Outside Salone del Mobile

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Outside Salone del Mobile

It’s easy to get lost in Salone del Moblie’s 1,738,845 square foot convention center in Rho, but some of the best finds lie closer to town. Ventura Lambrate, Zona Tortona, and Brera feel like the after parties to the main event–in the best way. Here’s what the cool kids of Salone were showing:

I. Ventura Lambrate
Emerging as the “third” design district after a big debut last year, the Dutch organization Ventura Lambrate rounded up young, international talent in one huge industrial space just outside the center of town. It’s the realm of the newcomers, but also the designers that are willing and able to take the most risks.

blog-open-structures.jpg Thomas Lommée’s Open Structure project (above) takes one standard geometrical grid and explores ways different people can collaborate on one modular construction model.

blog-omri-barzeev.jpgOmri Barzeev’s flexible Starlight is set with 126 LEDs moves to mimic the starry sky.

blog-galoper-grand.jpg For a piece that is just fun: the Galoper Grand, from German design student Fabian Von Spreckelsen, is a giant rocking horse wrapped in supple leather. It’s a very adult take on a childhood favorite.

blog-ClampTable_deVorm_original_filenumber_3381-LRG.jpgIngenious in its simplicity, Jorre van Ast‘s Clamp-a-Leg is a wooden leg fitted into a metal clamp that can be affixed to any flat surface–transforming it into a table.

II. Zona Tortona
Zona Tortona is a packed warren of streets littered with indie pubs and colorful flyers advertising the latest products and that night’s parties–and it seems that every store and space has something to see. The brands are much more established than Ventura, but still decidedly edgy, befitting of the gritty, hipper-than-thou environs.

blog-roll-and-hill.jpg New design firm, Roll & Hill tapped designer Lindsey Adelman to design Knotty Bubbles, a series of hand-blown glass bubbles wrapped in rope.

blog-stefan-diez-e15-chair.jpg Designer Stefan Diez added this new piece, the EC04 LEO chair made from flexible lacquered oak or walnut veneer to his celebrated seating collection for e15.

blog-design-of-love.jpg These cheeky resin and rubber pieces from Design of Love are specially treated to also work as outdoor furniture. designoflove.com

blog-moooi-chair.jpgThis take on a 16th century chair from Moooi designed by Studio Job is small piece that packs a lot of punch. They are available in 10 colors and can live indoors or out.

III. Brera Design District
Brera Design District, based in the historic center of Milan, is the more polished (read: expensive) hub of the design world. The crowded neighborhood is home to the highest concentrations of showrooms, stores, and design events during the already busy week.

blog-morosco.jpgQuite possibly the most striking display of Salone: Moroso unveiled their new Moon chairs by turning their showroom into a magical, eerie lighting installation from Tokujin Yoshioka. He used rays of light diffused by water vapor in the air, or as he puts it, “releasing infinitive light rays in white space, creating a scene as if light breaks through the cloud.”

Click here to see highlights from SaloneSatellite, a special exhibition for designers under 35.

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