Show Stoppers: Salone del Mobile 2016

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By Amy Phare / Published by Modern In Denver Magazine
No stranger to year-round style, Milan becomes the center of the design world when thousands of designers descend on Salone del Mobile each April. The preeminent furniture fair packs a punch, with more than 300,000 attendees gaining design inspiration from the 1,300-plus exhibitors. From innovative material use to reinvented interpretations, here are our favorite furniture finds from roaming the Milanese milieu.
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LIGHT AS A FEATHER 

Fly away from the idea of traditional lighting with the Perch Light designed by Utmut Yamac for Moooi. Sculpted in the form of birds sitting on a branch, these paper lights debuted at Salone del Mobile, and when lit, form a gentle glow. But the best part: When gently touched, the birds freely swing on the perch. 


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CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT 

Inspired by classic wooden chairs in Europe, the All Plastic Chair is anything but conventional. Designed by British designer Jasper Morrison for Vitra, the finely modeled seat and backrest adapt to the contours of the body thanks to new materials and forward-thinking design: Axial shafts with rubber buffers allow for gentle flexion, moving with you instead of leaving your behind, well, behind. 


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DIVIDE AND CONCUR 

When you think of room dividers, nature rarely comes to mind. But that was the inspiration for Tokyo designer Jin Kuramoto’s new solution to noise control for commercial spaces. Wind, created for Swedish furniture company Offecct, is a series of organic shapes that help control acoustics in a more welcoming way. Now that’s a breath of fresh air. 


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TICKLED PINK 

When Pantone debuted not one, but two Colors of the Year for 2016, design trio Alberto Lievore, Jeannette Altherr, and Manuel Molina rose to the challenge of producing a duochrome design for Italian brand Arper. Originally designed in 2004, the Catifa 46 series retains the same slim profile, but is now available in this updated pastel palette. 


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TWO IS A CLOUD

Life is not a straight line, and neither is the new Édouard series. Designed by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia, the pieces tout sinuous lines designed with ergonomics in mind. And it’s not just fluff. The padded furniture enhances comfort with a wide seat and a high backrest, which can be fitted with a headrest. The non-linear shape can conform to any taste with its wide range of fabrics and even a classical option that conceals its feet. 


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RIGHT ANGLES 

The famed Daniel Libeskind (of Denver Art Museum notoriety) applies his geometric twist to industrial design with the ADAGIO Sofa for Flexform. From leather to linen, you can customize this asymmetrical sofa, which has no orthogonal joints. ADAGIO, which translates to "slow" or "at ease," harmoniously bridges architectural form with everyday comfort. 


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 NON-BINARY STAR 

Inspired by the blending of masculine and feminine forms, the Gender armchair designed by Patricia Urquiola is made up of two independent shapes that come together as one. "There are many sides to society, not only woman and man, and we have to approach these situations in a better way," said the designer, who created the line for Cassina. The armchair freely blends boundaries and allows the user to shape its identity through its many layers, textures, and colors. 

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT 

MINDCRAFT—showcased annually during Milan Design Week—is an exhibition spotlighting Danish designers who stimulate curiosity through experimental objects. The project engages and challenges its beholders, and this year, Maria Bruun and Anne Dorthe Vester raised the bar with their "Heavy Stack" project. The doughnut-shaped ceramic rings were drawn from architectural principles and structures combined with a fascination for the process and potentials of extrusion. Chew on that. 


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CEDAR SPEEDER 

While an entirely wooden car is a remarkable enough concept as it is, Toyota’s Setsuna takes the cake with its execution. This cedar and birch roadster was built without a single nail or screw. Instead, a traditional Japanese carpentry technique was used, making it a work of art intended to be passed down generations. Wooden it be nice? 

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WHY NOT? 

We love the lines of the yps fixed table by TEAM 7, which remarkably feature no right angles at all. Its Y-shaped legs and beveled corners add softness to the massive, solid piece, which comes in one of eight wood species. The flared legs allow maximum legroom and stability to enjoy your alphabet soup alongside the accompanying aye swivel chairs. 

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