Lighting Design Was The Star Of Salone Del Mobile 2022
A bright spot for the event’s 60th anniversary.
A bright spot for the event’s 60th anniversary.
Earlier this month, Milan Design Week was busy with Salone Del Mobile, the world’s foremost interior design fair. For the event’s 60th anniversary—the first to return in-person since 2019—over 2,000 exhibitors showcased their latest wares, including over 600 designers under age of 35.
It was the biggest, and most successful iteration yet, and had a strong international presence with designers coming from across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America. “We believe in a Salone that breaks down barriers, becoming a cultural bridge, welcoming everyone without distinction, in the name of ethical and responsible design,” says Maria Porro, Salone del Mobile’s president, the first woman to hold the job since joining last year.
While the trade fair is known for its cutting-edge furniture (specifically, modular loveseats), the star of this year’s event was the lighting design. Whether it’s Magritte-inspired lamps or traditional Italian glass chandeliers, here are some of the lighting designs that made a splash at Milan’s design week this year.
The Argentinian designer showcased his latest modern lamps at the Nilafur showroom, which are inspired by the free jazz movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Titled “Too Much, Too Soon!” These geometric lamps are what the designer calls “illuminated sculptures.” He explains that even though he is a digital native (he was born in 1990), the digital world cannot reproduce light the same way that a lamp can. “Reflecting, absorbing, playing with light is a physical experience,” Reisinger says. “So it’s unnecessary to reproduce it in the digital realm, because it’s simply ineffective.”
British designer Lee Broom brought his work to higher levels with his new lighting collection, Divine Inspiration, on the brand’s 15-year anniversary. These minimal light pieces—some even inspired by Brutalist architecture—are Broom’s biggest production to date. The lighting fixtures are made from carved oak wood, aluminum, plaster, and Jesmonite, all of which were handmade in his London factory.
“Designing this collection to celebrate 15 years, I decided to look back at some of the things that inspired me to be a designer in the first place,” Broom says. “So, I started looking at the Brutalist architecture I grew up with as a child, a period of architecture that I love. Delving deeper my attention became engaged with brutalist places of worship. This led me on a fascinating journey to researching cathedrals, temples, and churches from antiquity to mid-century, to the present day.”
The Venetian glassmaking company debuted its latest glass chandelier, called the Magritte, inspired by French surrealist painter Rene Magritte. The clear glass chandelier with 48 light bulbs takes the traditional glassmaking on the Venetian Island of Murano, which is where the firm has had its headquarters for 700 years, and updates it for modern interiors. As Magritte once said, “Banish the already seen from the mind and seek the unseen.”
We might know Toiletpaper as the retro-inspired art magazine co-founded by artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari. Now, the duo has made their way into product design with Casa Toiletpaper. This Milanese home doubles as both a showroom for their latest furniture design, and is an AirBnB,. They call this property “an unmistakable design” where visitors can “live in a work of art.” Their latest series of housewares, as part of their Toiletpaper Home collection, has lamps that are surrealist-inspired works of art, too. With a simple round glass globe on a black rectangular base. There are four design variations: a trumpet, snakes, playing cards, and lipstick patterns.
The Italian lighting brand opened its first showroom in Milan for design week, set in the heart of the city’s Brera district, Milan’s most notable creative neighbourhood. The company’s latest design collections including Volum (designed with Snøhetta), Flar (designed with Patrick Norguet), and IVY (designed with Vittorio Massimo). The Volum series features an icy white bulb, which pays tribute to the Italian tradition of globe-shaped lamps, made of glass. Oslo-based designers Snøhetta said the historic craft of glassmaking was the inspiration. “Viewing something as above, below or next to something else, to a light source, it needs to be as functional and beautiful from all prepositions in space,” says Marius Myking, the director of products at Snøhetta. “The Volum series solves this in its technical solution, while celebrating the craft of glassmaking.”
Formafantasma x Maison Matisse
The design company Formafantasma collaborated with Maison Matisse, a design firm run by the family of French artist Henri Matisse, to create limited-edition lamps inspired by the artist’s creations. They call the series “Fold,” and these angular, abstract light fixtures are intended to “reinterpret the inventive paper cut-outs and pure colours of Henri Matisse.” Many of the metal lamps look like seaside shapes that Matisse would draw while living in the French Riviera. And some use his trademark cobalt blue. They unveiled the new series last week at Showroom Studio Nerino. The design team worked with folded paper mock-ups before creating the digital designs, as folding paper for 3D compositions was one way Matisse created art.
