What our contributing products editor loved most at Milan Design Week 2024

Milan Mementos

installation at Milan Design Week

The breezy spring weather added to the festive ambiance around town during this year’s Milan Design Week. Many of the products on display focused on the importance of sustainability and circular design, with furnishings brand Andreu World previewing the Circular Design Challenge in their showroom—an effort to kickstart a design revolution for the entire industry. Other trends at the show included the integration of AI into kitchen appliance technology and the use of immersive installations to tell product stories in a compelling way. Here are a few outstanding installations, collaborations, and product introductions presented by brands at Salone del Mobile and throughout the city.

installation inside circular interior with balconies
At Teatro Gerolamo, Cosentino and Formafantasma unveiled Earthic by Silestone XM (Courtesy Cosentino)

EARTHIC LAB by Formafantasma and Cosentino

The immersive Earthic Lab installation took place inside Teatro Gerolamo, an architectural gem built in 1868 for puppet shows. Cosentino and Milan-based design studio Formafantasma used ethereal music and lighting, video presentations, and piles of raw materials to create a lunar landscape inside the theater to preview the Earthic by Silestone XM collection. Described by the designers as the start of a journey toward sustainability, the surfacing is composed of premium minerals and recycled materials with significantly less silica than traditional engineered stone.

design objects on view on green loggia
Coccoloba is part of the Interni “Cross Vision” program, the largest exhibition in the Fuorisalone circuit (Courtesy Brazilian Furniture)

Coccoloba – Brazilian Exhibition

Curated by Brazilian designer Bruno Simões, the Coccoloba exhibition at the Università degli Studi di Milano was part of the Interni “Cross Vision” program, the largest exhibition in the Fuorisalone circuit. Organized by ApexBrasil with support from Abimóvel, the exhibition of 53 up-and-coming Brazilian designers was inspired by the Coccoloba gigantifolia, a tree species discovered in the Brazilian Amazon with gigantic leaves. The exhibition explored inventive but simple solutions that embody the new Brazilian aesthetic using wood and other certified materials, including natural fibers, leathers, weaves, and organic fabrics.

smoke installation in courtyard
A smoke machine was put to good use alongside Lasvit’s products (Courtesy Lasvit)

Re/Creation by Lasvit

Prague-based glassmaker Lasvit transformed the Palazzo Isimbardi with Re/Creation, winner of this year’s Fourisalone Award. Porta, the centerpiece in the palazzo’s courtyard designed by Lasvit art director Maxim Velcovsky, showcased artisanal fused glass-on-glass facades amongst a foggy mist. Crafted in Europe’s largest glass kiln, the installation illustrates the brand’s capacity in terms of size and options for architectural projects. Inside the palazzo were several other products on display, including the Nebula collection by Swedish architectural studio Claesson Koivisto Rune, which uses a diffusing glass lens to transmit light upward toward a mirror-like, metallized crystal glass reflector.

funiture on view with grass and trees
In the enticing Arper booth at Salone, the brand showcased the four stages of producing the Catifa Carta chair (Courtesy Arper)

Catifa Carta by Arper and PaperShell

Created in collaboration with Swedish start-up PaperShell, the Catifa Carta chair features a re-engineered shell made of a revolutionary new material made of composite wood by-product. Arper, the first manufacturer in the design industry to apply PaperShell material to a product, displayed the four stages of producing the chair in their booth at Salone—from the raw materials to composting the chair at the end of its use.

purple furnishings
A dark and decadent room highlighted the Ghanian designer’s collaboration (Courtesy Poltrona Frau)

Imagine Culture & Craft by Ozwald Boateng and Poltrona Frau

In its Milan showroom, Poltrona Frau displayed new works by Ozwald Boateng that capture his signature graphics enhanced by the Italian brand’s innovative printing techniques, including the Ginger and Ginger Ale armchairs, Martha armchair, Peek-a-Book desk, and the Ren bookcase. The boldly colored and patterned collection also includes home accessories from the British Ghanaian designer such as decorative cushions, rugs, and wallpaper.

insulation resting atop pink stand
The core of these acoustic tiles are recyclable, renewable, and biodegradable (Courtesy Seastex/Yeshen Venema)

ABC Tiles by Seastex

On display at SaloneSatellite, this revolutionary line of acoustic tiles features a byssus core made from mussel beard threads. An eco-friendly alternative to conventional products, the core is 100 percent recyclable, renewable, and biodegradable while offering exceptional sound-absorbing capabilities. As a part of its circular business model, Seastex offers a free collection service and compensates users for the byssus recovered.

textiles at Milan Design Week
In this new textile collection, misaligned Ikat threads created optical illusions (Courtesy Hana Textile Design Studio)

Visual Illusion Textiles by Hana Textile Design Studio

Japanese designer Hana Mitsui discovered that misaligned Ikat threads created optical illusions and translated that into her new textile design collections. Utilizing Kasuri weaving techniques, the designer employs warps and wefts that can be dyed independently with different patterns—the warps using CMY and the wefts in a checkered pattern in different pitches—to create striking illusions, movement, and depth.