For the last few weeks, we've been scouring the web for the best designs unveiled at the 2010 Milan Furniture Fair, the year's single most important design event. And now, here's a slideshow round-up of what we caught our eye. (Throughout, hit the links for more pics and information.)
Here, a chair for Driade by Fabio Novembre, the Italian master of surreal wackiness.
Remember those foam flip-out lounge chairs you had as a kid? For Cerrutti Baleri, designer Leonardo Perugi created a high-end, ultra-functional riff on that theme...
Another for Q&M: The Shrub Table by Zhili Liu. The branching legs uniformly distribute the load on them--thus allowing the legs themselves to be far thinner.
The Sparkling Chair
, designed by Marcel Wanders for Magis. The chair was created by "blow molding"--the same process used to create plastic bottles. (The legs are a reminder of those origins.)
...and the requisite pocket-knife, perfect for torturing James Bond.
A coat-rack by up-and-coming Swiss designers Big Game, for Moustache, a new, buzzed-about furniture brand out of France.
For Moustache, Big Game also designed clever wall-hooks that don't destroy your clothes, and grab whatever you're trying to hang with greater ease.
Also for Moustache, the Guichet clock by Inga Sempé. See more of the collection here
Minimal but curvaceous folding end tables
, designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Magis.
Another design by the Bouroullec's for Established & Sons: A lamp
inspired by lighthouse design.
First Prize at the Salone Satellite--a show dedicated to young, unheralded designers--went to Nao Tamura, for a series of serving plates
...which were made of silicone, so that they not only look like banana leaves, but roll up like them as well.
Funky minimalism by Zilio A&C
: The Rinne chair designed by Mikko Laakkonen, and the XY table by Tomoko Azumi
Design stars make their names by finding overlooked market niches. Recently, Nika Zupanc has become a darling of the scene by designing with a frilly but smart sensibility--countering the butch minimalism that still dominates contemporary furniture design. Here, a sofa from her "Gone with the Wind" collection
...which can be transformed into a guest bed and nightstand.
A wacky bedroom designed by Mathieu Lehanneur for an exhibition by Veuve Clicquot. For other images, visit NotCot
A chandelier for Swarovski of living crystals, in the process of being made. We previous covered it here
, but click here
for more pics.
Another Swarovski project, this one
by Yves Béhar. The shade is made of paper, but inside there's an LED light shining through a crystal--producing the look of a chandelier, without all the expensive materials.
Another for Established & Sons, this time by Swedish trio Front. The Transformation Table
, when closed, is a oval-shaped end table. But the top flips up and one half folds out, creating a small writing desk. When closed, the interior shelf is big enough to hide a laptop.
The perfect snack food for Milan: Designer Hafsteinn Juliusson presented Slim Chips
, made of paper infused with natural flavorings such as peppermint.