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Milan showcases Italian design

by Elena Guarneri last modified 2008-06-20 15:11

The best of Italian and international interior design was recently showcased at Milan's Salone del Mobile . For those of you who didn't make it to the show, here are our recommendations . .

Italian design3000 exhibitors, 70,000 participants and more than 200,000 visitors - these are the impressive figures for this year's edition of the Salone del Mobile di Milano. Consider, however that furniture and interior design are an essential part of the Italian design phenomenon and the figures are not so surprising.And quite a boom it is, too! According to Cosmit/Federlegno-Arredo furniture sales in 2000 amounted to 44,116 billion lire compared to the 41,107 of the previous year - an increase of over 7%.
, the United States and Germany are the top importers of Italian furniture, which, thanks to its originality and flexibility of design can still hold its own in a highly competitive market.
What the secret of this success? Passion and professionalism, according to design star Philippe Starck, who prefers to work with the likes of Claudio Luti from Kartell, Enrico Astori from Driade and Alberto Alessi from Alessi "because they love each design project, they love it with a passion".
Italian furniture "capitals" are the unlikely trio of Brianza, Pesaro and the Triveneto area, where design classics, produced by relatively small companies are exported to countries all over the world.

Trends and trendies
The latest trends and tendencies in fashion and interior design reflect each other more and more. And that's not just in the superstar designers and post-collection party circuit but also in the choice of materials and prevailing themes, such as this season's luxurious look.
cassinaKey items in Italian furniture showrooms are a wide selection of colourful armchairs and couches, which can be mixed and matched to suit all tastes, we really liked offerings from Cassina and Moroso; as well as the classic table and chairs - the latest versions are minimalist in inspiration and are made from recycled materials, mixing wood with plastic to recreate the design mood of the 1960s and '70s. The trendiest furniture is made by Segis using bottles and yoghurt jars, and won special recognition by the EU. Must-have wardrobes are geometric in design, include a wide range of accessories and can be adapted to suit each client's individual needs. And then it's time for bed, preferably in one of Flou's gorgeous models which use the softest leather instead of the usual fabric.
Custom-design and eclectic sum up this new spirit in interior design. In the words of the design guru Enzo Mari: "The show is the result of our need to keep on creating new pieces, because nowadays freedoms means choice." One example of this choice is the space given over in the Show to the art of recycling, with an exhibition, iMade, organised by Material Connexion from New York, dedicated to the theme.

Made in Milan…
For the five days of the Salone Milan became the hub of interior design with a series of openings and shows all over the city. Ettore Sottsass Jr's show in Studio Casoli on Corso Monforte was a particular success. The show consisted of 8 original pieces of furniture and 15 hand-blown glass sculptures commissioned from the acclaimed designer by design mentor and merchant Ernest Mourmans. As Enzo Mari says: "Milan creates product culture.".
However, if anyone should ask you why a city like Milan is still without a Design or Fashion Museum, pretend you don't hear: it's too hard a question to answer.

Links - - the website of the acclaimed US design lab which is famous for its research into alternative materials.
Segis - - The site of the Siena-based company awarded by the EU for its recycling policies. - - The site for post-modern design enthusiasts

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