Posts Tagged ‘Milan’

Tom Dixon Makes Things Better

May 5, 2012

Get a load of this article recently published in the Wall Street Journal.  I love how Tom Dixon’s DIY attitude started him along the way … creativity and experimentation keep it all humming along today.  Authentic ideas and curiosity … I think that is why there is an exciting vibe about the Tom Dixon brand …

The release of Stamp lights and candle holders at this spring’s Salone del Mobile in Milan gives us more than an object to point at and say “cool.”  It spurs us to imagine a world in which high tech industrial technology may even allow a small local shop to custom design and produce goods for clients as they wait.  Take a look …

Bocci 28 Series

June 15, 2011

We love the Bocci 28 Series chandelier!  After highlighting the custom color version at Rossana Orlandi in Milan this past April …

…Bocci took their show to the streets of New York where they rigged a display other versions of 28 during ICFF in May…

We love the handmade qualities, the possibility to customize size, color, and above all … the singular style of the new 28 Series!

Red Hot From Milano … LC Series Outdoor

April 30, 2011

“Observed as an ensemble, this first Cassina Outdoor collection set on a lawn, a beach, under a patio exudes a regal air, an aristocratic family portrait en plein air. The collection consists of six pieces that are all part of the history of contemporary design and architecture. Each piece with its strong personality, features a story and an attitude. One way to occupy space, to define it around yourself, in such a strangely natural way yet at the same time both high and noble. An extraordinary ability to overcome time both in body and spirit. Highlighting the essence of a thought at the apex of a highly refined architectural journey, next to the perfection of natural forms, living, changing, highly mobile, unpredictable, eternal. Nature. Culture. Side by side, showing each other respect, vitality, dialogue, communion.”

Extreme outdoor durability in stainless steel, technical fabrics, and naturally resiliant wood.  Extreme elegance for outdoor living.  Only from Cassina. View the complete LC Outdoor collection of sofas, chairs, tables, and chaise by clicking below:

I Chiostri

April 19, 2011

I had the morning to stop by the Chiostri dell’Umanitaria for an out-of-body experience in color, texture, and composition from Paola Lenti. The company is conducting an ongoing restoration of this 15th Century Franciscan monastery. Indoors or out, flooring to furniture … when you want a unique expression, Paola Lenti delivers.















New Corbu!

April 18, 2011

Corbu in Cages?

April 14, 2011

Outdoor spaces are truly special around this city … whether a park or a private courtyard, Milan always amazes me in this respect.  But, when I arrived for my 11 o’clock appointment at the Milano Design Village … I was truly surprised!  During Salone, this cavernous warehouse space is especially outfitted to show the new ideas from Poltrona Frau, Cappellini, and Cassina.  However, I never expected this:

Charlotte Perriand’s wooden outdoor chaise lounge inside the cage mirrors the indoor LC4 outside.  There were also LC3 chairs, LC10 dining and coffee tables, and even the LC1 “sling” chair all re-designed for outdoor use!  It even rained inside the cage to show that these pieces are made to withstand outdoor elements!  I was enthralled and loved the playful nature of it all!  Please … download the iPhone or iPad app for Cassina and check out the “Events” section to see more from the Milano Design Village.

The other unexpected treasure for me today was Spazio Rossana Orlandi.  This is a Milanese design legend … and after many years travelling here … it was my first visit.


The courtyard was full of people enjoying the food, drink, atmosphere, and design … the space had great energy and there were treasures everywhere … inside and out.  There was this beautiful Bocci chandelier:

But the thing that just took my breath away was this life-sized needlepoint horse and rider from Frederique Morrel:

A great way to cap the day walking around the city!

Good Morning Milan!

April 12, 2011

This is always an exciting trip for me.  Well, truth be told,  I’ve always loved to pick up and go … wherever.  Car, bus, plane.  Doesn’t matter.  Its and adventure to depart the daily routine.  A chance to see with new perspective!

A few layovers, one change of airports via bus in New York, and before I knew it … I woke up as the flight was descending over the Alps into Milano!  One crazy-slow guy checking passports in my lane is all that keeps me from picking up by bag off the carousel. 

Oops, he shut his door right as I stepped up!  I’ve been eyeing the guy next to him was shouting for people to run through his line and the satisfying “thunk” of his approval stamp at oh say “allegro” pace.  It’s actually been kind of comedic relief.  He got frustrated with the immense gaggle of arriving passengers and decided to just bull them all through.  I put on my turn signal and merge into that lane.  Aahh!  The accepted me!  I’m in!  Good to go!

Its spring here, just like back home in Oklahoma …

And I’m lucky to arrive to a clear, mild, sunny day.  Spring can be wet, but they’ve all been telling me its been a little bit warm lately.  I show up to meet Attilio who is renting me his apartment for the week.

As with much of Milan … the treasure is behind the buildings that line the streets … inside, there are magnificent courtyards everywhere.  Its the hidden city.  I’m up on the second floor where all the plants line the walk.

