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Steel Furniture, New-Wave Murano, and 6 Other Design Trends Spotted by AD Editors in Milan


For those seeking the latest and greatest in design trends, there was no place better to be than Milan in early June. Last week, more than 262,000 visitors turned out for Salone del Mobile’s first full-scale event since 2019. Among them were the global editors of AD—including staffers from AD Italia, AD France, AD Spain, AD Germany, and AD US. After having hit the fair, showroom, installation, and party circuits, here are the design trends we’re still thinking about from Salone del Mobile 2022 and Fuorisalone.

Drop Beasts by Sam Chermayeff, presented by Side Gallery

Photo: Side Gallery

Steel furniture is back

If you love iconic design, you already know Harry Bertoia’s legendary Diamond chair, devised for Knoll in 1952. Made from a grid of welded steel, it remains one of the 20th century’s most iconic seats. This year’s Milan Design Week revealed that Bertoia’s material muse is still relevant today, as designers reprise steel for a major comeback—and that’s especially true when it comes to chairs. For proof, look to young Belgian designer Chanel Kapitanj, who exhibited an impressive metal-mesh chair at Salone Satellite, or AD100 designers Dimorestudio, who highlighted a brutalist yet elegant polished steel and wicker edition that works well on its own or in a seating group. Unlike Bertoia’s classic, these two chairs come in square shapes, giving them an extra edge that’s totally 2022. The only downside? If comfort is your thing, you’ll need to invest in a cushion, too. —Valerie Präkelt, AD Germany

The Tobi-Ishi table by Barber & Osgerby for B&B Italia 

Photo: Tommaso Sartori

Welcome to the new stone age

Marble and stone took center stage at Milan Design Week 2022 in every possible incarnation, thanks to special treatments that enable them to adapt to any setting and occasion. In designers’ hands, these hard surfaces come across as if they were totally malleable and supple materials. Backlit slabs at Antolini, for instance, displayed a complete tableware collection crafted from Irish green marble that had undergone a stain-resistant treatment. At Alcova, multicolored furnishings by Sabine Marcelis and OMA caught visitors’ eyes, as did the sculptural, white Carrara marble Wave basin by Studio Fuksas at Antoniolupi. Barber Osgerby, meanwhile, revisited the Tobi-Ishi table for B&B Italia in a black-and-white variation typical of Romanesque cathedrals. Across the board, the industry embraced the finest materials from all corners of the planet, adapting them to modern living with renewed attention to nuance and veining, bodacious curves, superthin slabs, and unusual transparencies. —Alessandra Pellegrino, AD Italia

Zanotta celebrated its Quaderna series this year, marking the 50th anniversary of the Superstudio design.

Photo: Simone Barberis

Superstudio at Quaderna during its earliest years.

Photo © Archivio C. Toraldodi Francia

Brands are reprising radical design

From heritage design revivals to all-new editions, the shapes, colors, and materials of the ’60s and ’70s are making a big impression on brands and designers. The wavy, frameless Superonda chair by Archizoom, for one, bore new Farfalla upholstery for indoor and outdoor use at the Fuorisalone, whereas Carlo Scarpa’s Soriana seating sported a fresh denim covering and orange frame. Acerbis reinterpreted archival work by Nanda Vigo, and Zanotta has brought new incarnations of the Quaderna series to life. And those are just a few examples. These products look up to the impassioned era of the 1960s and 1970s, embracing lively colors, patterns, and enveloping, generous shapes. A few more examples? Space Age–inspired lamps from Draga & Aurel, the dizzying patterns of The Curious Collection, and the sound-absorbing panels by Slalom, which revisit distinctive ’70s patterns. Throwback is today’s watchword, and we are 100% here for the liveliness, good vibes, and unapologetically vibrant hues. —Alessandra Pellegrino, AD Italia

Bohinc Studio at Alcova

Photo: Bohinc Studio

Red paisley adorns an ottoman at the Ralph Lauren Palazzo

Photo: Virgile Guinard

Tomato red is the new “it” color

This year, in Milan, we were seeing red, and not just the glowing nighttime beacon of the Bar Basso sign. Across town, a juicy tomato-y hue was everywhere—making it one of our top design trends from the week. Lots of the latest seating was upholstered in this season’s signature shade: Lara Bohinc’s Peaches collection, launched at Alcova, the Campana Brothers’ Bulbo chair from Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades collection, the new, fully-upholstered Sacha chair by Philippe Malouin for Resident, and Paul Smith’s new furniture for De Padova. For Versace Home’s striking presentation, the color took over furnishings as well as the walls, giving major Black Lodge vibes (Twin Peaks fans know). Meanwhile, Ashley Hicks tented an installation of Buccellati silver with his scarlet Lee Jofa fabric, and Ralph Lauren showed off a tomato-red paisley on an ottoman at their Palazzo. And to top it all off, Luca Nichetto, art director of French furniture brand La Manufacture, devised a blood orange intervention within Museo Poldi Pezzoli, showcasing 50 new furnishings by 17 designers all in the same hue. —Hannah Martin, AD US


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