Milan 2019 Review

SALONE DEL MOBILE 2019 ~The Report Part 1: ….the Lights!~

Salone del mobile. Milano 2019 may be over but we are still vibrating with the energy of many new mini-movements in design. If we had to take away one major feeling – it was definitely that of expression.  And celebration! This year it felt to us that instead of designers just simply showcasing their work, they wanted to communicate the journey behind the design as well. It was a case of pragmatism vs personality and a well-balanced pendulum across all boards!


Here is our take on what fellow lighting designers created and most importantly shared with us:

From left: Preciosa, Tala and Bocci

Scale at Preciosa

New technology at Tala

Airborne colour at Bocci.

And everywhere else there appeared to be ‘lines through the skies’! ­­­­

Refined linear lighting was an absolute constant with so much new technology behind this fine-tuning. Subsequently allowing a decorative character to emerge more than ever.

From left: Nemo’s display and right – our own ‘Majorette’ sitting proudly amongst the best of ‘new linear’ lighting

Nemo lighting showcased the lengths of what can be done with this new linear approach: including work by Bernhard Osann – with his ‘Neo‘ dancing lines that folded to walls like illuminated centipedes. Nemo also demonstrated how lighting and structure can be delicate and theatrical with delineating frames across planes, creating a uniform shadow-play, reminiscent of lighting on opera and ballet sets.  It was like someone had run a highlighter over the blueprint of the room and brought it to life.  Spectacular stuff!

From left: Bernhard Osann, Artemide and Charles Kalpakian.

Linear lighting came in all shapes and sizes but classic tubes re-emerged repeatedly. We saw them as sophisticated scribbles at Artemide, and as playful yet functional shapes back at Nemo; like Charles Kalpakian’s aptly named ‘Tubes’; Engine-like extrusions expressed as punchy pendants or clasping to walls as sculptural props.

From left: Michael Anastassiades, The Bouroullec brothers and Tobia.

Flos, of course, didn’t disappoint with their new web of geometric lights by Michael Anastassiades. This was contrasted with a circus-like take on suspension with the playfully modest, suspended rope installation by The Bouroullec brothers.

Taking on the tube theme, Ferruccio Laviani explored a known industrial look with ‘Tobia‘, conveying it with knotted and folded tube extrusions like trombone slides,  adding romance to the restraint.

From left: Bert Frank, Salviati and LZI’s ‘Skyline’.

Bert Frank threw some surprising Art deco shapes with a twist that complemented their entire new collection

While Salviati showcased what could be achieved with whimsically shaped glass forms by creating their dynamic ‘jellyfish’ installation.

When it came to materials in light fabrication, Veneer had a starring role in new lighting.  Pendants reminiscent of classic Danish design shapes were brought into a contemporary context in span and scale;  like LZF’s ‘Skyline Collection”.

From left: Foscarini, Moooi, Penta.

Mesh, of course, had its moment in Milan this year. Metal and material mesh.

Organic simplicity by Foscarini was well received alongside the quintessential ‘Meshmatics’ Moooi pendant, now created n different sizes.

Penta had its own mesh take on a pendant: A finely woven satellite dish; a veritable ‘UFO’ take on the classic Art-deco pendants of yester-year!

And of course metal overall was well expressed in lighting – and refreshingly all colours came into play beautifully alongside their highly-polished counterparts, and many incorporating glass elements.

Above: Karman

One particular experience in the lighting department that was invaluable to this whole journey of where light is shining in future was most definitely the stand at Karman. It successfully communicated the process of engineering and manufacture with a human touch and timescale. A welcome nostalgia to all the new technology!


To sum up, it was evident,  that even in a year, new manufacturing methods and technology have given so much flexibility in not only the function but also the decorative component of probably the most integral constituent of interior design – lighting!


Keep tuned to Part 2 – Shapes, furniture, colour and …future ‘trends’!

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