Hela Jungerius's Colour Wheel for Vitra
Hela Jungerius's Colour Wheel for Vitra

5 things not to miss in Milan next week

Here’s what to look out for at Salon del Mobile, the world’s largest furniture and design fair opening on April 12

From clocks to concept cars Milan’s Salone del Mobile remains the world’s key design event. 2016's fair, which runs 12-17 April, is already shaping up to be a vintage year. Here's a handful of the things we're looking forward to seeing. 

Hella Jongerius’s Colour Library  Ten years ago, the acclaimed Dutch designer Hella Jongerius began working on a commission for Vitra, investigating the colours, textures, finishes and materials used in the Swiss furniture company’s products. The project, called the Vitra Colour and Material Library, was originally intended to enliven classic Vitra designs by the likes of Charles and Ray Eames. However, Vitra was so impressed by Hella’s wealth of polychromatic materials and textures that it's themed its 2016 Milan display around these incredible wheels of colour.

 

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Sou Fujimoto’s Forest of Light  The forest has been an important theme within the Japanese architect’s work for many years. At 2016’s Salone del Mobile Sou Fujimoto has collaborated with the Swedish clothing company COS, to create a forest-like installation, made only from spotlights; these arboreal beams will react to visitors' movements as they walk around the installation. In the accompanying video, above, the architect explains that this installation is his “purest realisation of the forest concept” so far.

 

Arita and Scholten & Baijings 2016/ collection
Arita and Scholten & Baijings 2016/ collection

Arita and Scholten & Baijings 2016/ collection  The ceramic traditions of Japan and the Netherlands collide at Artia’s stand. The Japanese firm, working in conjunction with the Amsterdam design couple Scholten & Baijings, is presenting 16 new porcelain collections at the Milan Salone in conjunction with the Rijksmuseum. The 2016/ collections represent over 300 new porcelain pieces developed through collaborations between 10 potteries in Arita, Japan, and 16 designers. This Milan preview will be, followed by a full exhibition in the Rijksmuseum’s Asian Pavilion, where the new pieces will be paired with other similar artworks from the Rijksmuseum's own collection.

 

Toyota's Setsuna
Toyota's Setsuna

Toyota’s 100-year-old wooden car  Most car company presentations at the Salone can’t quite go the distance. Yet this Toyota concept car certainly seems to have found a niche, by offering an alternative to the churn of disposable consumer goods. The wooden-panelled Setsuna’s bodywork is assembled using traditional Japanese joinery techniques, and has a 100-year chronometer set into its dash. The firm hopes far-sighted car owners will treasure the Setsuna, as its woodwork develops a patina of age, making “the car even more appealing over time as it is maintained with love and care, perhaps through generations of the same family.”

 

Studio Job's Comtoise clock for Alessi
Studio Job's Comtoise clock for Alessi

Studio Job’s neo baroque clock and mosaics  The Belgian design practice kicks against the design community's prevailing minimalism, with its opulent, contemporary, more-is-more aesthetic. Studio Job has a wealth of projects on show at the fair this year, including a series of decadent, deathly mosaics for the Italian firm Bisazza, and a contemporary update on a 17th century-style clock, Comtoise, for Alessi.

 

Studio Job's Perish Rose Gold mosaic for Bisazza
Studio Job's Perish Rose Gold mosaic for Bisazza

For more on Hella Jongerius consider these books; for more on Sholten & Baijings buy this monograph; for more on Sou Fujimoto order this new book, and for a greater understanding of product design more generally consider investing in this great Masters of Design collection.