This was the last Furniture Show to be held in Milan. From next year it will move to Pero-Rho to the recently inaugurated building designed by Fuksas.

Continuing a trend that emerged clearly last year, there was a definite perception of the intention to recover a “decorative” language inspired by the Baroque, Art Nouveau, Art deco, Gothic and neo pop. Décor as, above all, a juxtaposition of decorative patterns on surfaces and forms that are in general “traditional”. It is legitimate to wonder whether we are talking about a reaction to the general uncertainty, the frantic search for something new to satisfy improbable design victims or a desire to adjust to the precise rhythms dictated by the world of fashion.

On show we had an abundance of leaves, flowers, embroidery and fretwork; and while in many cases this was mere surface treatment, we also noted exploratory pieces directed at linking up the decorative side to design and innovation.

Numerous firms have, however, found a distinct reference market, their own specific identity and a consistent choice of designers around which to define clear options, from research to product to production systems, from communication to distribution. As is the case, for example, with the seats of Grcic and Newson for Magis; the sophisticated and hypertechnological working of the Urquiola table for Kartell or that by Tord Boontje for Moroso characterised by a definite ornamental euphoria; the production technologies employed by Arad in the armchair for Magis at accessible costs; just as in the design discipline of certain pieces like that of Haberli for Alias, or again the variants proposed by B&B which, with Citterio and Urquiola continues to explore lightness and practicality so as to respond to the demands of consumers.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 153

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