Highlights from Milan Design Week

April 9-14 was the week creatives from around the world swarmed to Milan Design Week and the 58th edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano event.

What a week it was! In the space of 6 days our visiting team packed in 60 hours/36,500km flying, attended the Salone del Mobile/Workplace3.0 exhibition and topped it off with 1240km driving around northern Italy to visit new manufacturing partners.

As an international showcase of design creativity and furnishing, Salone del Mobile certainly doesn’t disappoint. The scale of the event is breathtaking, with the exhibition grounds covering an area of over 400,000m2 (or 100 acres in old school terms), 2418 exhibitors from 43 different countries, and 386,000 attendees from 181 countries.

Incorporated in the Salone del Mobile event this year was the bi-annual Workplace3.0, showcasing forward-thinking ideas and focusing on workplace concepts which accommodate the rapidly changing world of workspaces and ways of working.



The trend this year was for a move towards a more organic feel, with product and stand designs incorporating soft curves and rounder forms. A number of installations utilised billowing fabrics, hanging tassels and other forms of semi-transparent dividers, providing space delineation while giving an open, inviting feel.



The trend in colour is towards blending bolder richer tones with softer, more muted pastel palettes. Prevalent hues were burnt orange, mustard yellow, cobalt blue, sage green, mulberry, deep reds, and softer shades of pink. While some of the more domestic-oriented ranges featured gold or brass in frames and detailing, commercial ranges tended to be more muted with frames and bases predominantly in black.



Another feature especially noticeable throughout was the recognition of the benefits of incorporating nature into day to day environments, with increased greenery installations, ranging from floral arrangements through to large scale tree plantings and luscious tropical settings.



Of special note were new releases from our friends at Inclass. The ‘Taia’ range by Simon Pengelly is a complete family of versatile chairs with an enveloping seat of refined and fluid lines, with a combination of bases to enable the chair to easily inhabit all kinds of public or private spaces, from outdoor dining to elegant boardroom. More details on this range will be available in June.



Also revealed were new polypropylene base options for the Varya chair which expand its breadth of capability to encompass outdoor use.

Another new addition to the Inclass range is the Entropy collection of modular sofas. Designed by Christophe Pillet, Entopy allows for countless compositions to be formed by the variety of elements in different shapes, sizes and heights.

Especially comfortable was the new Escalas sofa range. The collection is composed by a large group of upholstered elements which can be combined into any number of configurations from traditional sofas to complex modular shapes or privacy/meeting booth layouts.

Elsewhere in Workplace3.0 was an intriguing new collection which took the concept of agile working to a whole new level. Developed in collaboration with one of the worlds most innovative architecture and design firms, this award-winning range is set to challenge the way we think about workspaces and how well they cater to changing work habits and requirements. Crestline is working to bring this range exclusively to New Zealand later this year – stand by for further details…

Following attendance at the Milan event, our intrepid team hit the road and headed for a secret location near the French alps to visit the production facility of our new component manufacturing partner. Most impressive it was, a modern 10,000m2 facility with the latest robotic machinery for laser cutting, folding, welding, and grinding/fine finishing a wide range of desking components.

From there was the final leg back to Milan Malpensa Airport (wondering why we can’t seem to do private partnerships in NZ to build toll roads like the fantastic Italian Autostrada’s), with the 30 hour return flight providing plenty of time to reflect on what was truly an amazing and eventful week.

Stay tuned for exciting new releases coming up soon!

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