Milano Design Week and Fuorisalone 2024: the booths at Salone del Mobile

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The Salone del Mobile.Milano is the world’s most important furniture fair and, over the years, has transformed into a lifestyle event of global resonance. It shares excellent success with Fuorisalone, the complex of side events with which it generates the Milan Design Week. Fuorisalone, in fact, goes much further and also involves consumer electronics, watchmaking, fashion, and now AI, as well as furniture, of course.

It is always little talked about, but in fact, much of the fame of the Salone del Mobile.Milano is owed to the care exhibiting companies devote to the displays, which internationally renowned architects often design. The architecture of the stands and fittings in the city thus adds up to the creativity of the exhibitions and products to generate the phenomenon called Milano Design Week, or Fuorisalone, if we speak only of the collateral events in the city.

An excursus among the Salone del Mobile.Milano 2024 stands allows us to see what and how much effort companies devote to the care of the exhibition. A care that makes the product almost an excuse for the exhibition, part of the companies’ communication for all intents and purposes. It is also a big financial commitment, considering that all this effort is for an event that lasts only one week. However, in this week, Milan Design Week and Fuorisalone allow an incredible potential in terms of communication to develop.

So, let’s take a closer look at a few stands from the Milan Furniture Fair 2024.

Kartell: Urban Horizons

Let’s start with Kartell, which has been collaborating with Ferruccio Laviani for thirty years now, to design iconic and imaginative stands. The 2024 stand, also by Ferruccio Laviani, was called Urban Horizons and was a tribute to Milan. The entrance mimicked the entrance to the Kartell store in Milan, where sets of Milanese environments house the new collections and designs with different settings. A creative scenario that paid much attention to sustainability, not only of the booth but also of the products.

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Kartell booth: Urban Horizons

Kartell products, in fact, mainly employ glass, recycled polymeric materials, wood, fabric, aluminum, and polycarbonate 2.0. Many international designers are working with the Milan-based company that created the history of plastic in furniture. From the legendary Philippe Starck to Ferruccio Laviani, Piero Lissoni, Ludovica Serafini + Roberto Palomba, Antonio Citterio, Patricia Urquiola, and Fabio Novembre.

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Baxter’s clay architecture

One important part of the Milan Design Week for Baxter was the Baxter booth, in addition to the Fuorisalone location. The booth outlined a 1970s atmosphere, with endless shades of orange on the furniture and walls, thanks to the clay of the partitions.

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Baxter booth

The spaces, which drew regular and irregular polygons, created a winding path on different levels, with windows in the walls, in which the visitor could decide at any moment whether to enter the space or look through the “window.” Products by Studiopepe, Hannes Peer, Roberto Lazzeroni, Paola Navone and Federico Peri, among others, complemented the Mediterranean-flavored architecture.

Japanese atmosphere at Ceramica Globo

Studio MILO designed an essential booth with a Japanese atmosphere for Ceramica Globo. Strict geometries defined spaces divided by light-colored walls, where the new collections, designed by Federica Biasi, among others, were displayed. (Photo Simone Furiosi)

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SDR Ceramiche: the art gallery

Michela Benaglia and Mariele Leoni, of Le Michette studio, designed the SDR Ceramiche booth, which was distinctly scenic. Three showcases faced the aisle to draw visitors’ attention. Inside, dividers made of industrial metal mesh and transparent polycarbonate outlined the paths to encourage smooth public flow. As per the guidelines suggested by the Salone del Mobile.Milano, the booth used innovative and sustainable materials. The entire booth used only three materials: marine plywood, industrial metal mesh and semi-transparent polycarbonate. Marine plywood allows for a stable structure with low weight, and the wood came from responsibly managed forests. Interior partitions featured electro-welded wire mesh, which is lightweight, strong and flexible and, where more privacy was required, semi-transparent polycarbonate, which allows for more natural light. Stefano Antozzi, illustrator and set designer, and Rossella Lochis, architect, collaborated on the booth.

Milan Design Week and Fuorisalone

Kohler and the water in motion at Salone del Mobile

At Milan Design Week, specifically at this year’s Fuorisalone, Kohler, a global kitchen and bath products company, presented an installation with Samuel Ross. Flowing water was the theme of the exhibition at the Palazzo del Senato. The giant installation also featured the artist’s toilet-toilet sculpture and a faucet, which was also sculptural.
At Salone del Bagno 2024 (Bathroom Show), Kohler commissioned worldwide architecture and design firm Yabu Pushelberg to design the booth. Inspired by the rhythm of flowing water, Yabu Pushelberg transformed the Kohler booth into an immersive exhibition.