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Vacationers scratching their travel itch this season are sending prices through the roof. Here’s how some are making trade-offs.
Capri Coffer socks away $600 a month to help fund her travels. The Atlanta health-insurance account executive and her husband couldn’t justify a family vacation to the Dominican Republic this summer, though, given what she calls “astronomical” plane ticket prices of $800 each.
The price was too high for younger family members, even with Coffer defraying some of the costs.
Instead, the family of six will pile into a rented minivan come August and drive to Hilton Head Island, S.C., where Coffer booked a beach house for $650 a night. Her budget excluding food for the two-night trip is about $1,600, compared with the $6,000 price she was quoted for a three-night trip to Punta Cana.
“That way, everyone can still be together and we can still have that family time,” she says.
With hotel prices and airfares stubbornly high as the 2023 travel rush continues—and overall inflation squeezing household budgets—this summer is shaping up as the season of travel trade-offs for many of us.
Average daily hotel rates in the top 25 U.S. markets topped $180 year-to-date through April, increasing 9.9% from a year ago and 15.6% from 2019, according to hospitality-data firm STR.
Online travel sites report more steep increases for summer ticket prices, with Kayak pegging the increase at 35% based on traveler searches. (Perhaps there is no more solid evidence of higher ticket prices than airline executives’ repeated gushing about strong demand, which gives them pricing power.)
The high prices and economic concerns don’t mean we’ll all be bunking in hostels and flying Spirit Airlines with no luggage. Travellers who aren’t going all-out are compromising in a variety of ways to keep the summer vacation tradition alive, travel agents and analysts say.
“They’re still out there and traveling despite some pretty real economic headwinds,” says Mike Daher, Deloitte’s U.S. transportation, hospitality and services leader. “They’re just being more creative in how they spend their limited dollars.”
For some, that means a cheaper hotel. Hotels.com says global search interest in three-star hotels is up more than 20% globally. Booking app HotelTonight says nearly one in three bookings in the first quarter were for “basic” hotels, compared with 27% in the same period in 2019.
For other travellers, the trade-offs include a shorter trip, a different destination, passing on premium seat upgrades on full-service airlines or switching to no-frills airlines. Budget-airline executives have said on earnings calls that they see evidence of travellers trading down.
Deloitte’s 2023 summer travel survey, released Tuesday, found that average spending on “marquee” trips this year is expected to decline to $2,930 from $3,320 a year ago. Tighter budgets are a factor, he says.
Wendy Marley is no economics teacher, but says she’s spent a lot of time this year refreshing clients on the basics of supply and demand.
The AAA travel adviser, who works in the Boston area, says the lesson comes up every time a traveler with a set budget requests help planning a dreamy summer vacation in Europe.
“They’re just having complete sticker shock,” she says.
Marley has become a pro at Plan B destinations for this summer.
For one client celebrating a 25th wedding anniversary with a budget of $10,000 to $12,000 for a five-star June trip, she switched their attention from the pricey French Riviera or Amalfi Coast to a luxury resort on the Caribbean island of St. Barts.
To Yellowstone fans dismayed at ticket prices into Jackson, Wyo., and three-star lodges going for six-star prices, she recommends other national parks within driving distance of Massachusetts, including Acadia National Park in Maine.
For clients who love the all-inclusive nature of cruising but don’t want to shell out for plane tickets to Florida, she’s been booking cruises out of New York and New Jersey.
Not all of Marley’s clients are tweaking their plans this summer.
Michael McParland, a 78-year-old consultant in Needham, Mass., and his wife are treating their family to a luxury three-week Ireland getaway. They are flying business class on Aer Lingus and touring with Adventures by Disney. They initially booked the trip for 2020, so nothing was going to stand in the way this year.
McParland is most excited to take his teen grandsons up the mountain in Northern Ireland where his father tended sheep.
“We decided a number of years ago to give our grandsons memories,” he says. “Money is money. They don’t remember you for that.”
Chima Enwere, a 28-year old piano teacher in Fayetteville, N.C., is also headed to the U.K., but not by design.
Enwere, who fell in love with Europe on trips the past few years, let airline ticket prices dictate his destination this summer to save money.
He was having a hard time finding reasonable flights out of Raleigh-Durham, N.C., so he asked for ideas in a Facebook travel group. One traveler found a round-trip flight on Delta to Scotland for $900 in late July with reasonable connections.
He was budgeting $1,500 for the entire trip—he stays in hostels to save money—but says he will have to spend more given the pricier-than-expected plane ticket.
“I saw that it was less than four digits and I just immediately booked it without even asking questions,” he says.
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