Salone del mobile and Fuorisalone 2019

The best stands at the Salone del Mobile in Rho Fiera 2019

From interactive animations to stripped-back structures, there was no formula to follow for the best stands of Salone del Mobile.Milano 2019.

Vitra

Vitra took inspiration from not one, but four different ways of living for their 2019 Rho Fiera stand. Organised within what felt like a technicolour sitcom-style neighbourhood — complete with grass green carpet — the Swiss furniture giant set up four cheerily designed homes: The Collector, The Bohemian, The Global Entrepreneur and The Nomad. Each mise en scène showed a different interpretation of Vitra’s classic designs and included new pieces by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Antonio Citterio, Konstantin Grcic and Hella Jongerius.

Preciosa

Nearly 8000 glass spheres were used to create the undulating carousel that made up Preciosa’s booth at Euroluce this year. Designed by Creative Director Michael Vasku, the spheres would react to the movement of humans, lighting up in an undulating wave as the stand rotated. The glass baubles came in opal, amber frosted, clear and pink frosted hues and stretched eight metres in diameter, creating a show-stopping addition to the Euroluce hall.

Vitra, Salone del Mobile 2019, photo Gabriele Zanon
Stand Vitra at Salone del Mobile.Milano, Rho Fiera, Milan Design Week 2019. Photo Gabriele Zanon

Design Holding by Calvi Brambilla

Design Holding, which encompasses B&B Italia, Flos and Louis Poulsen, took the prize for the biggest booth, spanning over 4000sqm, but the floor space was not the main event. In the exterior corridor between showrooms, the brand installed an interactive wall that told the stories of some of their most iconic designs. By touching points on the wall, illustrated projections of the likes of Achille Castiglioni, Gaetano Pesce and Formafantasma would come alive, much to the delight of visitors.

The interactive wall by Dotdotdot for Design Holding

Arper by Studio Maio

In the frenetic environment that is Rho Fiera, Arper asked us to slow all the way down. Their exhibition, entitled Soft(er) Spaces, took the form of an all-white volume centred around a cluster of orange trees. Designed by Barcelona-based Studio Maio, it featured transparent curtains, soft lighting and pale coloured panels hung from above — as well as crowds of fair attendees sprawled across the stand’s generous seating looking for a much-needed break.

Design Holding by Calvi Brambilla, photo Gabriele Zanon
Design Holding by Calvi Brambilla, Salone del Mobile.Milano, Rho Fiera, Milan Design Week 2019. Photo Gabriele Zanon

Kvadrat

The Kvadrat stand, which was designed in-house this year, featured a pared-back aesthetic in untreated blonde wood. Resembling a house frame mid-construction, the Denmark-based textile brand kept things simple, showing their product in swathes of pleated curtains hung across the structure. The unfussy showing was a welcome respite within the otherwise busy fair.

USM by UNStudio

For the second year, Dutch architecture firm UNStudio took the reigns of the USM booth, this time designing an interactive platform that asked visitors to decorate the walls, floor and furniture with stickers featuring USM’s classic geometries and all-new branding. The point of the project, called #making places, was to explore the rapidly proliferating ‘third space’, a public place outside of home or the office where people go to socialise and work.

Stand USM at Salone del Mobile.Milano 2019. Photo Gabriele Zanon
Stand USM at Salone del Mobile.Milano, Rho Fiera, Milan Design Week 2019, photo Gabriele Zanon

Quinti Sedute by Roberto Baciocchi

Architect and Quinti Sedute collaborator Roberto Baciocchi was in charge of the brand’s Rho Fiera booth for 2019, creating a disco-inspired space in super saturated colours and sharp spotlights. A plastic curtain wrapped the exterior of the stand, which had been carpeted with fuchsia flooring to offset the brightly coloured furniture, while a series of oversized porthole windows had been punched into the stand’s envelope for added effect.

Vibia

Dreamy industrial is the best way of describing the Spanish lighting brand Vibia’s booth in the Euroluce section of the fair. Simple, but hazily atmospheric, the booth was composed of a series of interlocking white volumes articulated by see-through curtains in muted tones. Cinder blocks painted in similar shades to the curtains were used as pedestals and to define walkways within the space, creating what felt like an opulent wasteland.

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