milan design week fuorisalone

Kohler booth at Milan Salone del Mobile 2024, by Yabu Pushelberg

The firm designed the façade to communicate water in motion, guiding guests on a hypnotic exploration of shapes, textures and light. The exhibit showcased the latest technologies from Kohler, Kallista, Kast, and Klafs in wellness design, from faucets and fixtures to bathtubs, futuristic showers, and innovative saunas. Each scene highlighted the integration of form and function, demonstrating the company’s commitment to craftsmanship and quality.

milan design week fuorisalone

WC toilet and faucet sculptures by Samuel Ross for Kohler

Yabu Pushelberg also paid particular attention to light and lighting. “By carefully modulating the color temperature, we highlighted key features and moments of the booth, inviting guests on a journey that seamlessly transitions from one atmospheric moment to the next. Visitors experience an immersive journey through the space, celebrating the timeless interaction between light, architecture and the natural world,” explained design team Yabu Pushelberg.

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Quadro Design’s sustainability

The exhibit design by Quadro Design, a company that has been working on product and process sustainability for years now, is a project by Studio Calvi Brambilla. The booth structure, which is reusable, glue-free, and easily dismountable, consists of the materials and containers that the factory usually uses in its warehouse to store components, semi-finished products, and tools, with green panels serving as a backdrop. The result is a great scenic impact, highlighted by uncluttered spaces. (Photo Luca A. Caizzi)

Poltronova: an explosion of colors

Centro Studi Poltronova returned to Milan Design Week after 30 years with the exhibition “Hyper,” presenting its collection of made-in-Italy design icons. The art director, Donatello D’Angelo, designed the “Hyper Poltronova” exhibition, inspired by the 1972 exhibition “The Invention of the Neutral Surface.” The result was a kind of giant “immersive container,” with a hyper pop color and style, where Poltronova’s design unfolded through environments that recall, in shape or color, the objects on display. Seamless with the walls, Poltronova’s historic icons, more than 20 in number, followed one another in the booth, including Ettore Sottsass jr’s Ultrafragola mirror, Archizoom Associati’s Safari, Superonda and Mies chairs, Gianni Pettena’s Rumble sofa and Franco Raggi’s Canton bench.

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Caimi Brevetti’s “piazza”

Caimi Brevetti’s booth was built as a ” square” with four “buildings” around it. The four “buildings” housed eight distinct but interconnected spaces, eight “stores” to linger a little longer. The products on display showcased Snowsound technologies, their applications, and traditional design collections. The design section featured the different colors of the individual workshops and also a tribute to Alessandro Mendini.

Flexform “Between the Folds”

“Between the Folds” was the name of the Flexform exhibition space at Salone del Mobile.Milano 2024. More than just an exhibition space, it was a stage designed to express the brand’s values in an exciting experience.

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Flexform booth

In fact, the space was divided into successive rooms, surrounded and separated by thin curtains and screens, which created soft folds. The white and deep light created a rarefied atmosphere, like a movie set.

Molteni & C.: Milanese rationalism

Molteni & C. showcased some novelties in its Milan showroom, part of the Fuorisalone, during Milan Design Week 2024. On the other side, at the Salone del Mobile, Molteni & C. booth, designed by creative director Vincent Van Duysen, was inspired, like the 2024 collection, by the works of Milanese Masters, such as Piero Portaluppi.

milano design week fuorisalone

Molteni & C booth, by Vincent Van Duysen

To mark its 90th anniversary, Molteni & C. presented a collection rich in fine details, expressing elegance and functional innovation. Besides Van Duysen himself, we can mention Herzog & de Meuron, Foster + Partners, and Yabu Pushelberg among the designers who authored the pieces.

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Daft about Draft: the polka-dot infinity

An endless series of methacrylate spheres featured the “Pointitillisme” booth, by Taiju Yamashita for Daft About Draft. A space that created an illusion of infinity, like a fairy tale.

Knoll: The Pavilion

Knoll’s “The Pavilion” imagined life in a residence, with intimate spaces and flower gardens. The Belgian architecture firm OFFICE, which designed it with the collaboration of color designer Salem van der Swaagh and architect Pernilla Ohrsted, also thought about sustainability. Thus, the entire structure is made of salvaged and recycled materials and is entirely reusable and recyclable, thanks to aluminum beams and pillars, aluminum and glass panels, and recycled concrete terrazzo floors. Among the rooms, Jeroen Provoost designed some gardens that make the space more relaxing and create a much more livable atmosphere inside the booth, with cleaner air. Les Éclaireurs had set up a lighting system that created different “sunlight scenarios” within the green areas. The light changed color and intensity throughout the day, adapting to the natural light conditions. Finally, the Knoll stand is more sustainable, as it was the same one presented in 2023. (photo Daniele Ansidei)

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