In April of this year, the world’s design pack flocked to Milan for another week of interiors, Instagram and aperitivo. HMKM spent 3 days immersing ourselves in all things design to identify the key trends that will inspire our projects for 2019:
1. The Human Touch
Craftmanship and the creative process took center stage throughout many of Milan’s exhibitions; Loewe, Hermès and Nendo to name but a few. Beautifully handcrafted, raw pieces were showcased amongst sleek, polished furniture emphasizing the contrast between machine and human processes. Loewe invited some of the artisans into their store to demonstrate how they created the woven leather objets d’art on display.
“More is more” seemed to be the motto for this year’s designers as maximalism took center stage with materials, color, screens and lighting all in abundance. Nilufar Gallery showcased room dividers in striking colors that contrasted their equally striking monotone wallpaper. Lambert & Fils layered their Sainte pendants – both in presentation and in materiality – with their colored glass slabs suspended by thick black straps at Café Populaire.
3. Sustainable Design
It should come as no surprise that the phrases “sustainable” and “circular design” were on everyone’s lips at Salone this year. Spearheading the conversation were the likes of COS and Note Design Studio that both featured heavily on design-savvy Instagram feeds for most of the week. COS X Mamou-Mani revolutionized 3D printing with 700 truncated “biobricks” that formed a pavilion-like structure from renewable polymers and pulp from Douglas fir trees. The result was a sustainable waterproof material that can be extruded like a plastic and made from fully compostable materials.
4. Organic Forms
Fervent experiments in sustainable materials and processes now seem to be informing design, as organic shapes featured in many installations. In Tom Dixon’s new restaurant, The Manzoni, the molten-glass-looking Melt pendants are suspended above the counter, and Moroso’s soft curves and ellipsoid side-tables complemented the subtle palette of blush and rust tones.
5. Social Impact
Wallpaper* Handmade marked their tenth year by talking all-things love. They paired artists, architects and designers to co-create “heart-swelling tools, tokens and totems of affection.” Elmgreen & Dragset and Georg Jensen explored how a couple’s evening routine has been affected by the advent of tech with their “cellphone slumber pod.” Raf Simons’ dystopian suburbia titled “No Man’s Land” used meadow florals installed by Mark Colle and Jean Prouvé’s prefab cabins to dissect and examine their textile design process.