Behind this door.  The light is fantastic … its quiet and the windows are all open to catch the breeze.  Atillio and his wife have offered to come cook dinner for me tonight.  I can make myself right at home here … walk down to the corner for groceries (my Gringo habit of early breakfast is not something one does outside of hotels here), listen to a selection from Attilio’s CD collection.  This is nice!

I’m right by Parco Sempione and all the Milanese seem to be out enjoying the weather, running, walking the dog, etc.  I toodle right by the Castello…

… on my way to the Palazzo Dell’Arte which houses the Triennale exhibition.  I’m coming here because I’ve read about a fantastic design exhibit called “Dream Factories” about the people and ideas behind Italian design.  Let’s go upstairs and into the show space.

And the show does not disappoint

It’s meant to create a dialogue about design, but particularly what makes this region of the world so singular in that context.  Within a 50-mile radius of this city, there are a special group of small to medium companies, often are generations old, whose output is characterized by fine craftsmanship produced with the aid of machinery.  These companies lead the world of design because they take creative risks that the majority of mass-production companies would never dream of.

I especially love the use of the good gardener metaphor on the wall which greets you as you enter.  “The metaphor of the good gardener, sensitive, attentive and patient, can be helpful in understanding the practice of Italian Design Factories  The good gardener sows, of course, what he things is right, but above all he tills the ground carefully to receive the new crops and takes particular care when the first shoots begin to appear, nurturing them carefully to enable them to express the potential they have within them.  Moreover, the good gardener knows he can count on unexpected seeds brought to him by the wind.  Good products usually arrive when they want to.  It is difficult to produce works of art to order.  Despite all the efforts, good projects follow their own rhythms, which are often inscrutable and can rarely be planned … good projects cannot be commissioned at will:  there has to be inspiration and sensibility, and if these are lacking there’s nothing to do but wait.” 

Can you imagine this as a corporate way of thinking?

The exhibit also shows all kinds of innovative results of the Italian Design Factories.  One of my favorites is Parentesi from Flos.

Though it’s a consummate exercise in simplicity … it creates surprise and wonder.  The taut steel cable (due to the rubberized lead weight on the floor) creates just enough friction with the double curved tube holding the light that you can simply slide it vertically wherever you like and it will hold its position perfectly!

What a great way to start the adventure!  A little eye candy and brain candy all rolled up.  Add a happy stomach … and you’re beginning to get the feel for Milan!

Stay tuned … the camera is coming with me everywhere!  Tonight off to see the new Giorgetti showroom, then dinner with my landlords … and finally a full night’s sleep.  Tomorrow morning its off to Bergamo to visit the Alias factory, then off to the fairgrounds to see the lights fantastic!

Travel with SRH to Milan

April 11, 2011

Karin Sander, 3D Bodyscan of the living person for i saloni 2011

Brian Hughes is packing his bags and headed to Milan for i saloni where he will be reporting on the latest and greatest in domestic furnishings. Follow Brian via SR Hughes’ blog at April 12 – 19th. Brian wants feedback, questions and suggestions so let him know your thoughts. Ciao for now!

Outdoor Living Nothing New For Paola Lenti

April 26, 2009


The rage this year at Salone is to add outdoor lifestyle to your resume.  I can understand.  In Milan and just about anywhere I’ve ever been in Italy, outdoor living is part of the way you live.  I have to admit, Paola Lenti didn’t begin designing furniture for outdoors.  In fact, I discovered her by way of incredibly innovative felt floor coverings which incorporated industrial conveyer belt technology.  As with anything she touches, it will absolutely be built via her own innovation.  That is why I was so delighted with her collection this year.  The display moved out of Superstudio Piu in Zona Tortona (where everyone else is clamoring to be) to a serene Palazzo in the city.  A quiet oasis, this was one of my favorites of the fair.  Not only for the calm (a necessary balm during this week) but because her production uses handcraft coupled with the latest technology to give “rhythm, breath, and emotion” to the living space.  She’s been working in the outdoor milieu for several years now and count on this — she delivers forms, textiles, rugs, textures, and colors for outdoor that you will only under the name Paola Lenti.

Italian Adventure

April 19, 2009

ingoumbrellas2I’m boarding a plane headed for Milan!  Its time for  Salone Internazionale del Mobile .   Whenever this trip comes up in conversation, my friends tell me I’m lucky to have this chance.  Don’t I know it!  I get the chance every other year to take this plunge.  Travel is something I live for!  The way Vicente Wolf describes it in his book Crossing Boundaries:  travel changes the way he sees — his focus broadens, what he notices is different not simply for his being in a different place, but for altering his state of mind … the way he takes in his surroundings.  I couldn’t agree more!  It creates a rare opportunity.  Food, language, history, design, artistry … its all boiling over this one crazy week in Milan!  Join me here daily as I bring you details of the trip!

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