Milan Design Week 2019 Highlights Part 1

Written by Owen Wright

25 April 2019

Images Left to Right: Studiopepe, Studiopepe, Sky Frame, Gervasoni

Milan Design Week 2019 brought together hundreds of designers and brands from around the world to showcase their work. At the 58th Salone del Mobile Furniture Fair, highlights included the Euroluce lighting show and satellite events all over the city. Our Trend Researchers attend the trade show every year, not only to track and evidence our own forecasts but also to spot and monitor emerging trends within narrative, colour and form. Here we share some of our highlights from this year’s show.

Guiltless Plastic

 Images Left to Right: Reform Studio, Alcarol, Ro Guiltless Plastics, Studio Job, Ro Guiltless Plastics

This year’s show continued to explore humanity’s relationship with plastic and waste created from industries across the globe. Launched last year, Rossana Orlandi’s “Guiltless Plastic” initiative was brought to life as an exhibition this year. Designers displayed products of all kinds, repurposing waste plastic materials to create furniture, lighting and textiles. Hend Riad and Mariam Hazem from Reform Studio created a line of colourful textiles made from reused plastic bags. The studio hopes to change the perspective of plastic bags, not as trash, but as a valuable resource to be used as upholstery for everyday products such as stools and chairs.

Poetic Design

Images Left to Right: Atelier Boelhouwer, Yellowdot Design, CRAMUM, Shinya Oguchi, Camilla Brunelli, Koizumiya, Normann Copenhagen

As global feelings of unrest continue, an appetite for escapism sees designers explore how everyday objects can elicit wonderment. A poetic approach is taken to products, where design is used for design’s sake. Objects intertwine the unusual with the familiar, inviting you to explore them further. Danish lifestyle brand Normann Copenhagen showcased this theme throughout their exhibit. Taking inspiration from abstract garden designer Roberto Burle Marx, the layout featured organic forms and undulating walkways leading to individually themed isles. Bespoke floral arrangements created by art and flower studio Tableau Cph bathed furnishings in flowers.

Physical Experiences

 Images Left to Right: Ilo Rugs and Almst Blck, Tarkett, IKEA

Ever-increasing digital lifestyles and the continued popularity of ‘selfie’ culture were a key influence on this year’s show. Interaction and sensory stimulation were explored across the city, with brands and designers creating unique immersive experiences for visitors to explore. In a collaborative exhibit by Almst Blck and Ilo Rugs visitors enjoyed a tactile experience. In a room clad floor to ceiling in fur like textiles, visitors could stimulate lights and sounds by touching a rug of varying textures connected to sensors. Similarly, IKEA’s ‘Feel Home’ exhibition focused on light and sound. The installation gave visitors the opportunity to play with the mood of a roomset through a touch sensitive light and sound display.

Continue to follow the blog to see more highlights from Milan Design Week in the coming weeks. 

Working up to two years ahead of a season? Our Autumn Winter 2020/21 Home & Interiors trend books are available in both print and digital formats and can be ordered now. To download a free demo click ‘download now’ to the top right of this post. 


Written by Owen Wright

Owen joined the team as Trend Researcher in 2017 and supports the Strategy and Insight team delivering bespoke consultancy to brands and manufacturers. He previously worked as an innovation specialist at Godfrey Syrett. He has a degree in Industrial and Product Design from the University of Teeside.

The content is always relevant to our business, and Trend Bible bring new and intriguing topics to our attention that we would otherwise have overlooked.


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