The 2022 Milan Furniture Fair’s Top Picks

Milan Furniture Fair celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2022, and after years of closed borders there was a plethora of new designs for Australians who ventured across the world for the week-long event. We asked Kirsten Stanisich of Richards Stanisich to review the key findings.

Lava and Tambor by Habitación 116 for Unno Gallery

Contemporary Latin American art and design gallery Unno presented an evocative exhibition in Milan’s Brera Design District. Entitled “Volume, The Land, and The Maker”, the exhibition is inspired by a painting by Josef Albers from his Homage to the Square series.

Mexican interior design studio Habitación 116 and Chilean artist Abel Cárcaco were invited to create pieces synthesizing the color, materials and form of Albers’ painting. Both the Lava chair and the Tambor side table are inspired by the El Pedregal district of Mexico City and the volcanic landscape on which it sits. The chair derives its color theory from the five colors of volcanic rocks while Tambor is a monolithic piece of volcanic stone that doubles as a stool.

“I connected with these pieces, which have an incredible elegance with their references to tradition and the use of craftsmanship contrasted with a rich contemporary color palette,” Stanisich said.

Simoon console by Patricia Urquiola for Glas Italia.

Simoon by Patricia Urquiola for Glas Italia

Qualified as “miniature architectures” by its designer Patricia Urquiola, Simoon is a collection of coffee tables, high tables, consoles and a writing desk that take the form of “deliberately simplified geometries”.

The collection is made of 12 mm thick UV-bonded glass plates and has a pleasant tactile surface thanks to its layer of crushed Murano glass, created from recycled production waste. The tables are available in amethyst, light blue and topaz.

“Glas Italia has always been close to my heart and this year my love for the brand continued,” Stanisich said. “The use of soft colours, textures and geometric shapes contrasts with the impressive technical precision of Glas Italia. These pieces are beautiful.”

Koushi by Kengo Kuma for Salvatori.

Koushi by Kengo Kuma for Salvatori.

Koushi by Kengo Kuma for Salvatori

Koushi is a modular furniture concept based on a series of cubes made from sticks and joints that can be assembled endlessly.

“This bathroom vanity from Salvatori took the clarity of a simple concept and combined it with incredibly detailed precision,” Stanisich said.

In addition to vanity units, Koushi can also be used as shelves, cupboard solutions and coffee tables.

Ottavia by Antonio Citterio for Flexform.

Ottavia by Antonio Citterio for Flexform.

Image: Kirsten Stanisich

Ottavia by Antonio Citterio for Flexform

Ottavia is an elegant outdoor armchair designed by Antonio Citterio that combines a powder-coated stainless steel structure with a hand-woven cord. “The rough texture of the cord contrasts so well with the minimal silhouette of the chair,” Stanisich said. Also available in a small armchair size, the design is versatile for a range of outdoor spaces.

Signature Kitchen by Nicolas Schuybroek Architects for Obumex

Signature Kitchen by Nicolas Schuybroek Architects for Obumex

Signature Kitchen by Nicolas Schuybroek Architects for Obumex

“Everyone was obsessed with this pewter kitchen and I joined the queue,” Stanisich said. This monolithic kitchen island designed by the Belgian architect Nicolas Schuybroek is entirely made of pewter, a unique material in the design of contemporary kitchens.

“Nicolas Schuybroek reimagined the block-like typology of a kitchen island and transformed it into a dynamic form, resulting in carefully proportioned changes between the sculptural blocks,” said the designer. “As the pewter acquires a unique patina, the aesthetics of the kitchen will evolve beautifully over time, making every kitchen unique.”

Port Light by Tom Fereday for Rakumba

Port Light by Tom Fereday for Rakumba

Image: Kirsten Stanisich

Port Light by Tom Fereday for Rakumba

Created by Australian designer Tom Fereday in collaboration with lighting manufacturer Rakumba, the Port Light is a unique reversible table lamp that celebrates the properties of cast crystal glass. Stanisich was drawn to the “soft shapes and internal stepped layers” of light. The light is reversible simply by turning the glass body over to create different moods and light interactions. It is housed in a brass base.

Und Messing by Volker Haug

Und Messing by Volker Haug

Image: Pier Carthew

Und Messing by Volker Haug

Australian lighting studio Volker Haug presented a new series of luminaires exploring the different properties of brass in its Und Messing (and Brass) exhibition.

Each piece is handcrafted by local artisans and explores various ideas from the past two years. Stanisich found that “Volker Haug’s brass wall sconce beautifully expresses its artisanal origins,” she said.

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