What our design editor loved most at Milan Design Week 2024

The droves were out in full force at the Super Bowl event of design: Milan Design Week. Showrooms and installations around the city for Fuorisalone and the 62nd edition of Salone del Mobile drew over 300,000 worldwide visitors this year. The fair alone saw more than 360,000 people in attendance—a 17 percent increase from the previous year.

Amidst the extravaganza of things to see—from David Lynch’s highly anticipated Salone debut to a number of lectures held at the perpetually in-progress center for architecture and design, Dropcity—a circular economy and material research was an inescapable theme. It felt particularly apt as the week kicked off with abnormally high temperatures for April in Milan at 80 degrees Fahrenheit and poor air quality due to pollution. Some of the highlights from the city proved to be not just visually striking but urgent ways to redesign waste at-scale.

mushroom furniture
The Alder Collection includes mushroom-shaped stools, side tables, and lounge tables (Nicklas Hemming)

Alder Collection by Patricia Urquiola for Mater

Danish design brand Mater has patented a biodegradable material and technology, Matek, that turns waste into moldable raw material. Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola has used this material to create the Alder Collection: tree-like lounge tables, side tables, and stools. Some are made with a blend of coffee waste and biodegradable plastic, while others are made from wood fibers and biodegradable plastic. Their organic shape and form help visually tie the design back to nature and material technology.

Flaxwood at Milan Desin Week
Flaxwood is a natural architectural tile derived from linseed oil (Federico Ciamei)

Flaxwood by Dzek and Christien Meindertsma

Frederick Walton pioneered linoleum in 1860, where it has gone on to be mass produced through a composition of 97 percent natural raw materials. London-based Dzek, a studio producing slow architectural materials, and designer Christien Meindertsma, who has for the past 16 years studied flax, saw an opportunity to intervene in this process by creating Flaxwood, a natural architectural tile derived from linseed oil. The duo presented the beauty and performance of the new material through an exhibition designed by Arquitectura-G.

red sofa and green table
Roche Bobois partnered with designer Jiang Qiong Er on a bamboo-inspired collection (Stevens Fremont)

Bamboo Mood Collection by Jiang Qiong Er and Roche Bobois

Chinese designer Jiang Qiong Er’s bamboo-inspired furniture collection offered a calm respite from the hustle and bustle of Fuorisalone. Installed in Roche Bobois’s showroom, the work created a meditation den that takes on both the sculptural and cultural significance of the source material. Coral and green hues complement Bamboo Mood’s seating, console tables, side and coffee tables, rugs, and screens.

See more picks on aninteriormag.com.

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