon type of joinery.

"Okuriari allows the panels to be fitted without using nails, so they can be easily removed," says Toyota. "It makes for stronger joints and allows minor changes to be made to the mortise and dovetail joints if they become worn over time. The joints in the car's frame feature split tenons fastened to through-tenons that pass through several component parts in the frame to give a secure hold."

Although the Setsuna concept car is fully functional, it has not received approval to run on the road.

The Italian brand Askoll presented its latest electric scooter designs, showcasing two different versions: the ES1 (single-seater) and ES2 (two-seater). The compact urban scooters feature a minimalistic design, LED lighting system, convenient battery compartment, a durable and lightweight chassis and an Askoll energy-efficient electric motor. The models are powered by two lithium ion battery packs with a total capacity of 2.1 kWh.

"The battery can be charged from any household outlet: just pull it out from its tail section (it weighs about 8 kg, less than a crate of water) and connect it to its charger or you can charge directly from the scooter," says Askoll. "It takes about 3 hours to go from 0 to 100 percent but it is not necessary to wait until the battery is completely flat to attach it to the current nor wait for it to fully charge before detaching it. You can also charge it daily without any reduction in performance."

Citroën on the other hand presented its E-Mehari all-electric vehicle during the event. The concept was announced late last year and features a thermoformed plastic body. The vehicle has a Cactus-inspired face, grooved doors inspired by the original Méhari, and a redesigned rear-end.

The electric motor has a peak power of 50 kW and the car has a top speed of 110 km/h (68 mph). With a capacity of 30 kWh, its lithium-ion battery has range of 200 kilometers (124 miles) and takes between eight and 13 hours to fully recharge. It has a folding rear seat and removable hood, and a 200-liter luggage capacity.

Barlinek, layered wood floors manufacturer, Tabanda design studio and Design Alive Magazine presented a Sensorial Carpentry exhibit. The creative and interactive wood workshop allowed visitors to get their hands dirty and take on the role of a traditional woodworker, sawing and working with wood materials.

"Sensorial Carpentry presents wood in a straightforward and adept, yet unorthodox manner," says the team. "One can both feel like a true-born woodworker or simply look at the material from a fresh angle. Pull on the wooden plaid shirts, put the lumberjack beards on your face and get thrilled by our timber world, full of wonderful sensory cues."

"The House of the Wayfarer" was created by architect Michele De Lucchi, curated by Marco Ferreri and furnished by Billiani, Danese, Magis, A Ferro e Fuoco. The installation represents four eco-sustainable mountain shelters designed for hikers. Each module includes all of the basic necessities for a warm and good night's sleep, including a wood fire, running water, basic cooking utensils, bathroom with shower facilities and wooden bunks.

"The sheet metal roof of the cabin gathers rainwater in a gutter that feeds a cistern," says Marco Ferreri. "The quantity stored is sufficient for two people to take a shower. In the winter the water is heated by a wood-burning stove on which it is also possible to cook, while in the summer warmth is provided by a small solar panel. A photovoltaic panel feeds a low-tension battery to power three LED lamps and recharge mobile phones."

The "Towers" installation project by architects Sergei Tchoban, Sergey Kuznetsoc and Agni Ya Sterligova measured 12 meters (39 ft) high and featured 336 LED panels. The cylindrical tower is inspired by a multi-media building and operates as a digital canvas, broadcasting sketches by the architects themselves.

"Actually, the work should not be seen as a true tower, but as a tower prototype, a work that functions as a starting point for thinking about the nature of architecture and the role of the dominant features of the man-made landscape," say the architects.

To get a look at all the other great designs that were on display during this year's FuoriSalone, be sure to check out our complete photo gallery.

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