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Monday, April 23, 2012

Trend Beat at iSaloni, Milan


By Teresa Simon


“It is the design and product that finally matters; and not the designer label”. The new trends at the 2012 iSaloni clearly evidence sophisticated attention to what works best for the consumer – materially, aesthetically and pocket-wise… 

The just-concluded Salone Internazionale del Mobile, held in Milan from April 17-22, 2012, has brought to the fore a paradigm shift in design thought and approach. Keeping pace with a discerning sense of awareness and pragmatic approach, the range of products is more restrained with emphasis on clean lines, attention to details of joinery and finish and characterized by an honesty of material and technique.

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While the kitchen and bath exhibits depict a distinct narrative in terms of functionality and style quotient, taking on a fresh mindset in establishing the trends of the season, a distinct element of nostalgia characterizes majority of exhibits in the furniture and furnishings category, where ease and comfort are primarily revisited through different periods spanning the early-to-mid twentieth century (1950’s, 1918’s, 1940’s), with an intelligent reuptake of enduring pieces.  

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“Rappel à l’ordre” is clearly one of this season’s winning themes, catering to a silent alleviation of presumably morally-unacceptable provocative designs, outweighing any aesthetic issues. An interesting consequence of this phenomenon is the reappraisal of the designer figure, with the emphasis shifting from the person to the product.

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A large number of new entries from little-known or even unknown designers sets the trend for a ‘refined awareness’. Every project evolves in ‘a’ specific material, respecting its intrinsic qualities and peculiarities. Lightness of material, form, is another characteristic. Attention to material inevitably brings with it renewed attention to detail; an aspect that has evolved from mere finishing to a structural component in its own right. Furthermore, fabric has reached an all-time high in terms of importance, not so much in terms of patterns or graphics, but as a physical presence.

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This apart, one also recognizes pieces of pure invention, not just in terms of form or material, but as a totally innovative typology. And at the opposite end of the spectrum are a few deliberately “neutral” and therefore universal objects; and then there is the wealth of proposals for beds.

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The ultimate ‘feel-good’ is as much in the eyes of the beholder as it lay in the intrinsic makeup of the combination of materials – whether wood and metal, sheer wood, or sheer glass; textures – from plush to raw – with allusions to craft; pattern – solid to pin-stripes to vivid graphics; and forms that celebrate purity in design in an open bold statement as well as covertly, almost flirting with the eye.

Glimpses


3 comments :

  1. Hello Friends,
    It is a known fact that most people follow the rest of the people and the changes of most furniture pieces do in fact follow a full circle from the older models of pieces to the more modern and all within a 20 year period. Kind of a round robin affair with trends and traites of those closely associated with changes in decore from time to time.

    Some actually miss the decore of old and revert back to that period and this is what makes furniture making fun. It is hard to almost impossible to read peoples minds and most follow the others because, they want to stay in the class of folks they linger with and don't want to be left out of the circle.

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  2. Rhythms and cycles are a basic feature of life, and of how the human mind works.

    Children's names follow a roughly four-generational cycle, colour preferences follow a known cycle (the length of which I can't remember) and even the pronunciation of the syllables of a language follow a cycle. New Zealand and Australia are at different points on the cycle, for instance, so each sounds a bit wrong to the other.
    Posted by John Harland on Linkedin Group: Product Design in response to IAnD's discussion thread:Why is it that, inevitably, things go a full circle? The element of nostalgia in the furniture exhibits at Salone, Milan recapitulates a new eclectic. Agree or disagree?

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  3. Thanks for posting this inspiring blog thread, Lalit. What a great question - why do things go full circle? Do they really? I'd love to sit in on a lecture by a forum of a designer, an anthropologist, a trend scout and a psychologist. Then add 3 women from 3 different generations. That would be very inspiring indeed.

    My take on this question is that everything is about balance. When we go to one extreme we always tend to bounce back and crave the opposite end of the spectrum after a while. For example post war 1950ies style in the USA was longing for a happy, perfect world, full of color, warmth, smooth shapes (most probably as a reaction to the war). A few years after that, the sixties and seventies saw many people wanting to break out of this, and to be revolutionary, outside of the norm, futuristic. There was the inspiration of outer space exploration, and a large use of plastics. Today we try to balance our busy lives and careers with elements from nostalgia and comfort and seek to re-connect with family values and the past.

    I don't necessarily think that everything is going full circle, but that we rather live very organically. Everything influences everything! Inspirations from the past always come back, but they usually re-appear in a new context, forming something new.

    If I was still in school I'd love to write a paper on this. Intriguing indeed.
    Posted by Astrid Mueller on Linkedin Group: Creative Design Professionals Worldwide in response to IAnD's discussion thread:Why is it that, inevitably, things go a full circle? The element of nostalgia in the furniture exhibits at Salone, Milan recapitulates a new eclectic. Agree or disagree?

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