Salone Satellite 2018: The next generation of design

One thing that every single visitor to Salone del Mobile cannot dispute is the sheer enormity of exhibition. Spread across 3.7 million square feet at the Fiera Milano, the journey entails walking all the way to the very last hall, a good kilometer and a half away from the entrance of the exhibition, through the buzzing crowd of design aficionados and critics can be daunting.

But it was so worth it! We made the trip to visit the Salone Satellite, an alternative platform of the beloved Milan furniture fair, that hosts young designers under 35 from design schools and studios from all over the globe. It provides the next generation of the design community with an international springboard to showcase their creativity, find a foothold, meet their critics and familiarise themselves with the design fellowship of today. This year, Salone Satellite hosted 650 young designers spread across the 2,800 square meters space and Love That Design was, of course, present to discover the inspirations, creativity and talent behind the awe-inspiring designs.

Each stall gave us a deeper peek into the future of the next generation of design specialists helping us to better imagine the shape of design to come. Here are our top picks from 2018’s edition of Salone Satellite.

Strati by Ammar Kalo

Inspired by Scandinavian designs and created from Baltic Birch plywood sheets, Strati is a stool version of the Stratum Chair that won the A’ Design Award and Competition designed by Ammar Kalo, Director of the College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) Labs at the UAE’s American University of Sharjah (AUS).

Kalo’s creation was inspired by the need to create furniture that was very organic in its materiality, and to take advantage of CNC and fabrication technologies. The visual quality created by the plywood’s strata layers and its designer three legs that create a sense of delicate balance all add to the simplicity and intricacy of the Strati. Not forgetting the interlocking design that makes it portable!

Kalo’s range of stools, including Strati, Sliced and Macaron and the Multi-tier Shelf presented at Salone Satellite, showcased his process; one that studies the relationship between technology and traditional craft. Besides the research and studies, there was the inspiration that came from several sources. The graceful shape of the human body, the rock formations created by natural forces, the book stands that were created from a single piece of wood, and the list continues.

A month on design conception and close to two on initial production, the Stratum range of furniture – including the Stratum armchair and the Stratum folding chair; with its sinuous flowing curves, thinness, round edges and organic feel relies on its natural textures to accentuate its forms. Little wonder then that the Strati’s predecessor – the Stratum Chair – found a permanent place in the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York.

Tsunagaru Light by Keiko Haraguchi

Traditional, warm, delicate and beautiful; in essence, this is the Tsunagaru Light.

Simple and unassuming, but passionate about her craft, the creator, Keiko Haraguchi is an all too real reflection of the magical Tsunagaru Light. The mystical aura of the lighting fixture starts from its simple material and magically transforms into a piece of magnificence in the hands of Keiko. It is amazing to see how humble craft paper can become something as complex. And this paradox is what added to its enchantment.

And if you see Tsunagaru, read Washi – the traditional Japanese craft paper, which has a proud history of nearly 1,400 years. Sourced from the bark of the branches of the Kouzo (Mulberry) tree, and hand-made, it is not just nature-friendly but also offers the end products its delicate warmth and beauty. A fast disappearing tradition, this practice of creating products with this craft paper is being actively revived by the Satsuma Washi Studio. Keiko, the principal behind the studio, has added her own touch of modernity and creativity, a tie-up that combines old Japanese traditions to create a new one.

Besides being a creative and beautiful addition to the interiors, the Tsunagaru Light also offers flexibility. You can have it as a standalone table light or as an accompaniment beside your furniture, on the floor; or if you like it, as a pendant hanging from your ceiling.

The possibilities begin with your feelings and end with your creativity.

ALL IN: 3D-printed Task Light by Leon Laskowski

Salone Satellite 2018 - Salone Del Mobile - Leon Laskowski - ALL IN 3D Light

Considered the world’s first entirely 3D-printed task light, ALL IN is the brainchild of Leon Laskowski. When we first looked at its unassuming simplicity we wondered – Could this be the future of task lights? Could we just print out lamp base, add a LED lightbulb and clamp the amalgamation to our desks? If it is an ALL IN then answer is a very loud yes!

