Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair

Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair
Jun 27, 2011

Contract asked three designers who attended Salone Internazionale del Mobile on a trip sponsored by InterfaceFLOR to name their top standout products at the show


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Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_01

Agustin Caso

General Manager

Idea Asociados de Mexico

Alvaro Obregon

Mexico, D.F.

Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_02

1. SuperTex

Spline TEX surface 

This constructive system works for architecture, furniture, and any other application, since it is a structure made out of a carbon fiber hose. It can be shaped in any form and span, and then is injected with a very strong resin, so you can get free-shaped elements in architecture and design. 

Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_03

2. Serralunga


Designed by Raffaella Mangiarotti, this is a great re-interpretation and simplification of Mies Van Der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair and Ottoman (shown) for outside. It is very colorful and fun, as well as elegant and different from any other outside furniture.
Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_04

3. Pininfarina
Luna Desk

Designed by Pininfarina, this is an astonishing, simple design that really links the elegance and timeliness of the company’s reputation and fame.

Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_05

4. Tylka / Nawoj

Coffee Bench

This bench works illustrates a smart use of space. It easily transforms into a bench, a table, or even a bed  by moving the different articulated pieces. 

Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_06

5. Campeggi

Dynamic Life

Matali Crasset designed this fun and smart hideaway bed with a nice contemporary aesthetic. It can accommodate three to seven people.

Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_07

Mark Harbick, AIA, IIDA

Design Principal

Mancini Duffy

New York

Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_08

6. Unifor

KM Table by Jean Nouvel 

This table is the perfect synthesis of simplicity and technology. Solid lumber planks are held together in tension by a sophisticated system of internal aluminum tie-rods. Incredible lengths can be achieved without sacrificing its lightness of form.

Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_09

7. Younicos

Yill Mobile Energy Storage Unit

I’m fascinated by the concept and the questions this product poses about the future of power delivery. Essentially, it is a rechargeable battery housed in an elegant “hatbox on wheels” that stores enough energy to power a four-pack workstation for a couple of days. In a world of mobile workers, imagine being able to bring power anywhere.

Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_10

8. Sisman

Super Sputnik Stool

This simple and stylish stool designed by a young independent German designer comes in several heights, many finish variations, and even some really creative slipcover options. This is a winner.

Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_11

9. Ca’Onorai


I liked the idea of an easily specified, stylish touchdown station “in a box.” The Kimono has three basic parts: base, worksurface, and shroud. It provides a high degree of privacy when needed for concentration not collaboration. It could be used in an open work environment, in pre-function meeting areas, or even lobby and reception areas. The worksurface can be powered, but I’d skip the optional lighting around the base.

Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_12

10. Tani Matsumura

WAFFT stool and table

Another fine example of utilizing technology to inform and simplify a design, Tani Matsumura’s table and stool are made from a hybrid plywood, developed by the designer, which uses alternating layers of wood veneer and sheet aluminum to create a material that is very strong yet incredibly thin and lightweight. The stool and table almost seem to float, yet can handle the abuse of an office environment.

Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_13

Deborah Sperry ARIDO, NCIDQ, LEED® AP

Associate | Team Leader



Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_14

11. Driade

MT3 indoor/outdoor rocking chair 

Driade’s product offerings were unmatched at the show. There is no question that the furniture was stunning. The pieces were comfortable and functional as well as beautifully designed. I was most impressed by the MT3 Rocking Chair by Ron Arad. Constructed of molded polyethylene, it can be placed inside or outside (interior or exterior). What a unique shape!

Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_15

12. Raphael Charles

Multiple - modular low table

The ability for items to transform into multiple shapes or functions was a major theme at the show. Raphael Charles managed this concept without compromising aesthetics and created a product that is not only tactile, fun, and visually stunning, but also functional. These wooden magnetic cylinders can be manipulated into any form, yet in the end they remain a usable end table.

Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_16

13. Tylka / Nawoj

Coffee Bench

The Coffee bench designed by Karolina Tylka & Szymon Nawoj is a beautifully designed wooden sectional bench that has the ability to fold down per section to create a side tables. To be used in large projects such as airport lounges or a small intimate garden setting, the bench enables social interaction and yet transforms to define personal “I” space.

Designers Rate: Milan Furniture Fair_17

14. Nurus


Ece Selamoglu Yalim and Oguz Yalim have designed a solution that creatively bridges the gap, producing an environment that is private, yet interactive and open. As an office it offers privacy, electrical outlets, Internet access, an LCD screen, task lighting, and adjustable table height, all housed inside a walled canopy, with total flexibility to move anywhere within the office space.