Gizmag's top picks from Milan Design Week 2012
Salone Internazionale del Mobile has been showcasing the latest in home-furnishing design from Italy and around the globe since 1961. This year, Gizmag was lucky enough to be in Milan to preview the best the show has to offer. Our top three exhibits range from innovative design and ecological use of materials to wish-list outdoor kitchens. Here's a look what we consider the best of the fair, from three top Italian companies – Campeggi, Tao and Foppapedretti.
Italian company Campeggi was a standout during the Milan Design Fair, showcasing innovative and transformable furniture that not only looks great but is practical for the family home or small living space. Sweet Talk and Dream is a new project by Matali Crasset, who designed a piece of furniture which is not a single element, but rather a part of the whole furnishing. The design features modularity, flexibility and transformation, in the form of a domestic lounge equipped with a table and seat for talking, relaxing, reading, using a notebook or even dining. Furthermore, the lounge easily opens up to transform into a bed, while the table becomes a convenient night table.
Campeggi's Ipouf introduces technology into everyday living. This soft pouf houses a wireless audio amplifier system and offers a fun and playful solution to listening to music.
Lazy Football is a fun and creative design for the kids and those who hate being goal keeper! This creative design is an indoor/outdoor metal chair, featuring a soccer goal under the seat.
Campeggi also exhibited Tic Tac, a clever library that turns into a chaise longue. The modern shelf becomes a comfortable longue without losing its case identity, by simply turning the top section on its hinge. Grab a book and sit back and relax, but try not to tip all the books off the shelf as you do (Note to self: keep folding library section empty!).
While this last piece of furniture from Campeggi may seem a little odd, it could easily become an invaluable piece to have around the home. Slope is a furniture element made to be a portable armchair, step ladder and informal seat all at the same time. Thanks to its little wheels, Slope can be easily moved wherever you need an armchair or a small ladder, which remains hidden and pops up only when it’s necessary. The footprint design on the fully-removable and washable cover invites users to use the armchair’s structure as a support to reach the desired height.
Italian company TAO launched its first outdoor furniture collection in 2010. The company boasts a strong reputation for design, innovation, practicality, style and comfort. A highlight of their exhibit was the Open Bar – a new outdoor kitchen design featuring an integrated cover system. The sleek modern outdoor unit comes complete with overhead motorized coverage of the kitchen with remote control.
The system is also equipped with a security anemometer that activates the closing mechanism when the intensity of the wind exceeds a preset limit. The unit is comprised of anodized aluminum, overhead LED lighting, ultra-resistant polyester cover with PVC coating, BBQ grill and sink. The system can be hooked up to existing water, gas and electricity mains, or easily connected to portable units.
Also from TAO, Open Air is an outdoor shade system with an aluminum structure, motorized opening and remote control. The setting accommodates eight to ten people and represents a new interpretation of outdoor living, focusing on minimalism and versatility. The system is also equipped with an anemometer security feature that activates the closing mechanism when winds are strong. Additionally, Open Air comes with the options of LED lighting, a heating unit and mist cooler.
Foppapedretti this year launched its colorful Trax Collection designed by Luca Trazzi, with a series that reinvigorates classic storage units. Featuring over 40 interior design items from kitchen units and hidden ironing boards to storage sofas and bookcases, Trax is a cheerful, bright and functional collection that upholds eco-friendly standards. Each unit is made using wood sourced from certified geographical areas (where the reforestation is monitored by local laws); chromium-plated handles; recycled aluminum; and water-based paints that are non-toxic and also grant a drastic cut in harmful emissions. Furthermore, the company prides itself with making all the elements of the collection in Italy.