Study and weighing in at less than 400 gms, and designed to fold into itself, this gem was one of the most futuristic and functional highlights of the Satellite for us. It is a space-saver not only during production but also during transport! Not to forget, the ability to bulk produce up to 56 task lights, at once, using the industry-standard laser sintering printing technology.

But what impressed us, beyond all these technical specifications and details, was the fact that this light can be created tool-free, in one single location, in one piece, in one go and from one material – eliminating the need for manual assembly by almost a 100% and pushes recyclability to a whole new level.

In short, the ALL IN 3D Task Light rethinks manufacturing, rethinks logistics and rethinks design.

Tanit by Marino Secco

The home is where the heart is, and for Marino Secco, his home and heart lie in the mountainous interiors and the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. Chatting with Marino revealed this is his inspiration for his many works which combine design and traditions in every detailing.

Salone Satellite was witness to his beautiful the Tanit bar. The thought of weaving the colourful traditional fabric motif directly onto the wooden surfaces of his production is inspired, but what is more amazing was the way in which the two tangential forms of craftsmanship combine to complement each other.

The rugged surfaces of Sardinia could be seen in the weave and warp of the wood, which acted more as a fabric for his embroidered compositions. The result – a simple yet elegant piece of furniture that blended tradition and contemporary design.

Dividéra and Addéra by Felicia Arvid

Salone Satellite 2018 - Salone Del Mobile - Felicia Arvid - ADDÉRA

Nordic character and fashion urbanity are two things that stand out to anyone looking at the acoustic panels and furniture lines created by Felicia Arvid.

These designs have their inspirational roots in Felicia’s experience as a dressmaker and her knowledge of the Nordic-based textile industry. The thought of converting simple felt fabric sheets into something so fashionable with just a plastic peg to toy around with is brilliant to see!

Felicia successfully borrows this concept from the fashion industry and makes it work seamlessly industrial design. But, the awesomeness of it doesn’t stop there. The products were as comfortable to the feel as they were to the eye; a not-so-often seen combination that just stole our hearts.

With cool shades that elevate the interiors and functionalities that meet their objectives, Felicia Arvid’s acoustic panels and furniture line are a beautiful combination of simplicity, elegance, sophistication and high fashion! Her designs seem to accomplish her objective of taking fashion beyond our clothes and into the space that surrounds us.

Whittle Away and Canvas by Stoft Studio

Salone Satellite 2018 - Salone Del Mobile - Stoft - Whittle Away Cabinet

A traditional craft that balances poetic design and industrial manufacturing; this is what the Stoft Studio, a Malmo-based Swedish design firm, tries to accomplish. The poetic design was an alluring element at Salone Satellite for anyone looking at the Whittle Away cabinet and the Canvas chair.

The Whittle Away, as its name suggests, presents the concept of the outermost bark of a tree that flakes, revealing the new and untouched dormant layer below. At first glance, it appears like a work-in-progress; but add anything to it, and it takes away from the perfection and the appeal of the very creativity that caught our attention. Made from hardwood and hard wax finish, natural algae paint was used to add the touch of joyful colour. This piece of furniture is the designers’ means of portraying their design DNA.

The Canvas Chair, on the other hand, was designed to highlight the upholstery. To us, the name seemed very apt as the chair acted as a canvas for the designer to showcase different materials as singular pieces of art. The materials ranged from handmade textile weaves to naturally tanned leather. It’s a tribute to the handmade and the slow traditional process of crafting things.

Playful yet true to its craft, Stoft accomplishes poetry through its designs.

The list doesn’t end here… There were so many beauties on exhibit that tickled our imagination, inspired our thoughts and left us astounded with the endless possibilities of design. But for now, these will continue to hold a place in our hearts. Excited to see what the next edition of Salone Satellite has in store for us!

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Date added:

15 May, 2018

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